Some Simple Golf
Driving Tips

Sinking a long put or hitting perfectly out of the rough feels great. But for most golfers, the best feeling is a long, majestic, powerful drive off the tee.

A couple of basic golf driving tips can help achieve maximum distance without sacrificing accuracy.

(Note: All directions are given for right-handed golfers.)

Some of the best golf driving tips have nothing to do with your swing. Instead of your feet at shoulder width, setting them a little wider gives you a wider base for a more powerful swing. Take a look at Tiger Woods and other pros when they tee off. Their feet are wider than their shoulders, which give their swings a wider arc.

golf stanceAlso, put the ball closer toward your left foot instead of between your feet. If you flare your left foot slightly toward the hole, your left heel should be opposite the ball. And instead of your shoulders lying parallel to the ground, dip your right shoulder slightly.

These pre-swing points will allow the golfer to catch the ball on the lowest part of the swing, and provide more power.

The proper tee placement also helps. When teeing the ball up for the driver, put the tee height at the middle of the driver’s face. This way, when the ball is placed on the tee, half the ball is above the driver. Some golfers also slant the tee forward a bit. This ensures hitting more ball and less tee.

Another quick reminder: Grip the club lightly. Too hard a grip leads to bad form.

The actual swing is tricky, because if you try to swing hard, you’ll usually swing poorly. Watch pros on tour during their backswing on a drive. Their backswings are slow.

Why? This keeps golfers from swinging their right shoulder. Swinging your right shoulder causes you to swing out of the proper plane.

In fact, many instructors say the key to a long drive isn’t necessarily strength. The keys are head position and the proper base. A wider stance and proper rotation allow you to strike the ball solidly. The proper head position is crucial. If your head moves back, you’ll push the ball off to the right. If your head is behind the ball through the swing, you can beter pivot on your right leg.

Noted long-drive specialist Patrick Dempsey told Golf Tips magazine, “After years of lessons, I've realized that achieving extra power doesn't come from how you move your body. Power comes from a different source, specifically the foundation you establish at address. Swinging from a stable platform is the true key to hitting longer drives.”

For your first tee shot of the round, the problem for many is not physical. Walking up to the tee for the first time with three friends or strangers watching can be an anxious moment. Players sometimes psych themselves out by feeling they need to nail their first drive 300 yards.

Patrick J. Cohn, PhD, is an expert in mental golf tips. He suggests several deep breaths, visualize your shot and chatting with your partners to ease the tension. According to Cohn, the best pre-shot tip is to ask yourself, “What do I need to do to hit a good shot.” The answer will help you concentrate on the basics.

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