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Want to hit the ball longer and straighter – Right here!

Want to hit the ball longer and straighter – Right here!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

All golfers want to hit the ball longer!  They also want to hit it straight!  Tough thing to do.  

David MacKenzie of Golf State of Mind is one of the top performance coaches on the planet. He has some fabulous ideas on how to accomplish those goals.  Follow closely as David walks you through the critical phases.

.While watching the PGA Tour players at the Quicken Loans National yesterday, I noted several things that help them hit more fairways with the driver, but here’s what I believe to be the most significant:

Probably the biggest difference with the driver between the Tour player and amateur is tempo.

The driver is the only club that you want to hit as far as possible, so the tendency is to swing it hard and fast, which actually kills accuracy and distance.

Want to hit the ball longer and straighter? - Right here!

Tiger Woods’ tempo is better on the range than on the course!

The key to a consistent swing is the coordination of your upper and lower body. If your tempo is too fast, it’s hard to get this right. Tempo is arguably the most overlooked fundamental (alignment is a close second).

Your tempo should be the same no matter what club you are hitting. For example, your wedge swing should be the same tempo as your driver swing. Everyone has their own tempo – some quicker, some slower, but the relative speed of the back-swing to down-swing remains consistent. When it’s not, distance and accuracy become inconsistent. A Tour player’s tempo has a back-swing to down-swing ratio of 3:1, meaning the back-swing takes 3 times as long as the down-swing.

Set the tempo with your take-away

One thing you’ll notice as you watch Tour players hit the driver is how smooth and slow they take the club back from the ball. This sets the tempo and rhythm for the rest of the swing.

Adam Scott says: “The slower I take it back, the better my rhythm gets, which automatically puts me where I need to be at every stage of my back-swing. Plus, a slow takeaway gives you time to correct errors by the time you reach the top—which you can’t do if you snatch the club back.”

When you take the club back slower, you will have less tension in your grip and forearms, which can also kill your swing. It will also help you stay more balanced and centered over the ball during your back-swing – further keys for more distance and accuracy with the driver.

Pay attention to your tempo under pressure.

 We all have tendencies under pressure, which we need to be aware of, but probably the most common one is a faster tempo (with all clubs). If you’re playing an important round, notice your tempo during your practice swings and have a beat in your head you would like to reproduce during your actual swing.

Is tempo Tiger’s problem?

Peter Kostis, coach and CBS commentator seems to think so. Kostis compared 2 videos of Tiger’s driving range swing and swing during the tournament and it appears that his tempo is a lot quicker on the course, which is causing those crazy slices.

To read the rest of this story, go here!

Source: Golf State of Mind   David MacKenzie

Pictures: Chase McAlpine   Craig ONeal

Thanks for reading – Want to hit the ball longer and straighter – Right here!

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