Straight Hitter: 3 Moves to Add More Speed to Your Swing
A lot of factors go into creating big-time distance off the tee, but one of the most important is clubhead speed. For every extra mph the clubhead travels, you'll pick up two or three yards. That's as much as 15 extra yards for just a 5 mph (or roughly 5 percent) increase in swing speed! Use the following three downswing moves to send your driving-distance stats off the charts.
1. PUSH OFF THE GROUND
Start the downswing by literally pushing the inside edge of your right foot into the ground. Like a sprinter coming out of the blocks, you'll "drive" your lower body toward the target, and the club will reach breakneck speeds. Just don't pivot your right heel away from the target—this can make you lose your footing.
Drive your right foot into the turf to create dynamic, sprinter-like speed and power in your downswing.
2. FIRE HIPS FIRST, SHOULDERS SECOND
From the top of your backswing, increase the separation between your shoulders and hips by unwinding your hips toward the target while keeping your shoulders back. In fact, don't even move your shoulders until you feel your hip turn pulling them into action. This will stretch out your larger hitting muscles, producing an extra burst of speed through impact as the shoulders try to catch your hips.
Much of the torque in your swing comes from the difference between your upper- and lower-body turns. Hold your shoulders back to create more resistance—and more power.
3. KEEP YOUR LEFT WRIST FLAT
Although you want to hit up on the ball with the driver, you still need the hands to "lead" the clubhead into impact. As your club nears the hitting zone, try to keep the logo on the back of your glove facing the target. This encourages a flat left wrist and more optimal launch conditions (i.e., high launch and low spin).
Keep your left wrist flat and facing the target in the downswing to ensure that the clubhead correctly follows the hands into impact.