Alvaro Quiros:I love to hit driver. I was always the longest hitter among my friends growing up, and when I secured my European Tour card in 2006, I was able to keep the trend going, mainly by focusing on the four key moves you'll read about here. My driving power allows me to take an aggressive approach to scoring. I recently checked my stats and was pleased to learn that I'm second on the PGA Tour in going for par-5 greens in two (71.2%). This means I'm doing my job off the tee. I'm also leading the Tour in par-5 scoring average at 4.63, which, if you do the math, gets to me to 9-under per event just by playing the par 5s. If long holes are typically the ones that cause your scores to soar past your index, then heed my advice. An extra dose of power certainly pays.
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1. GET OFF TO A GOOD START
Most of the amateurs I see kill their power potential with poor posture. The most common mistake is hunching over the ball with rounded shoulders. Starting like this makes it impossible to swing freely and extend your arms both going back and coming through. Your goal at setup is to create plenty of room for your arms to swing and your shoulders to turn. I do this by standing farther from the ball but keeping more of an erect posture. Notice how this combination opens up the area between my hands and legs. That's freedom to explode through impact.
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2. EXTEND FULLY
If you want to create maximum power you need to extend fully on both sides of the ball. A lot of amateurs swing the club to the inside on the takeaway, which forces their elbows to fold. Then on the follow-through, these same players often have a chicken-wing position with the left elbow bent. Not good. Notice how my left arm is nice and straight in my takeaway and the club is pointing down the line, away from the target. I often make a half swing like this to check that I'm doing it correctly. I want to feel the same thing swinging past the ballboth arms straight and extended down the target line.
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Extend down the line.
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TURN INSTEAD OF LIFT
If you pick your driver straight up in the air and swing on a steep plane you're never going to hit the ball with maximum power. Instead, you need to get your power by rotating your body and swinging around, instead of straight up and down. If you take a look at where I have the club as I'm starting down to the ball you'll see what I'm talking about. This club is on plane and ready to swing from the inside into impact. If you remember to swing around your body, you won't be able to slice across the ball, which leads to weak impact and short, crooked hits.
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NO! Don't just lift the club up.
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4. Release! Release!
Look at how my right hand is rotated completely over my left, and how much my wrists have rotated as I swing past impact. This is a fully released position that's the result of a loose feel and a lot of trust. I often see amateurs holding on to the club very tightly in this part of the swing, which prevents the clubhead from passing their hands. If you want to slow down the clubhead and rob yourself of distance, that's the way to do it. If you want to maximize your distance, you need to maximize your clubhead speed, which means releasing your hands, wrists, and arms completely.
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