There were 105 PGA Tour players who averaged at least 290 yards per drive this season, and you can bet a lot of those smashes are coming off 3-woods. Even if you can’t drill it those distances, your road to bigger blasts is wide open.
Below, Top 100 Teacher Jason Sutton puts the pedal to the metal on your driving with three moves to redline your speed and rip shots straight down the fairway. Sutton says that launching supersonic drives is as simple as tweaking your setup and slightly shifting the direction of your downswing. You don’t need an overhaul, just a tune-up. Then it’s off to the races.
HIT THE ROAD, JACK!
And by that we mean pound it down the fairway with the swing you have. Here’s how to soup up your setup and downswing for drives that go the distance.
In all likelihood, you can blame your lack of power on three things: a sloppy setup, restricted shoulder rotation, and an overly steep downswing. The good news is that these errors are easy to correct. The fast track to the drives of your life starts with the three drills below, which you can master in one range session. Get ready to send your tee game into hyperdrive.
1. CREATE A LAUNCHPAD
Most weekend players set up with their shoulders pointed left of the target, or with the right shoulder higher than the left—or both! Either mistake is a distance-killer. The first error causes a cut, while the second one robs you of the ascending strike needed for maximum yards. Follow the steps below and fix both issues in seconds.
DON’T: Keep your left shoulder below your right — it saps power.
PICTURE THIS: At setup, think “F-W-T”: forward ball position (off your left instep), wide stance (feet outside shoulders), and tilted shoulders. The “T” is huge—getting your right shoulder lower than your left puts your swing on a power-rich path.
THEN DO THIS: For a perfect tilt, set up normally, then reach your right hand down and scratch the right side of your right knee (photo, above). Let your right shoulder drop. Then put your right hand back on the grip (above). You’re now primed for power.
2. MAKE A “SMART” PIVOT
A lot of weekend players try to keep their right knee flexed as they swing to the top. But this restricts hip and shoulder rotation as well as swing width—not good. While you don’t want to lock your right leg straight, it’s fine to extend it a bit. Your big key? Feel like you’re rotating your right hip behind you, and that it’s slightly higher than the left. This simple move unlocks your shoulders and arms, providing the coil and height needed for tons of swing speed.
DON’T: Maintain the flex in your trailing knee — it kills your backswing.
3. BATTER UP! LINE A BASE HIT TO RIGHT
Big blasts happen when your driver approaches the ball from slightly inside the target line. This means that your steep, outside-in clubpath must go.
TRY THIS: Set up as you normally would, but pretend the ball is pegged on a waist-high tee. Make a baseball-style swing, knocking the imaginary ball into right-center field. Keep swinging, lowering your plane a few inches with each try, until you reach normal tee height.
When you swing for real, re-create the feel of the drill’s flatter, baseball-style swings (or make them part of your pre-shot routine). You’ll add yards—and put slices in your rear-view mirror.