Fundamentals for hitting the long ball

By Mike Davis, PGA, Contributor

Most of my golf lessons fall into two groups those who want more power, or those who want more consistency. These two goals are linked together in a unique way: The attempt to create more power usually increases inconsistency.

Hitting the long ball
Increasing your power doesn't HAVE to mean diminished consistency, Master PGA Professional Mike Davis writes.
Hitting the long ball

Here are some keys to accomplishing both goals ...

1. Have a solid set-up: Golf instructors have a lot of business because the set-up fundamentals of grip, posture, alignment and ball position don't seem natural at first.

• Your hands must work as one unit with the club held in your fingers. The "V" on the right hand should be directly over your left thumb (for right handed golfers) and should also point about to your right shoulder.

• Your back should be straight from hips to shoulders and feet about shoulder width apart.

• You should face the target line.

• The ball should be close to the forward side of your face for irons a few inches farther forward for a driver.

2. Power comes from having a correct sequence; using your body rotation to increase your arm swing.

• Develop a coil on the backswing: Rotate your shoulders while resisting slightly with your hips and legs, this should stretch the muscles in your torso. Note: too many golfers start the backswing with their arms or hands when they want more power - this is recipe for disaster, your arms must be relaxed and allow the shoulder rotation to swing them to the top of the swing. You usually don't hit the ball on the backswing, so going back fast will never add power.

Positions at the top: At the top of the backswing your arms should be the same distance apart as they were at address; your right elbow should be bent no more than 90 degrees, and the shaft of the club should be "on-plane" (point at the target when horizontal).

Transition is a key: Start the forward swing with your lower torso, either hips or abs. This movement will create additional coil in your torso and also increase your wrist cock. Note: It is important that your arms remain relaxed or you will lose leverage and power.

Important keys to remember:

Your arms should not move faster than your hip turn through impact. Once your hips start the forward swing, keep them moving smoothly.

A perfect swing will always feel too slow, you must resist the urge to swing harder after a good shot. Keep your tempo smooth for the longest, consistent shots.

Mike Davis, PGAMike Davis, PGA, Contributor

Mike Davis is a PGA Master Professional and has been honored as a GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher. He has been chosen Instructor of the Year 13 times by different PGA Chapters and Sections. An expert in video golf instruction, Davis has been honored by the World Scientific Congress of Golf for his research.

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