Friday, March 1, 2024

This common issue is costing you any chance to increase driver distance

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Want to increase driver distance? Every golfer does (and more pivot is the key).

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Welcome to Play Smart, a regular game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.

It doesn’t matter what level of golfer you are, there’s always an endless pursuit to increase driver distance.

For example, take 3-time major champion Padraig Harrington, who has shocked the golf world with the way he’s been able to add tremendous yardage to his tee shots at the age of 51 (303 yards compared to 288 yards 10 years ago). While Harrington has been a pro for decades, that doesn’t mean you can’t add length with your driver, too — you just need to know the proper fundamentals.

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As someone who personally struggles to rotate all the way back — causing my swing sequence to be way off — I’m still learning the proper way to transfer my weight in order to bomb the driver.

If you’re someone who can relate, today’s Play Smart lesson is one that should help.

GOLF Top 100 Teacher Tina Tombs details some tips on how to pivot more efficiently in your golf swing. By doing this, you’ll keep the club on plane, square up the face, and will be capable of generating the swing speed necessary to increase driver distance.

So take a look at Tombs’ instruction below, and get to pivoting in order to see the distances you want from the tee box.

Want to increase driver distance? Find your pivot

Every golfer needs to pivot in their backswing, but not everyone pivots with the same amount of pressure to the trail foot and hip. When a golfer is pivoting incorrectly, they will lose both power and control of their golf ball.

There are three possible pivot styles, and understanding how your body naturally moves is the key to unlocking your potential for power.

A quick and easy way to screen yourself is to do the following:

1. Get into good golf posture by bending from the waist until your middle fingers touch the top of your knee.
2. Put the club across your thighs and move your right hip back and away, keeping the club on your thighs the entire time. If possible, have someone stabilize your head during this test so it doesn’t move.

Now that you have an idea of how to test yourself, here are the three different pivot styles.

1. Front post

Front post golfers like Bryson DeChambeau, Ben Hogan or Na Yeon Choi prefer to stay more left on the backswing. This will result in the left knee staying more on top of the left foot.

Players that have this style will use more launch/verticals, which helps create their power while still incorporating lateral and rotation in the golf swings.

2. Center post

Players like Tiger Woods and Nelly Korda are two examples of center post players — who glide a moderate amount onto their trail leg in the back wing. By doing this, it will result in the left knee moving more towards the inside of the left foot. This is a very common pivot style, and will be very traditional.

Players that utilize this pivot style will utilize rotation as their main power source, while also using the lateral and vertical forces in their golf swings.

3. Rear post

Players like Gary Woodland and J.B. Holmes are both rear post golfers, which are players who like to shift 75% of their weight to their trail leg in the backswing. They then use lots of lateral force on the downswing to get back to center and into position at impact.

When done properly, this will result in the left knee moving more towards the right in the backswing, with glide being their main power source. They also use rotation and vertical forces for increased power.

Knowing your true pivot will provide the efficiency to give you both dynamic power and proper sequencing in your golf swing. Once you understand how to put those together, you’ll begin to experience increased driver distance — which will result in straighter and longer drives.

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