Easy drill for high launch

Looking for more driving distance? My ball sleeve tip will provide it
By David Taylor

Our desire to hit the driver as far as possible is often counterproductive. Most golfers I teach have a tendency to make a big shoulder turn and then launch into the downswing with maximum effort. The upper body gets ahead of the ball, resulting in two things: shoulders that are far too open at impact and a steeply descending blow to the ball, which decreases loft.

The tell-tale shot patterns for this move are low pulls to the left, or by way of compensation, an open clubface at impact that results in the weak slice shot that starts left and curves dramatically right. Here’s how to fix it using the following drill.

You’ll have read this before but set-up is key. We need to get the ball forward in our stance to allow us to strike it on the upswing. Conversely, we need to feel that our body is behind the ball, with the spine tilting slightly to the right. By doing this, you’re pre-setting the angles that form a powerful impact position.

An empty ball sleeve is all you need for this range drill.

If you watch all the top players on tour, you’ll notice that with a driver they aggressively unwind with the lower body, while making sure their upper body stays behind the ball. It’s important to remember that weight shift doesn’t mean moving everything laterally towards the target. To work on your driver downswing, take an empty golf ball sleeve and lie it flat on the ground about 9-12 inches away from your tee. Quite simply, you want to make sure that the club travels up and over the empty sleeve without touching it as you swing through. Don’t worry too much about the downswing; just keep that goal as your sole focus and you’ll find that instinctively you’ll start to hit up on the ball and watch your carry distance increase.

David Taylor is a PGA Teaching Professional at Abu Dhabi City Golf Club. For more information visit adcitygolf.com or call +971 2 445 9600

Photograph by Kristina Nabieva