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Ballantrae at Birmingham Instructional Tips

Golf Tip of the Month for October 2017
From PGA Golf Professional Jerry Applegate

This month we are going to talk about how we start out each hole, driving the golf ball. The driver is the least lofted and the longest of all our clubs and that can create issues for all of us.

It is very important to try to have a shallow arc through the ball with the driver. We have talked about this in the past, you want to start the swing with the shoulders (not the hands) to create a shallow arc through impact. If you get steep through impact that can deloft the club, making it much more difficult to hit the driver (which already has a low amount of loft). If you struggle with delofting the driver, you may want to try driving with a 3 wood. If you deloft the club 2-3 degrees you have turned a 3 wood into a 12 degree driver.

A common mistake with the driver is to swing too hard. We all know that the driver is the one club we want to hit the furthest and it is human nature to try and hit it hard. If we swing too hard that can create a steep angle of attack (see above), create a loss of balance leading to off center hits, or create an outside to in swing path which can result in a pull, a slice or a pop up. Work on making a smooth full turn which creates maximum acceleration and speed at impact. The smooth turn will also keep you in balance and in control.

Another common mistake is to let tension get into your grip, forearms or posture. If you have tightness or tension in your set up it can again lead to a quick, steep takeaway resulting in the problems we have listed above. If you feel excess tension in your setup, try to relax your hands and forearms before you swing. It can make a big difference.

The final piece to improved driving is your driver itself. Make sure that you have a driver with the correct amount of loft and the proper flex shaft. Many drivers have adjustable lofts and the shafts can be changed out quickly. Try some different shafts and lofts to see which works best for you!

Thanks and I hope to see you all out at Ballantrae in October!



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