By Scott Schuster & Neil Gunn, Teaching Professionals at the Incline Village Golf Academy
Most golfers have heard the old adage: “Drive for show, putt for dough.” And while it’s certainly true that a lot of strokes can be lost on the putting green, we also realize that if we can’t put ourselves in an advantageous position with our tee shots, we won’t be getting many chances to make any dough with our putting.
So although our drive doesn’t often make us a birdie on its own, a poor drive can and often does lead to bogey or worse.
The most common mistake that we see from clients at the Incline Village Golf Academy is a poor setup with the Driver. In the picture shown we can see a good setup with the head behind the ball and a little bit of added shoulder tilt.
Keeping your head behind the ball will allow you to have the majority of your body mass behind the ball at impact. This position will produce a swing where at the moment of impact, the club will be traveling slightly up and away from the ground, which will maximize distance by launching the ball high with low spin. The high-launch/low-spin scenario is one of the most important criteria for optimizing ball flight, and is what we strive for when we are fitting someone for a new driver using our state-of-the-art Flightscope technology.
The shoulder tilt will allow you to accomplish this type of swing, while also keeping your shoulders square to the target line, by allowing for a natural position – with your left arm having a relatively straight line from your shoulder to the club head, and your hands slightly behind the ball.
So the next time you take your driver out of your bag on the driving range, have someone take a look at your setup and stance and make sure you are giving yourself the best chance to hit a long, straight drive. If you’re looking for professional help with this or any other aspect of your game, the Incline Village Golf Academy is always here to assist. Give us a call at (775) 832-1146.