The Key To Hitting Longer Drives
Hitting monstrous drives with little effort requires a downswing executed in the correct sequence with a smooth acceleration through impact. The biggest mistake I see with players looking to hit the ball further is that they will swing in an all-out effort from the top of the backswing and end up flailing at the ball which flutters off of the club short and usually right.
The purpose of the back swing is to store up energy to be used to hit the ball down the fairway. This energy is in the form of weight shift, rotation, arm swing, and the lever created by the hinge between the arms and club. The goal of the downswing is to transfer as much of that stored energy as possible into the ball at impact.
The correct sequence of the downswing revolves around the thinking that the downswing happens from the ground up. The first move in the downswing should be a slight move of weight from the back foot to the front. This is followed by the hips, torso, shoulders, arms, hands, and finally, the clubhead.
To simplify this, think of a car going down an on ramp and getting onto the interstate. The top of the backswing is the same as the car at the entrance to the ramp. The car is not moving at that point and wants to be moving 60 mph at the bottom in order to merge into traffic. Upon pressing the gas pedal, the car begins to accelerate. It does not immediately go to 60 mph but accelerates through 5mph, 20mph, etc. until it reaches its maximum speed at the bottom of the ramp. When making your downswing, focus on starting at 0 and providing constant acceleration of the club on the downswing and you will find yourself hitting the ball further and straighter in no time.
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Rudi Fann has been a Class “A” member of the PGA of America since 2008. He began his career in 1998 as the Assistant Golf Professional at Wake Forest Golf Club in Wake Forest, NC. In 2002, Rudi accepted a similar position at Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. He spent a year there before moving to Nipomo, CA where he worked at Blacklake Golf Resort. Over the next 10 years, he worked his way from Assistant Golf Professional to Head Golf Professional and finally Director of Golf Operations. In his time at Blacklake, Rudi devoted much of his time to running tournaments and other activities in order to create a social atmosphere at the club. After Blacklake, Rudi spent one year as Head Golf Professional at Paso Robles Golf Club before deciding to return home to North Carolina. Since returning to North Carolina, Rudi has worked with the First Tee of the Triangle helping to instill life skills and core values through the game of golf to local youth.