Martin's Blog: Drive the ball with accuracy and power

By Martin HallOctober 24, 2012, 11:30 pm

CHAPTER 30:
Drive For Show:

• To be considered a great driver, you need to have a motion that’s both efficient and effective. Efficient means there’s no wasted motion, that you’re getting all your potential energy into the ball, and you’re not leaking any oil down the home stretch. Effective means the ball goes where you want it to. So basically, efficient is power and effective is accuracy. Here are some drills for each:

Efficient (power):

1. Put a driver across your back and practice coiling in the backswing until you feel some stretch and then uncoil from the ground up. That will teach you a proper body movement for the swing and not just a flailing of the arms.

2. Clip a rope to the bill of your cap and tie a whiffle ball hanging about two feet down to the other end. This will look goofy but it will teach you to keep your head stable as you swing. Don’t let the ball wobble as you coil and uncoil.

3. Place a shaft sticking out of the ground just off your right hip and practice shifting away from it in the downswing. That puts tremendous load into the swing, which is great for power.

Effective (accuracy):

1. Use a dry eraser marker, spray or impact tape on the face of your driver to get good feedback that you’re hitting in the center of the clubface.

2. Try hovering the club at address and before the takeaway. Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman both used this technique and it’s great for getting your takeaway more on plane.

3. Split your grip slightly and practice taking swings making sure the toe of the club is pointed up a 9 o’clock (shaft parallel to ground in backswing) and 3 o’clock (shaft parallel to ground in follow through). It won’t go far but it’ll go straight and slowly start to build to a full swing.



• World No. 1 Rory McIlroy drives the ball well over 300 yards despite being only 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds. How does he do it? It’s all about the acceleration and deceleration of his hips. McIlroy’s hips rotate and accelerate in the downswing at 719 degrees per second. That’s more than double the average amateur, who averages 350 degrees per second. The key is once they’ve accelerated, they stop quickly, allowing the rest of the upper body and clubhead to catch up. Think about snapping a towel; you flick it then pull back quickly to achieve maximum speed. A great drill to put this into your golf game is imagine a paint brush sticking out of your belt buckle and facing the target. You need to speed up the hips in the downswing and stop them quickly to throw the paint off the brush. Throw the paint off the brush and rip the ball!


Popular golf instruction tips:  Driving Full SwingAccuracy Long Game


Martin’s Library: “Winning Golf” by Byron Nelson

In an effort to help you improve your ball-striking, and especially your work with the driver, Martin has four great tips for you from Byron Nelsons book Winning Golf. Watch Video

Next week’s show: Chapter 31: Develop a Go-To Shot, Wednesday 7PM ET

• I’ll discuss the importance of having a go-to shot, teach you the three most common ones and help you find the right one for your game. I’ll also induct six-time major champion Nick Faldo into the Martin Hall of Fame and share four drills for playing like one of the game's all-time great ball-strikers. And Holly Sonders will help answer viewer questions and assist with the instruction.

For more School of Golf content visit the showpage.



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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.