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Hit bombs off the tee like Walker at the Sony Open

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Jimmy Walker’s impressive final round 63 was enough to separate him from a bunched field and claim victory Sunday in the Sony Open.

Last week, Zach Johnson showed us how to win with less distance off the tee, while this week Walker led the field in driving distance, averaging 319.5 yards per drive.

I’ve met very few golfers who aren’t interested in gaining more yards off the tee. As important as short game and putting are, there’s no debating the game gets easier when you can bomb it.

Here are some tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your drives:

• Is your driver the correct length? Companies keep making drivers longer and longer in an effort to maximize clubhead speed (standard now being closer to 46 inches). But the longer the driver gets, the more difficult it is to hit in the sweet spot. Miss the sweet spot and the yards you would have gained by the extra clubhead speed will be lost. I’ve found that most golfers are better suited with a driver that is closer to 45 inches in length.

• The need for speed. Speed equals distance on hits in the sweet spot. Depending on your age and physical ability speed is a finite number. Working with a golf fitness expert will help you identify your potential. Then it’s time to go out and work with a PGA professional to find the most efficient ways to maximize your speed without sacrificing too much control.

• Hit up for distance. Most of the longest drivers on Tour are hitting up on the ball with their drivers. The biggest advantage to hitting up on the ball is that you reduce backspin. A quick tip to hit up on the ball is to keep your upper body slightly tilted away from the target through impact. The natural tilt created from your trail hand being lower on the club when you take your grip should be enough. Just remember to maintain that tilt as you hit up on the ball.

For more tips from Golf Channel to help you drive the ball better, click here.

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