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

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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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