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Out with the old? Not if you want a few extra yards

Justin Bruton
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PRATTVILLE, AL - SEPTEMBER 28: Louise Friberg of Sweden lines up her putt on the first green during final round play in the Navistar LPGA Classic at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill on September 28, 2008 in Prattville, Alabama. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)  - 

The two questions that I get asked most often by students are: “How can I get more consistency and how can I get more distance?”

The most simplistic answer to these somewhat complex questions is to hit the center of the clubface more often. Making consistent, center-face contact has become somewhat of a lost art with the technological advancements we’ve had in equipment.

With the increase in clubhead size, bulge and roll, and the ability to redistribute weight, golf club manufacturers have made off-center hits much more enjoyable than with previous generation clubheads.

This added forgiveness, in my opinion, has made it too easy to make contact, which in turn has hurt the player’s ability to develop the hand-eye coordination to hit the center of the face. By no means do I think players should start thinking about playing again with the older and smaller clubheads, but practicing with these older generation clubs is a whole different story.

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If you don’t have an older generation driver collecting dust in the garage, I’m sure you have a friend that does. Go out and find a driver that was made around the same time or before the original Big Bertha driver was introduced.

The original Big Bertha was introduced as an 'oversized' driver with a larger and deeper clubhead, at a whopping 190cc volume. This is peanuts compared to the average 460cc volume clubhead drivers that we hit today.

The steel-headed and persimmon drivers that came before the Big Bertha were even smaller in size. Try to hit a few balls every week with these smaller clubheads to start narrowing your focus on better center-face contact.

Additionally, try using a dry erase marker to scribble on the clubface, which will give you valuable feedback as to where exactly on the face each shot is being struck. Then work on hitting different areas of the face to try and build enough coordination that you have total control of where you strike each shot.

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