I'm a feel player, so I try not to think too much about the mechanics of my swing. But when I do think about my swing keys, I realize they're things that can help anyone gain better control of the driver. Like how I grip down on the club a couple of inches, how I shorten my backswing, and how I try to sync up my arms and body through impact. All are fundamentals to hitting it solid and straight.
Growing up, my biggest problem was hooking my drives. When I was little, to compete with the bigger kids, I knew I had to hit the ball with a closed clubface to get any distance on my tee shots.
I've learned over the years that it's more important to make an efficient swing. Now, in addition to range time, I spend a lot of time in the gym with my teacher trying to get stronger and improve that efficiency. If you're in the best physical condition, you can be 1 up on everybody.
1. GRIP DOWN ON IT
My driver is 44½ inches, but I play it around 42. The driver is made for someone 6 feet tall, and I'm a lot shorter than that, so I grip down to compensate. But it also gives me more control off the tee because it's easier to square a shorter club.
2. SHORTEN THE BACKSWING
The most important thing for me is to keep the club short of parallel at the top. If it gets long for me, I hit it all over the place because it's so hard to square it up at impact.
3. SYNC EVERYTHING UP
The downswing starts from the ground up, but as I approach the ball, I want my body and arms turning together toward the target. Amateurs are usually all arms in the downswing, and pros often get the lower body too far ahead of the rest of the body. Syncing is a key to hitting drives that are powerful and straight.
© GOLF DIGEST