Sergio Garcia offers his four best driving tips to help you on the course
Back in April, Sergio Garcia defeated Justin Rose in a play-off to claim his long awaited first major title at the Masters, becoming the third Spaniard to do so behind Seve Ballesteros and and Jose Maria Olazabal.
During the Masters, Garcia was ranked 1st for fairways hit at 80%, and was 6th for driving distance at 295.1 - a major-champion worthy combination. It was his strength at finding the 18th fairway on the first play-off hole that allowed him to gain his first major at the 74th time of asking - waiting longer than any player in history to win a major.
Here, Garcia offers his advice to help you find more fairways.
#1: Build a solid set-up
Alignment sticks are a great way to ensure your set-up position is correct. Try to make sure your feet are aimed parallel to the path you want your club to swing along. If you want to shape the ball, set the clubface square to the ball and simply aim your body down the right side of the fairway for a draw and do the opposite for a power fade.
The latter is my go-to shot under pressure, and that’s why I often delay the release of my hands fractionally so the clubface arrives slightly open at impact.
#2: Set the clubface first
I will always set the clubface at address before taking my stance and you should, too. Amateurs will often set up to the ball, look down the fairway and realise they’re not aligned correctly and then change the clubface angle. But if you do that, your ball position will be wrong.
So align the clubface first, then build your stance around it. To help add a few yards, I take a step back with my right foot. This helps me to create a wide, stable base so I can make a more powerful and balanced swing.
#3: Create power lag
The first downswing move is so important because it sets up the remainder of the sequence. A lot of amateurs make the mistake of keeping the lower body passive and letting the shoulders and arms dominate.
You should feel the pressure building in your right leg going back, and then on the downswing, everything pours into your left side. As you drop your hands and arms downwards, your weight should press into your left side. The forward move follows as you rotate through.
#4: Yank the chain
The force on the downswing should move down first, and then forward. My favourite analogy for this is to imagine that you’re holding a chain at the top of the backswing, and you’re trying to yank it down. You need to get this move right before rotating your body towards the target.