Lee Westwood: My 4 keys for longer, straighter golf drives
Good driving has been the foundation of my game for as long as I can remember. A lot of people talk about the quality of my iron play and how many greens I hit in regulation, but you can only hit it close if you're going in to greens from good lies in the fairway.
You're probably thinking that I have some magical secret to hitting it long and straight but it's really nothing more complicated than adhering to good basics and keeping things as simple as possible during the swing.
Having said that, I have a handful of swing keys that I constantly use to keep my driving on track. I've outlined them here.
1. Feel A Good Connection With The Ground
A lot of people drive the ball badly because they don't have a solid base and a good connection with the ground. You should feel like your legs are engaged and athletic, and your body should be free of all tension.
The ball is just inside my left heel and my spine is tilted slightly away from the target.
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2. Start Your Swing With The Clubhead
The clubhead travels the furthest distance during the swing so it needs a bit of a head start. In fact, the clubhead should be the only thing that moves until it reaches your right foot. Keep the face looking at the ball while doing so.
Correct sequencing makes it easier to keep your swing under control.
3. Allow Your Arms To Drop From The Top
One of the biggest causes of a slice is not allowing the arms to drop at the start of the downswing. It's easy for the legs and body to go first, but if they do, the arms never catch up.
When I'm driving well, I wait with my body at the top of and let my arms drop into position. It requires practice but all the best players hit 'the slot' so they can attack the ball from the inside.
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4. Keep Your Body Lower
One of the secrets to accurate hitting with any club is to keep the clubface square for as long as possible – coming into impact, through the hitting area and beyond. That's the key for powerful contact, too.
If your clubhead approaches the ball too far from the inside or outside, you'll only deliver a glancing blow on the ball. You want maximum pressure on the back of the ball.