Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Low Trajectory with the Driver

UPDATE: Can now confirm that this is a MUST, especially with longer irons! Definitely gained yards and height by keeping the head back, but the bend in the right elbow (or keeping the box) needs to be kept as long as possible to prevent hitting fat. Another way to think of keeping the head back is to simply widen the stance, which automatically pre-positions the head behind the ball and more weight to the right side. Also, one of my old habits is to unconsciously try to lift the ball (a yip or flinch), because we've all been told to hit up on the ball with the driver, but this actually will cause thin and fat shots. It's more important to envision swinging level to the ground; pretend you're trying to drive a nail directly in the back off the ball with the driver and woods.

This is something that has plagued me. So I'm intrigued to try some of these strategies to correct it and give me a higher ball flight with my driver. In essence, I think I use too much of an iron swing with my driver; I end up with low pull-hooks, high push-slices, hitting behind the ball (fat), and toe shots. I've noticed that my head will often get ahead of the ball or that I'm fully on the outside of my left foot at impact, and thus the only thing I can do is hit more down and cut across the ball as opposed to sweeping it off the tee with an inside-out motion. I also often try to help the ball into the air using body english and arm motion, and this just makes things worse; the irony is that the ball will get more airborne by concentrating on hitting the back of the ball (sweeping it level with the ground) as opposed to trying to hit up!

I believe that a lot of my problems stem from being too aggressive with shifting to the left leg (again…left over from my S and T days), and that is especially troublesome with the woods. Yes, I think it's true that the weight must shift fully to the left, but for me I think it has been too quick as opposed to a gradual process. Pictures of pro golfers hitting driver at impact shows that their heads are well behind the ball and even over their right leg, while they finish fully on the left. Clearly, I'm not executing a proper weight shift and losing distance as a result.

The golf weight shift from right to left is a definite…but a GRADUAL definite. It's not an instantaneous, violent maneuver as I've thought of it before. As Haney says with regard to weight, one should roll from the inside of the right foot onto the left big toe and finally to the outside of the left foot and heel.

In reality, keeping the head back longer and preventing a rapid weight shift from right to left are nearly synonymous. They both refer to the same thing. And this error is never more glaring than when hitting driver. Get the feel that once you get over the right leg in the backswing that the head stays there while the lower body weight shifts to the left.

Also key is teeing up a little higher when you're trying to achieve a higher trajectory. The height difference will not be that different--maybe a quarter of an inch, but this will help get the ball back in a good position for the sweet spot with a more upward motion. Use with caution, however. Teeing higher requires that the ball be further forward in the stance, which may mean simply widening the stance.

Shallowing influences include positioning the ball further forward, swinging more around the body, and widening the stance.

When your head moves forward during the downswing, your whole swing plane moves ahead. That means you will tend to lose the ball to the right or leave the clubface open through impact.

One day, Lee Trevino was playing with the amateur golfer. Trevino gave only one advice to this golfer. He told him to keep his head back.

This amateur golfer was hitting a strong draw on that day.

[From Impact Position: Keep Your Head Back | Golf Tips & Lessons]

If you feel that you’re shifting to the left in the downswing to early, do some practice swings facing a mirror and watch your head to see if it’s moving left in the initial stages of the downswing. Also, watch yourself load your weight better into the right inste/heel as you hit the top of the backswing.

Another thing you can do is take you ball and as you tee it up, turn the label so it faces to the right. Now, as you go to hit your shots, watch the label. If you shift too much left, you will loose sight of it. The only way to see the label is if you stay behind the ball as the club swings through impact.

A final thing you can do are practice swings “feeling” more weight on your right foot as the club swings through. By feeling more weight on your right, it will stop you from shifting to drastically to the left. Once you get the feeling in practice swings, apply it to your shots.

NOTE: It’s not that I want to weight on the right foot at impact, it’s just a drill to stop the weight from shifting to the left too soon. So, do a bunch of practice swings feeling more weight on your right side into the downswing. Then, apply this new feeling to your shots. After you start hitting your shots higher forget favoring the right leg like this.

[From Stop Hitting The Driver Too Low]

Lift your left heel

At address, lift your left heel. Take a few practice swings with your left heel off the ground during the whole swing.

This will prevent your upper body to move forward on the downswing.

If you stop your head from moving forward, your clubhead speed will increase.

[From Impact Position: Keep Your Head Back | Golf Tips & Lessons]

Lee Trevino had a great tip or swing thought that I use when I want to hit a ball really high (#10 at Lake View requires me to carry a ball pretty high over some trees around an 80° dogleg).

His tip was "you want to feel as if you're head is moving backwards (to the right for a righty) at impact." Lee used the tip to hit a draw, but if you're square it's a good way to keep your upper body back through impact, too. Tee the ball up a bit higher if necessary too, yeah.

[From Trajectory is too low with my Driver]

When a golfer places too much weight on their front foot, it increases the chances of a golfer getting out front of and "stabbing" at the ball, which is likely to yield a low trajectory off the drive. However, by keeping one's weight back and leaving it there until impact position, the weight is more evenly distributed across the swing, which will help make impact with the ball on the way down, therefore increasing the chances of a longer, higher drive. Also, make sure not to swing too quickly and "lunge" at the ball, as this can create a low drive as well.

[From Causes of a Low Drive in Golf | Golf Tips | Golfsmith]

Lots of teachers will tell you to hit it on the upswing with your driver. But if you do it too much, it can cause slice. Some golfers start to hit well when I ask them to sweep the ball instead of trying to hit up on the ball. can focus on the back of the ball instead of just looking at the top of the ball. The clubface contacts with the back of the ball. So you should focus on the back of the ball as well.

Here is a good swing thought. Picture a nail stuck into the back of the ball. When you swing down, I want you to drive the imaginary nail through the ball.
The problem is teeing up higher and placing the driver on the ground at address. For example, let's say that you tee the ball up so that 2/3 of the ball is above the driver head. If you return the driver head to its address position, you will hit a pop-up.So you will have to raise the driver head off the ground at impact. But if you do this, the driver head moves further away from your body and cause heel hits.To fix this and hit it in the middle of your clubface with higher tee height, hover the driver head (off the ground) just behind the ball. I think you will be able to fix your heel hits with this adjustment.

[From Can't Hit the Driver? | Golf Samurai]


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