Waukesha County Seniors Monday Golf League


get ready for the long ball

No matter how far you hit it, there are times when you have the impulse to step up and kill the ball -- make a gorilla swing. It's a risk, but with these adjustments you should be able to pull it off.

Lengthen the Left Thumb

Instead of tucking the left thumb high on the grip, push it down so it looks long, like a hitchiker's.

Extending the left thumb as far as it will go down the shaft puts the grip more in the fingertips of the left hand and frees the wrist for a full range of motion. The wrists can then make their maximum contribution to power production.

Left Foot Between 10 and 11 O'Clock

A counter-clockwise rotation of the left hip during the downswing -- called clearing -- is the essence of the lower body's contribution to power. To make sure your rotating hip is not fighting a restricting left foot, toe your foot out between 10 and 11 o'clock, or about 45 degrees. As you start your downswing, your left hip can turn through unencumbered, allowing the arms and club to whip into the ball.

Tee It Up and Tee It High

Adjust the way you tee the ball for a big drive. First, you want to avoid making a descending blow, because you'll create too much backspin and too little roll. So, instead of playing the ball off your left heel, move it up an inch to your left toe. This ensures that you clip the ball off the tee on a level path or slightly on the upswing for maximum carry and roll.

Second, tee the ball a half inch higher than normal. You may feel that you'll go underneath it, but your swing will adjust to the higher tee by approaching the ball on a flatter plane. You'll find it easier to take the ball from right to left. Chances are you'll also find it more powerful because you'll be swinging around your body.

Private Lessons 1999 Time4 Media, Inc., used under license by GolfServ Online, Inc. Instructional information provided by Golf Magazine.

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If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this web site, please write to me: Ed Matarrese / revised November 2, 2002.