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Like most of my coaching, training the optimal movement with a driver revolves around having a clear concept of the end point; in this case, the sweeping motion of the club through strike. You have probably heard this before but let's be clear on our main objective:
"To maximise distance and accuracy the driver needs to hit the ball in middle (or slightly above centre) of the club face
and with the club head moving from the inside and as much as 8 degrees upward through contact."
How to Create These Launch Conditions
In the modern coaching environment of launch moniters players are often tasked with hitting more up on a driver but there are various protocol that would lead to this.
CAVEAT- If you scoop/flip your wrists though impact you will hit up but create added undesirable spin and lose distance. Here are some better moves to consider.
Width of Arc
If your downswing is narrow then it is very unlikely that you will be able to shallow out the bottom of the arc in time to sweep the ball. Use the circle drill (in-depth demo in the GOLF COACH APP) to create the appropraite representations in your mind that lead to a wide and rounded downswing arc. This requires a certain timing of body and arms that allows the club head and shaft to square up at impact. Golfers often hurry the downswing and lose an appreciation of the size fo the arc that the club head needs to follow in the downswing; with the resultant open face and delofted alignement at at the ball (low right shots that curve further right).
Body Shape - Create Axis Tilt
Our weight needs to move forwards (towards the target) in the downswing but our head remains behind the ball. This will create axis tilt that has the double advatnage of shallowing out the arc and creating room for an inside path. (for more on axis tilt see the POWER APP)
Release the Club Head
The club face needs to square up and rotate through the ball. This occurs via a number of factors but if you have been using the circle drill above then you will be famiar with the dominant role the arms need to play throught the ball to square the face.
The focus needs to be on the sweeping motion of the club head hitting the tee peg half way up. Nearly all of my clients can do this repeatedly when there is no ball on the tee.
"Some then struggle when we place the ball in the way."
This is a mental construct and a great opportunity to learn the cognitive skills that underlie good driver performance. Use the 'sweeping the tee' to train this attention and club control and if the ball strikes are different (too steep or topped shots) then try to compare your swings looking differences in:
- Effort level
- Changes in focus