Virginia Golfer May / June 2015 - Page 22

Your Game Set Up to Strike Solid Shots Every club, from the driver to the wedge, requires slight adjustments as to how you stand to the ball by SCOTT DAVENPORT, PGA, with JAMES A. FRANK Photography by SCOTT K. BROWN O ne of the toughest challenges amateur golfers face is switching from hitting the driver—which requires a sweeping, slightly ascending strike because the ball is on a tee—to selecting and playing any other club when the ball is on the ground. This constant change is demanding when practicing on the driving range and even more difficult on the course, where each shot matters. So assuming you’ve only got one type of swing, how do you adjust? Unless you’re willing to spend a great deal of time and effort revamping your swing, the easiest way to manage the constant requirement of successfully performing the striking action with all types of clubs is by altering your setup. Here’s how—all the way through your bag (note: all instructions are for a right-handed golfer). DRIVER: POWER PREPARATION Since the driver is the longest and flattest club, positioning the golfer away from the ball correctly at address helps to promote a sweeping action. Most amateurs swing so steeply that they hit down on the ball (even with a driver), a distance-killer that produces weak slices. The key to making the correct driver swing lies in the setup. At address, take a wide stance and align the ball with your left heel or left instep. Tilt your spine slightly to the right so your belt buckle is closer to the target than your top shirt button. The left shoulder should be a little higher than the right; this is also known as a “reverse K” position. Here, a little indoor work can be an asset. Verify what you feel by setting up in front of a full-length mirror. Ideally, your body should resemble a backward K—and if you can maintain it throughout the swing, the club will come into the ball from the inside and on a slight upswing. Closing your shoulders slightly to the target will also help encourage the correct sensation. Ingrain the correct upward motion during your practice sessions by teeing up a ball on the outside of the one you want to hit. Promote an inside path by striking the ball you intend to hit and miss the other one as you approach impact. 20 UPWARD BOUND To get the feel of a proper setup and swing with the driver, place an extra ball slightly outside your club path. Tee up the ball you want to hit as high as possible. When you swing, keep the club inside the extra ball, swing up and hit the ball on the tee. V I R G I N I A G O L F E R | M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5 20_VSGA_MayJune15.indd 20 The key to launching longer drives lies in the setup. Position your spine away from the target and tilt your shoulders to promote an ascending strike. w w w. v s g a . o r g 5/8/15 11:30 AM