Director of Instruction
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
When a player comes and takes a lesson from me, distance with their driver inevitably comes into the conversation. More than likely, as with most, the player is looking for more distance and not less. I’ve yet to have a player come to me and say, “Hey Scott, could you show me how to not hit the ball so far?” The most common variable mentioned is club speed and something to the effect of how do I increase my club speed?
I often stop players there and ask the simple question, “What if you didn’t need to increase your club speed to hit the ball further?”
Attack Angle is how you achieve that.
Or more simply. How you deliver the club to the ball will determine whether or not you’re getting the maximum distance possible out each drive.
You’re either hitting up at the golf ball, level to the ground or down at the ball. I have 3 pictures in this tip to illustrate the idea and sensation one would want to achieve.
1) You always want to be hitting up at the golf ball.
2) In order to achieve this, the direction or arc of your swing must be moving to the right. In the two down the line images, notice the yellow circle. This represents the direction of the arc, where the golf club is moving. The goal is to reach the bottom of this arc prior to the impact so you will strike the shot with an ascending or up blow.
3) Set up to the golf ball is paramount. Notice in the face on image, the ball is well forward in the stance and the player is well behind the golf ball at the top of the swing.
Getting back to the original question about the player asking about club speed. By default, a golf club traveling up towards the golf ball is going to be traveling closer to the point at which the club will be traveling the fastest. The club when traveling down, is traveling slower as it is farther from the point of maximum of acceleration.
By only fixing the delivery and swing up, we’ve added on average between 2-7mph of club speed. That translates into more distance off every tee shot.
Scott Sackett, GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher for the past 14 years. Voted as one of Golf Digest’s Best Teacher in the State the past 17 years. Trackman Master Certification. Titleist Certified Club Fitter. Director of Instruction at Park Meadows CC in Park City, Utah and while in Scottsdale teaches at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. If you would like to reach Scott, contact him through his website at www.scottsackett.com.