Director of Instruction
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
How to carry the golf ball farther with a driver has been a topic written about since distance became the focal point of the modern game.
Equipment, shafts, workout routines, technique and even supplements are topics claiming to give you the competitive edge. There is no doubt optimizing all of these components is part of maximizing carry distance but in a way, they put the cart before the horse. The foundational aspect often overlooked is the setup. In particular, how a simple adjustment can increase both club head speed and carry distance!
TrackMan has introduced a fresh view into the ball flight laws and how best to achieve maximum distance. One simple concept is Attack Angle. Which basically is the amount (measured in degrees) up or down the player strikes the shot. With a driver, it’s been shown hitting up at the golf ball gives you an advantage in club speed and carry distance.
In your setup, adjust your foot alignment closed (seen in the image). This will accomplish two important things. 1) This will encourage the golf club’s swing direction to be out to the right. Bringing the point where the golf club reaches the bottom of the swing arc before the golf ball. 2) The result of the bottom of the arc being before the ball means the shot is struck with an ascending angle of attack.
How does this help distance?
Think of the journey the golf club takes from start to finish. It starts stationary at address. The club then is taken back and to the top. From there, it accelerates down until it reaches its maximum point of acceleration. Something as simple as an adjustment in setup can change where this occurs in your swing. Hitting down at the golf ball makes the maximum acceleration point well after the ball is struck, leaving a lot of energy from being transferred into the ball. By shifting the alignment slightly closed with driver, you’re putting the bottom of the swing arc before the ball and making the maximum point of acceleration occur much closer to the ball. This increases club head speed at the point the ball is contacted giving you an increased ball speed and farther carry. Lastly, hitting up at the ball encourages a higher launch and lower spin, both keys to driving the ball farther.
Scott Sackett, GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher 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 reach Scott, contact him through his website at www.scottsackett.com.