Changing Your Swing To Hit the Ball Hard

Teeing off on the Par 5 16th hole at Osprey Links Golf Course.

There are times when I need (want) to grip it and rip it! I am feeling good and want to press my advantage and hit the ball that extra 20 yards. Generally, this happens on the par 5s because I want to get home in 2.

This is when I take advice of ‘Tin Cup’ and set up to let the big dog eat! It is interesting that I feel I need to change something to gain that extra distance, and generally with little success. I wonder if I am doing something wrong?  Continue reading

Driving the Golf Ball Under Pressure

“Let the big dog eat!” or “Grip it and Rip it!”  How many times have we said that. It usually happens when trying to express the importance of our next tee shot. The driver is the most difficult club to hit in any golfer’s bag. Sometimes it has a mind of its own; other times it is just possessed! Through the years, my fickle driver and I have fought to decide who was the boss on the golf course and I am not afraid to say that I have not always won that battle. The most challenging time for players with an inconsistent driver is when they need to hit the fairway. The pressure grows and grows to a point where negative thoughts control their mind.

When hitting the ball well with my driver, there are some things that I do with boring repetition. It is not rocket science, but I know if I do these fundamental things, pressure is never a factor in my golf swing. Here is what I must do to make sure I hit my driver consistently and accurately under pressure:

  • Proper pre-shot routine. Sometimes I rush my pre-shot routine because I have played my home course over and over. I know exactly which club I need at which tee. When I choose my driver, I sometimes walk to the tee box, tee up my ball and hit. I do not take time to align anything! As a result, I sometimes pull the ball into the rough or push the ball into the woods. Actually, by not following my pre-shot routine, anything can happen!
  • Keep my head down. After I make contact with the ball, I count to one, before I raise my head. This slight delay allows my right shoulder to force my chin up and helps keep my swing sequence correct. Keeping my head down helps me extend my arms along my intended swing path. Lastly, it prevents me from over rotating my hips, thus I generate more power and control.
  • Keeping a positive mindset. Staying confident and focused so that I can hit my driver well (or any club for that matter) is key to playing under pressure. Keeping a positive mindset helps me stay focused on the things I must do to execute a good swing. Additionally, being positive helps guide my mind to using proper course management. If I am positive, I rarely feel any pressure on the golf course.

Here is what Phil Mickelson has to say about driving the ball under pressure:

Hitting the driver while under pressure can be challenging. Try some of my tips and you may be surprised at how little you notice that dreaded pressure. If you have any favorite techniques, please share. We are always looking for new ideas on how to lower our score!

I am grateful golfer! See you on the links.