Very often we have talked about how to hit the ball long but this week let us talk about how to hit it straight. Long drives are no use if you cannot hit them straight. The most successful players are those who can drive them long and straight. So let us focus this week on straight drives.
Aim: Firstly you need to focus on your alignment; most players do not take a dead aim and just address the ball. You should go directly behind the ball and the target line and set up your feet in parallel line to the target. Your shoulder and your hips should also be parallel to the target.
Swing path: Your swing path should also be in connect-ion to the target line. You should start your backswing in line with the target and you should also follow through towards the target. Ideally one foot behind and one foot forward your club has to be on line to the line of target.
Rotate and release hands: You must turn your body more and use less hand action on the swing. This motion will reduce your swing and you will feel more controlled. The arms and body should move through the ball as one unit. Focus on the body rotating to the target and the hands finishing high with no release. Avoid a floppy release where the right hand crosses over the left on the follow-through.
More club, less swing: To keep your swing under control, always choose to take one club extra. This is one of the best solutions to have control during the swing. Most golfers take less-club and force the shot, therefore they hit wayward shots. Even on the tee, most amateurs take out a driver and try to whack the ball 270 yards. Just play to your limitations, your ball will fly straighter.
‘Heel’ your swing path: Addressing the ball in the heel of the club will encourage a less-handy swing. This keeps
the clubface square longer, producing straighter shots. I have witnessed many successful players aiming at the heel of the club and hitting them straight on the fairways. This way you may hit them short but it will be straight.
Believe in it: Train your mind, as well as your swing, to hit dead-straight shots.
Imagine you have to drive it down a corridor of trees like if you had only 20 yards fairway ahead of you. During pressure situations, your swing will automatically start to respond. At the end, it is
better to hit 220 yards and be on the fairway than to whack 270 and end up in the bush.
(The author is a golf instructor and golf director at Gokarna Forest Golf Resort & Spa, Kathmandu.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)