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Friday, October 23, 2015

Jeff Flagg on Hitting It Long

Since I've spent considerable time this week focusing on the World Long Drive Championship and how to hit the ball farther, I thought I'd add one more post on the subject. This time, I'm linking you to an article at Golf Digest by 2014 Long Drive Champion Jeff Flagg and I'm focusing on a few thoughts in the article that may go against things you've been told.

Jeff Flagg

Here are five quotes from the article that may surprise you.
  • THE LENGTH OF YOUR BACKSWING DOESN'T MATTER. What matters is that it ends when you feel coiled but not stressed. At the top of my swing, I can have a normal conversation with you. I'm not straining. If you start straining, you'll lose the energy you were trying to store for the hit.
So Long Drive Tip #1 -- Stay relaxed, even if you don't get a 90° shoulder turn and your hands aren't way up over your head.
  • WHAT AM I THINKING ABOUT WHEN I SWING? My only real thought is, Right hand and arm drive the swing. That's it. I'm literally trying to make a sidearm throwing motion—like a 3-6-3 double play in baseball. If more golfers swung with the same motion, as if they were skipping stones, they'd pound the ball.
Long Drive Tip #2 -- Think more about swinging your arms faster, and particularly your trailing arm, than about driving your lower body.
  • I RELATE THE GOLF SWING TO SPRINTING. For me, the feel is that my arms are out-racing my body. You know what track coaches say: "Fast arms equal fast feet." It's similar in golf. The faster my arms can go, the faster the club is moving.
Long Drive Tip #3 -- Think more about swinging your arms faster than about driving your lower body.
  • IN TRUTH, MY HIPS LEAD THE DOWNSWING. But I don't think about that. They just do. Do you think pitchers, quarterbacks or javelin throwers think about clearing their hips before they throw? Their arms dictate all of that motion subconsciously.
  • IF YOU NEED ONE THING TO FOCUS ON, make it swinging your arms as fast as you can.
Long Drive Tip #5 -- THINK MORE ABOUT SWINGING YOUR ARMS FASTER THAN... Hey, are you seeing a pattern here yet???

These are just a few quotes from the article that I think are seriously overlooked in modern teaching. There's a lot more good stuff there, though, so be sure to stop by the Golf Digest site and read the whole thing.

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