Belly Up For More Distance

Common Problems on the Tee and How to Fix Them

By Ryan Gager

How frustrating is it when you can’t get off the tee? Then even when you do hit one ok, it just doesn’t go very far. Nothing ruins a round faster than either of these issues. GOLFTEC’s Zach Lambeck is here to demonstrate how to hit your driver better in this edition of Fix My Fault. Even just 20 more yards of distance with the driver can help improve your score by a stroke or two. Imagine being on the cusp of breaking 100, or 90, or even 85 and adding just a little bit more consistency and distance to your drives to help you reach those milestones.

Recognizing The Common Problems

Zach demonstrates the position that causes loss of distance off the tee, hunched over, chest and belly pointed at the ground, and arms bent. Courtesy Golftec

When trying to hit for distance, one of the most common problems is the follow through form. As Zach is showing, this includes many fualts: shoulders bent forward, chest and belly pointed at the ground, and elbows being flexed. Essentially, this is a picture of the exact opposite of what to do if you want distance.

In addition, it is much more difficult to find the center of the club face consistently from this position.

Using OptiMotion, Zach’s shoulders are bent 7 degrees forward in this example. This also causes his elbows to flex in the follow through.

When taking a side-by-side look at Rory McIlroy’s swing, at the same point, his shoulders are bent 5 degrees back, his chest and belly are pointed up toward the sky, and his arms are straight.

The Fix and How To Practice: The Belly Up Drill

The belly up drill ensures that your arms are straight and your chest and belly are pointed up toward the sky instead of down at the ground. Courtesy Golftec

Take your driver and with your arms straight grab the shaft and stick the butt end of the club at your navel.

Make practice swings where the head of the club is pointed up towards the sky, as Zach is demonstrating. Be sure to keep your arms straight throughout all the movements. If you bend your arms, the butt end of the club will fall away from your navel.

Once you have that motion down, grab the club by the grip and start making half swings before introducing a ball. Some key check points on the follow through are that your pelvis is over your lead ankle and your shoulders are tilted to the right (for a right-handed player) and roughly towards the target line.

As you get more comfortable with this motion, add a ball and again start with half swings then slowly add speed, while still making sure you’re hitting the check points. For more help with how to hit longer, more consistent drives, visit your local GOLFTEC and start working with a Coach today! We also can test your current driver and make sure it’s right for you.

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Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com.

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