Tour Professional Mark Baldwin Shows How To Dial In The Sweet Spot
By Ryan Gager
Once in a while you see a guy who hits the ball really far while making it look so easy. Tour Professional Mark Baldwin is that guy. In this edition of Fix My Fault, GOLFTEC’s Brad Thorberg caught up with Mark to talk about how he’s able to launch the ball with such an effortless swing. Watch as Mark reaches ball speeds in excess of 180 miles per hour and hits drives over 380 yards! If you want more tips on hitting the ball farther, check out Flexing To Add Distance with Professional Golfer Hannah Gregg.
The Importance of Finding the Middle of the Face
Mark explains that many times when he plays in Pro-Ams, golfers will really try to crank it up and swing harder and faster in an attempt to gain distance.
However, when this happens their swings get out of sync, they loose a good rhythm and tempo, which causes off-center strikes on the clubface. Now, instead of hitting the ball farther, they actually lose distance because they didn’t find the center of the clubface.
Mark recommends starting slower to find the sweet spot and working up from there. Hit some drives at 50 percent speed, then 75 percent and so on, while maintaining consistent contact in the middle of the face. As you get to faster speeds, the moment when you start to make off-center strikes will be an indication that your tempo is off and you might be swinging too fast.
This will make it easy to dial back just a little bit to the point where you were making solid contact, and just like that you’ve found your perfect tempo.
Also, keep in mind that your tempo could be different from round to round, and you may even need to adjust mid-round.
Drill To Hit The Center of the Clubface
A simple drill to help you hit the center of the clubface more often is to set up a gate. Similar to what you might see many golfers do on the putting green can also apply to your driver.
Place a tee on either side of your driver, then start with half-swings making sure your path goes between the tees without hitting them.
At first, keep the gate wider, then as you get better at this drill, narrow the gate while increasing swing speed little by little. Make sure you get comfortable with this before introducing a ball.
This is a great way to find your tempo that allows you to make solid contact every time. As you get better at this drill you should start to see your swing speed increase resulting in longer drives!
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