Featured Tip: More Distance

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective.

Callaway has unveiled a new Great Big Bertha Epic driver. Here’s info on the driver that they call their breakthrough Jailbreak technology driver: Callaway Epic Driver details

I do love my Ping driver, but I may take a few swings with that club just to compare.

But here’s why sales will go through the roof for that club – none other than Rory McIlroy is said to be putting it in his bag because he says he’s picked up 8 mph of clubhead speed with it. That should translate to an additional 16 to 24 yards of carry, and any time a pro says he’s picked up distance off the tee with a driver, it sells.

If the technology of the club design would be the sole factor responsible for the distance increase, I would tell all of you to go out and buy it today (actually you have to pre-order for January 13th sales launch date). I say that because there’s a direct correlation with longer off the tee and lower handicaps.

And no offense to Rory, but I find it hard to believe that any design tweak could cause that much of a change because driver distance is governed by several factors including:

     solid contact
     swing speed
     a consistent angle of attack
     swing technique

I would say that solid contact and swing speed trump the other considerations as long as the other factors are within normal parameters.

Solid Contact

You can fine tune your contact by monitoring where the ball makes contact with the face. You can do it with impact tape or stickers that affix to the face of your club and leave a mark where contact is made. I use Dr Scholl’s foot powder spray for the same purpose, it’s quicker, easier, and cheaper. Spray it on and you can see where impact is occurring.

I’ve also become a “hoverer” with all of my clubs because it’s helped me groove a more consistent path and to pick up some swing speed. It absolutely, positively, has helped me make more consistently square contact with the face.

If your contact is consistently more towards the heel or the toe of the driver, try these simple fixes:
More towards the heel – keep more weight in your heels when you swing, hover the club at address.
More towards the toe – make sure you are attacking the ball from the inside on your downswing, not down the line or outside in.

Swing Speed

It can be increased without expensive training aids, but it takes effort.

The principle is this: to swing faster, practice fast swings.

This means swing something light, not heavy. I see ads all the time that promote swinging a heavy club to gain swing speed, and that just plain and simple won’t work. To swing faster, practice swinging faster. Period.

There’s a longer article on this in Issue 523 from last October, and here’s a swing speed drill you can do over the winter to gain speed:

Two times per week for six weeks, swing a driver shaft with no head attached (or any shaft with no head attached) for 18 repetitions in one direction, then 18 repetitions in the opposite direction (for balance).
six reps, 60 second break
six more reps, 60 second break
six more reps, 60 second break
swing as fast as you can without losing your balance.
It would also be a good idea to add some core exercises like planks to support your swing.

Having said all of the above, if I were to test the Epic driver against my Ping, and if I were to pick up significant swing speed, or if I were to pick up significant yardage with the same swing speed, I would conclude that the Jailbreak technology is the real deal.

And if any of that happened, I’d probably buy the driver because I want more distance off the tee too 🙂

Comments: ttucker@rochester.rr.com

Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,


Tom Tucker’s Bio

I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
there’s a link for Plum Creek info here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/

Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
me – Tom Tucker – at (716) 474 3005 or email me at ttucker@rochester.rr.com
for more information.

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Tom Tucker and Plum Creek Driving Range