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Go the distance with your drives!

Kelly KlecknerBy Kelly Kleckner,
Class A LPGA Teaching Professional

Everyone wants to drive farther that is from the tee area! How can you achieve greater distance with the swing you have? Simple, tee the golf ball higher. The goal is not to hit under the ball, but "sweep" it off the tee smoothly and then make your finish.

When solid contact is made, shots hit above the middle of the face will fly higher and travel farther than shots hit below the center of the face. The reason? Contacting the ball above the center increases the height and reduces spin on the ball, which increases the carry.

Here is how to do this: Imagine you are using a striped range ball, or set the logo facing the clubface. Then, set your club on the ground and make sure at least half of the stripe or logo is above the top of the driver. You are now ready to make a clean "sweep" through the ball. You can practice this on the driving range by setting up five or six tees about three to four inches away from each other in line. You have your club set right if after contact with the tee it flips out of the ground and you did not take any dirt with it!

Remember as well that when you are driving into wind to tee the ball lower to obtain maximum distance. Never try to get "under" the ball-you will end up popping the ball about seventy-five yards straight up! Finally, always pause at the top of your backswing making sure ninety percent of your weight has been transferred to your right side and then "sweep" through to your finish.

LPGA Professional Kelly Kleckner teaches at Cherokee Ridge Golf Course in Colorado Springs, Colo. She played collegiate golf for Colorado State University, and is the founder and director of the LPGA Girls Golf Club for the area. She coaches and teaches private and semi-private lessons all year. For more information call 719-576-9176.

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