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Let's face it, the ultimate goal for most golfers is added power off the tee.
Let's face it, the ultimate goal for most golfers is added power off the tee. (Nick Serrata/EclipseSportsWire.com)

Power upgrade: Tips on hitting the golf ball with more authority

Les MillerBy Les Miller,

The ultimate goal for most golfers is to drive the ball longer and straighter.

Although it's the short game that will allow them to improve their scores, most golfers are driven by hitting drives longer than their playing partners. That's what keeps golf manufactures in business, selling golfers the hope of longer, straighter drives.

Well, here are a few tips that will help in your quest to drive the ball with added power off the tee:

It starts with the proper setup

Because today's modern drivers have larger heads and are weighted to help get the ball up in the air quickly, you need to catch the ball on the upswing.

Position the ball opposite your left toe; (right-handed golfers) take a slightly wider stance and drop your right shoulder slightly more than normal. Tee the ball high, and swing up to a full follow through position.

A little tip: pick out a target in the distance that helps you swing up, something like clouds, mountains tops or trees that allows you to visualize your ball flying high into the distance.

A full, complete backswing

It starts by turning your left shoulder away from the target and allowing your weight to shift back onto your right foot (right-handed golfers).

At the top of the backswing, your back should be facing the target with your weight behind the ball (make sure your hands are high above your right shoulder, not too far inside your swing path). Your weight should be on the inside of your right foot.

Starting the downswing

This is where most golfers loose their power. Your weight should shift left by your lower body leading the way.

Start the downswing by sliding your right knee toward the target, this will allow your right elbow to drop into your right side. From this position, just let your weight shift to your left foot and allow your arms and hands to swing the club into a follow through position. This part of your golf swing is where the shifting of the weight unleashes the power and speed of the swing.

Most average golfers start the downswing with the upper body not the lower body (the dreaded over-the-top-move). This is where they loose all their power. The lower body "must" start the downswing!

The release: Just let it happen

Most golf instructors will give you many varying ideas on how to release the club head through the impact zone.

Over the years I have noticed that if golfers have the proper weight shift from the top of their backswing, it allows them to drop the right elbow down, properly having the hands and arms naturally release through the hitting area.

I simply say a full release is when nothing is being held back; just allow the speed and force of your downswing to pull you into the follow-through position. (Don't slow down to hit the ball; just let the club head go).

Try these tips and see your power and direction improve off the tee!

Les Miller was a longtime Golf Writers of America member who covered golf instruction for several newspapers and golf publications. His many years of experience as a golf professional, director of product development and tour relations for several major golf companies gave him a unique background and ability to help golfers increase their enjoyment of the game.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Getting off the tee

    Chris wrote on: Jul 27, 2015

    Starting my swing after going back with the club, I started with my right knee breaking in towards the target has saved me from being in the fairway one out of 10 times to 8 out of 10. Longer straighter and a great feeling.
    Thanks you so much for this tip.


  • Weight on the right; light grip

    JoeT wrote on: Jun 27, 2011

    I read these recommendations and went to the driving range to try it - it works.
    Great suggestions. I have to work on consistency - particularly remembering to keep more weight on the right and get the left shoulder behind the ball.
    Thanks for the tips...


  • LOSE

    rob wrote on: Apr 7, 2011

    It is spelled L-O-S-E. It's simple English. Just awful.