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A slice can rob you of your new-found distance. Les Miller offers a drill that can help.
A slice can rob you of your new-found distance. Les Miller offers a drill that can help. (Courtesy of Herb Collingridge IV)

For long, straight drives, hit it like a baseball

Les MillerBy Les Miller,

With today's oversize drivers, it is much easier to hit the ball a long way. But if you suffer from a slice, that extra distance will probably have your tee shots not only missing the fairway but also rob you of your new-found distance.

A sliced shot is mainly caused by two factors: starting the downswing from an over-the-top move - causing an outside-in downswing - and a clubface that's open at impact.

For a quick fix, start by gripping the club with a baseball grip, and address the ball as you would hitting a baseball. From this position, make a few full swings as though you were hitting waist-high baseball pitches. It's important to keep the arms and hands relaxed so you encourage a full release (turning over) of the hands through the impact area. This drill will encourage your hands and arms to rotate as they pass the center of your body.

By taking these baseball practice swings, above the ball, you're experiencing the feel of how your hands and arms should rotate though the hitting area. This release movement effectively helps speed up the hands through the impact zone enabling you to increase your power.

Try this drill as a practice swing before all your full shots the next few rounds, and you'll see and feel longer and straighter tee shots in no time.

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
  • Baseball Drill

    Dave P. wrote on: Jul 24, 2012

    The first time I ever hit a golf club, it was a driver. I hit the driver using a baseball swing. Within 2 rounds of the range I was hitting the ball 200 yards. Since then I "learned" a lot more about swings and grips and now I can't hit the driver as consistantly. However, the baseball grip and drill helps a lot. Another his sweep the driver across the mat the range.