|For most players, getting the clubface squared on the back of the ball is either an accident â€“ or a miracle. (Clive Agran/TravelGolf)|
There is one question that comes up in most golf discussions: "How can I hit the ball further?"
Well, as much as the golf industry and my peers in the instruction side of the game want you to believe, it is very simple. There are two important aspects in creating efficient distance â€“ with control.
Controlling the club face is one. The second is proper forearm rotation.
In order to maximize every aspect that goes into a golf swing, you must "catch" the ball squarely on the clubface. For most players, getting the clubface squared on the back of the ball is either an accident â€“ or a miracle.
Regardless of whether you have a clubhead speed of more than 100 miles per hour, or one that is less than 50 miles per hour, it is paramount that you learn how to control the club face with every club in your bag.
Drill: In order to master clubface control, you need to start with the shortest of strokes - the putting stroke - and practice squaring the club face on the ball at impact.
Start by drawing a line around the ball, and then on a flat putting green or surface, set the ball down with the line straight up and down and practice "rolling" the ball 8-10 feet so that the line remains constant (straight) throughout its roll.
You cannot achieve a straight line with anything less than square contact of the face on the back of the ball. Once you have mastered rolling ball properly from 8-10 feet, increase the distance, then begin to work on squaring the club face with chip shots with a 6- or 7-iron, then pitch shots, then eventually full shots.
Test: To confirm you are controlling the club face with every club, including your driver, practice hitting shots so they only carry 50-75 yards with a full turn, then begin to add speed as you increase the distance at 25-50 yard increments.
Result: Trust me, it is harder than you think. If you can master this drill, you will control the club face and will begin to create more distance â€“ efficiently.
April 15, 2010
Mike Malaska is the worldwide director of instruction for Nicklaus Academies. Before his current position, he was a lead instructor working alongside Jim Flick from 1991-2002 at the Nicklaus/Flick Golf Schools and during 2003 with the TaylorMade/ESPN and Jim Flick Golf Schools. He is currently listed among Golf Digest's America's 50 Greatest Teachers (No. 24) and Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers in America.