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Improve Your Drives Before You Swing

Most golfers have a pre-swing routine, some kind of physical procedure to get into a ryhthm and feel comfortable. You may step up to the ball, select your target, and then get ready to swing. You may visualize your swing or try to determine how to swing based on your target, but most golfers do not take the time to think about their stance and pre-swing "settings".

Every single movement, and even how you set up your movements, will impact your swing and ultimately how you strike the ball. This is especially crucial to keep in mind when driving the ball off the tee as any errors will result in a more drastic poor shot than, say, a pitching wedge. Following are a few recommendations to think about as you approach the ball on your tee shot the next round you play. These suggestions may not increase your driving distance by 50 yards, but will surely help to ease your mind that you are setting yourself up for the best possible shot.

· Tee the ball closer to the front foot in your stance
In other words, play the ball farther forward in your stance than usual. You don't have to exaggerate too much, just enough to notice a difference. Playing the ball closer to the big toe of your leading foot should produce a ball with a slightly higher loft. You should be hitting the ball farther along your swing-path, and thus on the "upswing". This can help golfers who have a problem "dubbing" the ball off the tee because they strike the ball on their downswing on top of the ball. By hitting the ball on the upswing you should also create more top-spin which could result in more roll once the ball makes contact with the ground.

· Tee the ball higher
This is often recommended by professionals to ameteur golfers. Teeing the ball higher helps with a couple things. Number one, the ball is literally closer to your body. The closer the ball is to your body, the closer the clubhead will be at impact. The closer the clubhead is to your body, the shorter the distance the clubhead needs to go, and the slower the speed. This all results in more control. It's kind of like the fact that the outside of a record spins faster than the inside. Teeing the ball higher also keeps it farther away from the ground. Golfers should not be taking up a divot on a drive, and many times golfers will have the ball teed so close to the ground, it becomes almost impossible not to strike the ground on a normal swing.

· Move your feet apart and try a wider stance
Your stance is your foundation, just like a tree's trunk is its foundation. Your drives should be your most "powerful" shots. You should approach drives thinking that you are going to hit the ball far. Why set up with a narrow stance then? You should get into a stance that feels powerful, that feels like it will allow you to swing with authority. Widening your stance slightly should give you more balance and set the framework for a nice power-producing swing.

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