tampabay.com

Secret to long drives

Weekly advice from area pros to improve your game.

By RICK BRADSHAW
Published January 18, 2007


The secret to low-spin, penetrating drives is thinking low to high through impact with your club head. Think of your club head striking the ball like a torpedo blasting into the side of a ship or a hammer driving a wedge under a door as you sweep through and up. Do not hit down at the ball. This increases backspin and makes your drives balloon. Think of putting up-spin on the ball. This keeps the club head low as it approaches impact. Because the ball position of a drive is slightly forward of center, the result is less back spin and a penetrating drive that bores through the air and hits the ground running.

Favorite course nationally: Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa. I was fortunate to play Merion on numerous occasions growing up in Philadelphia. I always visualized Bobby Jones making his debut at age 14 here at the 1916 U.S. Amateur and closing his international career at Merion, completing the Grand Slam of golf by winning the 1930 U.S. Amateur on the 11th hole.

Best golfing advice: Everyone is equally as nervous as you in a pressure situation.

-- Rick Bradshaw, director of instruction, Jim Dent/Rick Bradshaw School of Golf, Heritage Isles Golf and Country Club, Tampa. The 2004 and 2006 North Florida Section PGA Teacher of the Year. Author of nine instruction videos, including his latest, Formula to a Tour Swing. E-mail Bradshaw at tourexp@aol.com.