By Paul Myers
If you spend much time reading golf instruction and working on your swing, you probably do so with one goal in mind – hitting the ball as far as possible. Many golfers are obsessed with the idea of adding distance, to the point where they will look into technique, equipment, fitness, and more as possible paths to added yards. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, as adding distance is only going to make it easier to conquer any long golf courses you happen to play.
However, there is a topic which is often overlooked in the process of trying to add yards to your drives. Once you do add that yardage, how do you use it effectively? Power is helpful in the game of golf, but it is certainly not the only skill required. If you use your power recklessly throughout the course, it is unlikely you will find your way to lower scores. Instead, you need to find ways to apply your power at just the right moment, while taking a more conservative approach at other times. To make sure you are using your newfound power to maximum effect, review the tips below.
Tip #1 – Don’t Assume
One of the common mistakes seen in the amateur game is pulling out the driver before even stepping on to the tee of a par four or par five hole. If you know the next hole is a par four or five, you may be tempted to reach for the driver before you even check out the layout of the fairway in front of you. That would be a mistake. The hole might call for a driver, but you need to confirm that fact before swinging away. Check the yardage, look for hazards waiting to catch an errant drive, and be willing to club down for control when necessary.
Tip #2 – Look for a Reward
If you are going to go after a tee shot with 100% effort, you want to make sure that effort is going to be rewarded with some kind of advantage. For instance, if you hit your driver on a short par four, you need to be sure that a long drive is going to reward you with an easy chip shot to setup a birdie. If, on the other hand, a great drive is still going to leave you with an awkward pitch, you will be better off to hit a different club from the tee.
Tip #3 – Use Your Power in Another Way
By improving your swing over time, you should be able to add yards to your driver. However, those gains are not going to be limited to your driver alone. If you are hitting longer drives, it only stands to reason that you would be hitting longer shots with your other clubs as well. So, on the tee of a narrow par four, use your newfound power by hitting a hybrid or long iron a good distance right down the middle. Sometimes, the best way to ‘flex your muscle’ is to use shorter clubs off the tee to give yourself a great chance of finding the short grass.