When it comes to bombing the driver there are three main causes of distance loss as a result of not maximizing the energy transferred from the club to the ball. Those three causes are:
1. A downward attack angle
2. Off center contact
3. An outside-in swing path
The good news is that with one, cheap and easy to find feedback tool we can take care of all of these issues. What is miraculous training aid you might ask? A good old bottle of water! So, let’s dive in to how to set the bottles up to gives us appropriate feedback.
1. Attack Angle Feedback
First, let’s start by clarifying that attack angle is whether we are hitting down or up on the ball. To maximize carry distance with driver we need an upward attack angle with the right amount of loft to go “full send”.
Getting feedback on attack angle is tricky, but a simple water bottle can give you the key to whether your angle is pure. Start by teeing up a golf ball and place a bottle one full bottle length in front of the ball. Your job is to sweep the tee and the ball while missing the water bottle. If you are hitting down you will send the bottle! If you pull up with the arms you will miss the bottle, but you will also miss sweeping the tee which will likely result in a top.
Key Feedback: Sweep the tee, miss the bottle of water.
2. Off Center Contact (Heel)
Heel contact can occur as a result of several reasons. One thing we know with a high level of confidence is that the club head is not arriving to the correct location at impact.
So, place your trusty water bottle just on the outside edge of the club. There should be less than ¼ inch in between the toe of the club and the water bottle. If the club returns to strike the ball in the heel it will also make contact with the water bottle.
Key Feedback: Leave the bottle standing. This might require the feeling of the hands returning closer to your body at impact.
3. Outside-In Path
Cutting across the ball with an open face reduces both distance and directional control. But no need to panic! If you have a water bottle, you can fix this.
Lay the bottle parallel to the target line so that there is ¼ inch clearance between the bottle and the club. Also, the cap end of the bottle should be level with the golf ball. Now, if you make an outside-in swing and cut across the ball you will send the bottle flying and possibly soak yourself (just a little bit). In order to miss the bottle and strike the ball correctly you will need an in-out swing path.
To reiterate, an in-out swing path means the club must be approach the from the INSIDE. After making contact with the ball in must travel OUTISDE.
Key Feedback: Outside after contact is what will allow the club to miss the bottle. In order to swing OUT we must approach from the INSIDE.
So, next time you are heading to the range don’t forget to take your game improvement water bottle! This simple technique will almost immediately provide the necessary feedback to improve your swing path.