[mks_dropcap style=”circle” size=”45″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]F[/mks_dropcap]or Father’s Day, my family gave me a needed trip to golf school. Like most people, my golf instruction had come through the years during rounds. This gave me a chance to take a closer look at my game with some help during the morning in Asheville.
One part of my game that always has sent me to detention (cue Simple Minds’ Don’t Forget About Me) is my driver. I’ve never been consistent with the driver. As Andrew Clark says in The Breakfast Club, “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.” At times, my short game will make up for it — but there is no doubt it is a weak part of my game.
No hiding now, as once again the lesson started with me either hitting the ball barely off the ground or wayward drives in the wrong direction.
The instructor, Gwen Miller, introduced me to the swing of Davis Love III. The Ryder Cup team captain has had quite a career with 21 PGA Tour wins, including the 1997 PGA Championship. A native of Charlotte, DLIII is a former UNC Tar Heels standout. And his swing, formed through a lot of work with his famous golf-instructor father, has been helping with some of the driver woes.
For me, a problem is always having my hands too close to my body on the backswing and too close as I approach the ball. Love’s wide-arching swing is a good one for me to try and copy. He starts with an athletic setup, and while he doesn’t get his arms as high he did when he was the Tour’s long hitter in the 1990s, there is still an aggressive left-side action.
New York teacher Mike Jacobs of X Golf School Country Club in Manorville, N.Y., had this observation in Golf Digest about how copying a piece of Love’s transition from backswing to downswing can help any player. “Most amateur players get to the top and go hard toward the ball with their hands,” Jacobs says. “Davis preserves the outward motion of his hands. From the top, he’s forcing them out, away from the target.”
Mike Newcombe of Visions Golf has a few more observations about Davis’ swing in this slide show from Golf.com. Nos. 7 and 8 have stood out to me. The way Davis extends his “arms through impact (not before it)” have helped my distance of driving. And his finish position is one that when I’ve been able to copy it, I know I’ve hit a good shot.
In just about any sport I’ve attempted, from baseball to fly fishing, my right arm always has been the key to success. But as Golf Channel School of Golf’s Martin Hall points out in this video, the left-arm lead can lead to a solid golf swing.
It is interesting to see how Davis Love has changed his swing through the years due to technology changes. That is something we all can keep in mind.
I’m off to try some underarm tossing drills. I didn’t think I could find help with my driver woes from a veteran PGA player, but if you are looking to improve your golf game — from visits to detention after poor driver play, a.k.a pulling the fire alarm — these tips I came across can help. As John Bender says in The Breakfast Club — “Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place.” Davis Love III’s swing can help put together some of those missing screws in your driver swing.
See you on the course.