I was reading through the late George Knudson’s book, The Natural Golf Swing, and noticed this tip, which I hadn’t before. Knudson was a Canadian who played on the PGA Tour in the 1970s and had one of the best swings the Tour has ever seen.
Knudson said that early in his development as a professional he would always hit his driver on the heel of the club, breaking the wood on that side and hitting “these ugly little shots.”
“One day, I decided to try to catch the ball way out on the toe of the driver. I set up the ball on the toe and figured that’s where I would make contact, It wasn’t the sweet spot, but setting the ball up on the sweet spot hadn’t been doing me any good either. So what happens? I hit this thing and it flies off the club like a rocket compared to what I’d been doing.
“…suddenly, after setting the ball up on the toe, the ball was coming off the face solidly. I decided that the clubhead must be pulling out, and accepted that. … I didn’t know that I was suddenly catching the ball in the centre of the clubface because of the centrifugal force that was pulling the clubhead out and down.”
What Knudson is getting at is that the centrifugal force of the swing pulls your arms and they straighten out a bit – they get longer. When they carry the club into the ball, longer, the center of the clubface will be lined up with the ball.
I of course had to run out and try this in my backyard, and it worked great. Then I played nine holes yesterday and every time I remembered to do it, it worked. I got a nice, flush hit, and good distance without any effort at all. The key to distance is a centered hit, and this is a great way to get one. And straight? Are you kidding? That’s all I hit!
Now I give you this tip with a reservation, because it might not work for you. I try to put up tips that will work for anyone. This one did fine with my swing, but it might be swing-specific, so I don’t know about yours. So give it an honest try and if it works, say Thank You to George. If it doesn’t, oh, well . . .