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Hitting it long and getting out of trouble

Tom F. Stickney II

In today’s new club market, the old shallow face wooden driver with a high center of gravity are no more.

You will only see the new huge faced drivers with all sorts of alloy combinations from the Periodic Table on the teeing ground. These new weapons are all built with a very low center of gravity designed to get the ball up in the air, and all provide a longer hang time in the air for the average golfer.

All these physic-based properties equate to greater distances for each and every one of us …thank goodness. The secret to gaining the most distance possible is to understand how to control your driver’s “launch angle.”



In order to increase your driver’s launch angle you must increase the teeing height of your ball – that’s it. Make the effort to tee the ball up where top half of the ball is above the top of the driver and your launch angle will increase automatically.

If you adopt this simple alteration into your tee game you will gain distance, increase your launch angle, and fly the ball farther in the air, which will make your game more enjoyable from the tee.



(Editor’s note: On the off chance that your tee shot might be errant, read onward to see how to get out of trouble.)

How to handle deep rough

Unless you hit it straight every time like Fred Funk or Calvin Peete, you have hit it into the deep rough next to the pin and this is not good.



What a pain this can be if you do not have the correct technique to blast it out of the deep rough yet land it softly on the green. If you modify several factors at your address position you will truly understand how to hit this touchy shot close more often.

n Place the ball under the center of your sternum – this allows you to hit the ball with a steeper type of angle necessary not to get hung up in the rough.

n Your weight should be sixty percent on your left foot- by doing this you would stop the tendency to fall back and stick the club into the ground.

n The hands and clubshaft need to be in front of the ball at address. We need the hands to lead and power the club through the ball. If you stall out and the clubhead flips past the hands through the ball, then you will slide under the ball and it will only go about three feet. If you would like open the clubface slightly to make a softer shot occur.

n On the backswing, allow the clubhead to work up into the air very steeply allowing the wrists to hinge or cock quicker. This action will cause the club to move back into the ball much steeper than usual.

n Most importantly, keep your pivot rotation moving through the shot. You must keep your body moving or rotating through the shot to stop the hands from trying to take over. If this happens you will leave the ball in the tall grass.

Tom F. Stickney II is the head of instruction at the Cordillera Golf Courses. He can be reached at (970) 926-3111, ext. 734.


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