The Leading Edge Season 2 Episode 1
Michael Breed talks about gaining consistency and distance with your driver in this week's The Leading Edge.
Released on 1/25/2019
Welcome to Golf Digest School's on The Leading Edge.
I'm Michael Breed, thanks so much for joining me today.
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So I wanna help you with the driver.
We gotta get that under control.
You're hittin' too many slices.
You're losin' some distance.
I wanna show you how simple this can be
for you to gain some distance, gain some consistency.
Let's go over to the Microsoft Surface Hub
and let's take a little peek at Francesco Molinari
'cause there's some things that you can do that he does
before this club even gets into motion
that's gonna help you improve the driver.
The first one is ball position.
So many times we're confused with ball position
and we think we should be puttin' this ball
outside of, or right on, that right toe.
I want you to start to think about this
as where this is in my upper body,
and what we want is we want that ball position
right in the armpit of the lead shoulder.
That's a key to being able to strike this ball properly
and set up correctly to it.
Now from there we wanna pay attention to one other thing,
and that is the lines of the body.
I wanna see the lines; the toe line, knee line,
hip line, shoulder line,
I want those all to be parallel.
So many times you're getting your shoulders open to that
and it's creating some problems
which I'm gonna share with you in just a second.
But if you look at Francesco, he's got the toe line here
and the shoulder line here,
the knee line is in the same spot,
all of those are all running parallel to one another,
and that allows him to be in a balanced position.
So when you look at him at address,
and let me take care of some of this,
some of these drawings that we have here,
and what you're gonna see is,
is that at address, and with the shoulders,
you're gonna see the line now going in an upward direction.
That means that they're all square.
You set in there and your shoulders are level to the ground?
That means your shoulders are gonna be open.
So let me go over here and show you what I'm talking about
so we can get this straight.
When we get set up, what I want you to pay attention to is,
first of all, this ball position being right here.
When that comes down it's gonna be inside of the heel,
and depending upon the width of your stance
if you have a really wide stance,
the shoulders aren't gonna move, the feet will.
Now all of a sudden it may be a full driver head,
maybe five or six inches inside that heel.
If you have a narrow stance like this,
well then that might be right on the foot.
It all depends on how wide you like to play with
with the width of the stance.
So you always are paying attention to this position here.
Ball position is totally in the upper body.
And then when we start paying attention to
what's happening with the shoulder line,
what I want you to do is a very simple thing.
You're gonna look down
and you're gonna take a line of where the feet are
and then all I want you to do is
I want you to just come up here,
bring your golf club up into this spot here
and make sure that they're parallel.
And when you get to that, now all of a sudden,
in this down-the-line view, what you're gonna see is
just a little bit of the lead forearm
above the trail forearm.
If you're in here in this fashion there,
when I get my shoulders open
and you can see how now they're pointing over to the left,
my trail arm sits on top of the lead arm.
What is that gonna do?
Well let me show you what that's gonna do.
If I set up in that poor position right there.
With the ball positioned up and my shoulders open,
now when I swing, first of all,
when I get set up you're gonna see the upper body
is almost ahead of the lower body.
In other words, the upper part of my spine
is closer to the target than the lower part of my spine.
But when I take this club back
what ends up happening is the club's gonna work outside.
It's then gonna work very steeply into the ball
and I'm gonna hit a shot
that's gonna start over to the left hand side
and should have a low trajectory
with a little bit of a slice.
So now I hit that shot.
You can see this ball spinning over to the right hand side.
And as this starts to come out,
spin rates are gonna go up,
launch angle's gonna come down,
ball speed's gonna come down.
There's a lot of things that are gonna happen.
So when I get over here,
just look at a couple of things here.
First, my side spin, that spin rate number is 1600.
That means that ball is really spinning a lot
and it's spinning with a little bit of a right axis tilt.
When it lands on the ground, it's gonna grab.
It's not gonna go very far at all.
Second thing is, ball speed is at 143.
That's very slow.
So when I hit that ball I carried it about 217,
it rolls out to about 230.
So let's just say it had a 15 yard release.
Now look at my apex, 55 feet on the apex.
That's really, really low.
The ball doesn't stay in the air.
It's not carrying anything.
And then I start looking at my horizontal launch angles
and vertical launch angles.
My vertical launch angle is 7.2 degrees.
I wanna see that thing around 11, 12, 13 degrees,
maybe if you have a lot of club head speed
it might be able to get into the tens,
but I don't wanna see it lower than that double digit.
That's really one of the things that I pay attention to.
And then the horizontal launch;
I told you it was gonna start to the left,
5 1/2 degrees to the left.
We've gotta change all that.
How're we gonna change that?
Well, we're gonna change all that
in that address position.
So when I get into the address position
what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna first check and make sure
that that ball position is now right underneath that armpit,
and then what I wanna do is make sure that my shoulders
are gonna be square to the toe line,
and I'll do that by making sure that my lead shoulder's
a little bit higher than my trail shoulder.
So now all of a sudden I'm square in here.
What it's gonna feel like for you
is that you're aiming farther to the right,
or the push side, which is exactly what we need to have
in order to get that ball to start out to the right
'cause the way we're gonna gain some distance
and some consistency is to get rid of that tail to the right
and get that thing spinning to the left.
So we gotta start it out to the right
in order for us to hit this draw.
So first I get into here like this
and now watch just what happens.
I'm just gonna make this golf swing.
And I hit that shot.
Now what you're gonna see is that golf ball's
now gonna be turning over from right to left.
I'm not thinking about altering the motion just yet.
I'm just swinging from that position.
So come on up here and watch what happens.
These are the things that have just changed.
One thing that changed, my ball speed went from 142 to 146,
again, not altering my motion
or thinking about how I'm gonna create some speed.
So that's one of the things that ended up happening.
Also look at what happened.
You see my spin rate?
My back spin went to 2200.
It was way up before, that back spin went down a little bit.
My side spin also switched from a right spin to a left spin.
What does that all mean?
When the ball got on the ground
this carried about the exact same distance,
it carried about 217 yards, the other one was 216.
Remember, the other one rolled out to 231.
This one goes out to 254,
because I don't have all that back spin on the ball.
It's got a little bit of left spin,
and a little less left spin,
so now I'm gettin' that ball to release a little bit.
Now we gotta get this thing
to stay in the air a little bit longer,
and we gotta get that ball to go a little bit faster.
So how do we do that?
This is the final thing I want you to pay attention to.
When we start to move this club in the backswing
I want you to feel like your shoulders
are gonna get turned behind
so that they are now perpendicular to the start line.
And when you get to that spot
you're gonna feel like, at the top of the swing,
the upper part of the spine is farther from the target
than the lower part of the spine.
Remember we were talking before about how
when we get set up in this position here,
when we take the club back,
now I'm almost tilting down this way?
I want to feel like I'm almost tilting down this way.
That's why the upper part of the spine
will be farther from the target
than the lower part of the spine.
So we get set up here,
and now what I want to feel is
I wanna feel this rotation here,
and at the top you can see how the upper part of the spine
is farther away from the target
than the lower part of the spine.
Does that actually happen?
Who knows, we'll find out,
but what will happen is my launch angle is gonna
start to go up, my spin rate's gonna start to come down,
my ball speed's gonna go up,
and my distance is gonna go up.
So, I get in here like this,
get my target,
and now we're gonna make
this good full rotation behind the ball.
And now what I'm gonna get,
you're gonna see that golf ball's gonna stay in the air
a whole lot longer.
I still have that really good draw,
ball gets onto the ground, and now it starts to release.
Let's see what we end up getting out of this.
Remember we were carrying that ball maximum 217?
All of a sudden that one there carried,
and a little bit of a mishit, I carried it 237,
so I picked up 20 yards
by making sure that I got that rotation.
What also happened?
My back spin number, that went down,
so now I'm at about 2200 on that.
I still got some left spin,
not into the thousands, just into the 500s here.
But here's where this really gets fun.
Look at my vertical launch.
Remember I told you before that I wanted it like 11, 12, 13?
Right at 12 1/2, that's exactly what I want,
and then my apex goes from 45, 55, all the way up to 77;
we'll round up and get it into the 80s.
What ends up happening?
I end up hitting the ball a little bit stronger,
a little bit farther with that little draw.
And what I can promise you is this:
When you get to a point
where you understand exactly how to put yourself
in the right position, and the ball in the right position,
and get your body to make the right move behind it,
what you're gonna end up getting is
you're gonna end up getting a stronger,
more consistent shot,
get rid of that slice, get that draw, and all of a sudden
you're gonna be swinging like Francesco Molinari.
Now, I want to thank you all so much
for joining me over here on The Leading Edge.
Remind you we're here every single week
helping you out.
All you need to do to be a part of the show?
Reach out to me, send a video, give me an email,
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and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wanna thank you so much for being a part of the show.
We'll see you next time.