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Drive like Lorena Ochoa with a proper set-up

Karen Palacios-JansenBy Karen Palacios-Jansen,
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Drive set-up
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When lining up 'behind the ball' to get more power, the golf ball should be in line with your left ear. (Courtesy Karen Palacios-Jansen)

Although not the longest driver on the LPGA Tour, at 5 feet 5 inches tall and 125 pounds, Lorena Ochoa can belt it out with the best of them. Lorena's 270.6 yard average driving distance ranks third on the LPGA Tour.

So how does an average size woman hit it so far? With a lot of practice and a rock solid set-up that promotes power. If you are looking to increase distance off the tee try this power set-up.

The Correct Angle of Attack at Impact

Angle of attack is the way the clubhead approaches the ball at impact.

To hit the ball correctly in the sweet spot you must understand how the clubhead should approach the ball.

When you hit a driver, the angle of attack is shallow. The clubhead should arrive to the ball at the same level.

This sweeping motion assures that you will hit the ball in the sweet spot.

Set-up Correctly for Power and Distance

In order to achieve the correct angle, you must set-up "behind the ball at address." To do this, play the ball off the inside of the left foot and tilt slightly into your right side so that the head starts behind the driver. You want to have the ball in line with your left ear. This position will help you turn and sweep the ball off the tee at impact.

The most common fault I see with high handicappers is that they have the wrong angle of attack with their drivers. This happens when they set up incorrectly with too much weight on the left side, causing the head to be on top of the ball or even in front of the ball at address.

A reverse pivot follows this set up and causes too steep of an angle of attack. When the clubhead approaches too steeply or from the outside, you will end up hitting the ball on the toe or on the top of the clubhead.

Try This Drill

Practice setting up behind the ball with the driver. Place a club behind your back and make sure that your right shoulder is lower than the left. This angle should set your head behind the ball at address. Practice making a level turn, at the top of your backswing and make sure your left shoulder is over your right knee. If your left shoulder is still over your left knee, then you have a reverse pivot.

Practice your driving set-up in the mirror. Check your alignment and make sure that you are set-up behind the ball at address. Your set-up should promote a sweeping motion.

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Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Ball Position

    Alam M.N. wrote on: Nov 16, 2008

    Placing the ball, you have consider your swing style. If you slightly sway,like most of amateur did, you must place the ball more on yr left foot. (right foot for lefties)

    Reply

  • Behind your back??

    Moe Norman wrote on: Jul 29, 2008

    I believe she means hold the club behind your back... lower back. The idea is to see if your left shoulder is higher then your right...

    Reply

      • RE: Behind your back??

        gaudencio wrote on: Jul 30, 2008

        l just wonder where you put the club. Is it along the spine or in the ground? Thank you.

        Reply

  • Old Pool Billiard Balls Ivory?

    blake wrote on: May 19, 2008

    Yah a club behind your back!

    Reply

  • Karen P Jansen

    Joe wrote on: Feb 26, 2008

    Place a club behind your back??(how about a picture or further explanation)

    Reply