by Dan Boever, Pinnacle
Long Drive Team Elite Member
Increase Your Odds
Have you ever caught yourself in front of a
television yelling at some chain smoking, sunglass
wearing, up all night gambler competing in the
World Series of Poker? He has been dealt two
queens and he is going to bet the farm. You
also see his opponent has two kings and that
is why you are calling him an idiot for betting
on the queens. In recent years ESPN has been
kind enough to show the viewers all the cards
around the table and the subsequent odds of
each player winning the hand. Although not real
good at math in high school I figure two kings
has an advantage over two queens. Master of
the obvious huh?
If you can answer the next three questions
correctly then this article may make some sense
1. Would you rather:
A-Hit your driver towards a 100 yard wide
B-Hit your driver towards a 20 yard wide
2. Would you prefer a:
A-Have a 2 foot putt?
B-Have a 20 foot putt?
3. What sounds more appetizing?
A-Eat pizza and hot wings?
B-Eat celery and carrots?
OK, so I got a little side tracked on the third
question but the first two better be pretty
obvious. Give me a wide fairway and a short
putt every day of the week. Why? Stop reading
here if you don’t know why? We all want
to tip the odds in our favor. Isn’t that
why we practice, pay for lessons or buy some
goofy gadget at 2 AM off the Golf Channel that
promises to cure your slice, get more distance,
hit closer wedges, roll your putts smoother
and cut your grass all at the same time. Here
are three simple tips to help you increase your
odds for longer drives and lower scores.
1. Tee the ball higher
After being part of nearly 600 corporate and
charity golf tournaments I can tell you this
is a major distance killer for most players.
I have seen thousands of well meaning men and
women walk to the tee box and instantly decrease
their odds for more distance simply by teeing
the ball too low. Over the past 10 years club
head size has dramatically increased. This has
made the problem even worse. The new Cobra 460cc
is an awesome weapon. Its size though, means
you need to tee the ball higher off the ground.
The standard 1 ¾ or 2 inch tees will
not cut it anymore. This tee height means you
have to hit “down” on the ball to
make solid contact. All and I repeat all, of
the top long drivers in the world tee the ball
high so they can hit slightly up on it through
impact. Balls that you tee an inch (after you
stick it in the ground) above the grass will
not allow you to have that ascending blow. You
will have a descending blow that causes lots
of spin and usually a slice.
Go find some 3” or 4” tees and
have a crack it at. Get to the point where you
feel comfortable having the center of the ball
at the top of your club face at address. Your
first few swings may produce some “pop-ups”
but don’t worry it. That generally is
a result of years of hitting down on the ball
with a driver when you should be hitting slightly
up on it. Please note, “divots”
with a driver are strictly forbidden. This just
should never happen. I once joked at an exhibition
that it is a sin to make a divot with your driver.
After several moments of silence some big ole
drunk in the back mumbled, “Well then
I’m going straight to hell.” It
got a laugh but if you want to increase your
odds you need to tee the ball higher.
2. Slow down your take away
Why do you want it to be slow? We all know
that maximum power comes when all our individual
parts work together as one. When we rush our
take away, we tend to rush our down swing. When
we rush, we seldom make a full and complete
turn away from the ball. This full turn stores
energy like a bow string ready to shoot an arrow.
Picture if you will, a heavyweight boxer as
he coils his body and fist, all parts working
as one before a massive release of power and
pain directed towards his target. If you want
to inflict pain on that little white object
staring up at you then allow your energy to
build. Many PGA Tour players almost look like
they stop at the top of the back swing. That
slight hesitation allows them to store energy
and use all their parts as one.
If you have ever heard announcers say, “Oh
he got a little quick on that swing”,
you can know the results will not be pretty.
It usually translates into, low hooks or high
blocked shots. Neither of the two is anything
you want. Don’t be in such a rush to hit
it. Let the power build and then watch as your
little dimpled buddy screams in pain as it streaks
across the sky.
3. Don’t try and kill it
I know this may seem absurd coming from someone
who makes his living pounding golf balls as
hard as possible. Here is another visual you
may have encountered.
As a kid did you ever step into the batters
box and take two mighty swings only to miss
both pitches? Oh boy, now you have two strikes
and you definitely don’t want to strike
out. What are the next comments you hear from
the bleachers and dugout? Choke up. Don’t
swing so hard. Just make contact you loser.
Did your strategy change at that point? If you
were any good, you may have backed off the dreams
of a Babe Ruth upper deck shot and just tried
to make good solid contact. Your focus changed
from “kill it” to “just hit
it solid”. If you stunk, it may have been,
“maybe the pitcher will bean me and I
can get on base that way.”
So we swing a little easier and presto, middle
of the ball meets middle of the bat and the
two produce a long shot that goes out of the
park. As we sit in the dugout we comment that
we didn’t even swing hard and barely felt
the contact. That is what happens when you flush
one and hit it pure. You barely seem to feel
We go to the first tee now and because we did
not hit any practice balls we decide to take
an easy swing. We are getting older and the
limbs are not so supple. We decide to swing
at about 80% so as to not break any bones or
tear any inner organs. We put the center of
the club face on the center of the ball it rockets
toward the middle of the fairway, well beyond
where we thought it would go. Here is the never
ending battle. As we come to our ball in the
fairway and look back to the tee box we think,
“Man, if I hit it that far swinging easy….just
think how far it will go if I swing hard!”
And the cycle of frustration continues.
Ask any tour player about swing speed and no
one will tell you to crank it as hard as you
can. Well, maybe John Daly would. Most other
players will tell you to swing at 80-85% of
your maximum. They realize an easier swing allows
you better control and more solid contact. These
all stack the odds in your favor and that’s
what we are looking for.
Playing golf is like going to Las Vegas. Every
time you tee it up the odds favor the house.
Remember these three simple tips and you can
increase your odds.
1.Tee the ball higher.
2.Slow down your take away.
3.Don’t try and kill it.
Lastly, if you answered celery and carrots
then all the rest of this article won’t
mean a thing to you.
Read more from Dan Boever!