The Power Drive
In the power game of golf, you don't want to handicap your efforts for the long, straight drive by an improper setup and stance.
When I first started playing golf many years ago, the head of the driver was very small relative to today's driver. In setting up for my drive, I placed the tee deep into the ground with the ball on top of it. You can't do that with today's large driver heads. Place your ball on a tee that sits well above the ground. If you fail to do so, you're likely to top the ball.
The larger head and construction of the driver allows the golfer to impart a greater force on the golf ball. But this greater force doesn't translate into a straighter and longer drive unless the golfer's stance provides a good platform from which to initiate the drive.
When you watch Tiger Woods' driver swing, his stance is balanced, his feet are aligned to the green, the ball is teed up high, and his swing is fluid, imparting maximum power through the ball.
To take advantage of today's latest technology in driver design, a great deal of practice is necessary to prepare your stance for maximum drive distance.
One of the keys in your preparation should be the positioning of your hands relative to your body while addressing the ball. If your hands are too close to your body, your swing will be up and down instead of a comfortable arc during the rotation of your hips backwards. Once again, watch a video of Tiger Woods, or your favorite golf pro.
The positioning of the ball relative to your front foot is very important. If the ball is too far towards the middle of your stance, you run the risk of hitting it while the driver is still advancing downwards in its arc. This can end with a disastrous shot.
Right-handed golfers should adjust their stance by aligning the ball to the left foot, and placing it visually between the front toe and the heel. It should be in the optimum position where the 'sweet spot' of the driver can hit it with the greatest force as you rotate through your swing. Naturally, left-hand golfers should position the ball off the right foot.
Finally, a common problem that inhibits the golfer from getting a long drive is an exaggerated swing. This happens when you over-rotate the hips, and the driver swings well behind the back and far past the horizontal.
New driver designs and materials have been used in golf in the last two decades. The heads of the large drivers may use HST Aluminum. Stainless steel is popular in iron heads. Titanium is also used but it's expensive. Combinations of graphite, ceramics, and various metals are used in the shafts. All of these materials and technologies don't guarantee a great game, but they certainly assist top competitors who know how to gain an edge with sophisticated equipment.
YouTube. (updated March, 2008). Tiger Woods driver swing 2008 slow motion. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8N-N4FEoMY Preston. (n.d.). Golf lesson #1: The basics of golf clubs. Retrieved from http://www.pinemeadowgolf.com/golf-clubs-101/1_basics.html