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How To Hit It Long And Straight
by Golf Illustrated

Most high-handicap golfers love to hit their 3-wood off the tee because they fear their driver. However, every golfer should be able to use his driver because it produces the longest shots.

If you're having problems hitting your driver, try an improved setup position. While you should play both the 3-wood and driver off the inside of the left heel, you must make some significant alterations with the driver. Because you want a slightly ascending or upward blow with the driver, place a little more weight on the right or back foot in your setup than you do with the 3-wood. Also, at address, tilt your spine just a bit backward away from the target.

With these setup modifications, you'll be encouraged to make a full turn in the backswing, which will help you stay behind the ball coming to impact. They promote a sweeping, slightly upward swing path and angle of attack -- exactly what the driver off a tee requires. Also, the clubhead will be swinging to impact from slightly inside the target line and out toward it, which should bring a slight draw to the trajectory.

Turn Down Your Stress Response

Many pros use deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation to slow their heart rate and regain some feel in their muscles. It's all just a matter of managing your nervous energy. Others manage their nerves by whistling, humming, shaking their hands loosely at the wrists or simply observing the scenery as they walk to their next shot. Try one of these methods or come up with one of your own to help you turn down your stress response.

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