Champions Lesson 12

ith these FREE lessons Eric Jones World Long Drive Champion will help you gain an understanding of the three key factors that influence distance: Club head speed, centre contact, and angle of approach. As you read on, you’ll discover that CLUBHEAD SPEED is the most important element necessary to gain distance. Will be to maximize your speed (and correct centre of contact and angle of approach), you’ll need to follow the 5 Keys outlined these lessons, and in even more detail in 5 Keys to Distance Course which includes videos for each element you need to learn and a 166 page book.

The 5 Distance Keys to Distance can be remembered by the acronym B.L.A.S.T. It is a perfect mnemonic since you will soon be “blasting” your drives down the fairway.

The term B.L.A.S.T. stands for: Balance Leverage Arc Width Speed of Hip Turn Target Extension Each of these B.L.A.S.T. areas are explained in detail. You will understand what you are supposed to achieve, why you are trying to achieve it, how you should do it, and the How-To drills that reinforce execution.

I have just one word of warning. Simply reading the book will not produce longer drives. After you understand your goals, you will have to set aside the time to practice the drills. True improvement requires hard work.  The lessons we send give you the basics of the course and WILL improve your golf and give you  much more distance.

The 5 Keys to Distance is about helping you understand what you need to do to get more distance off the tee: the swing mechanics, the physics, the biomechanics, the mental approach, the practice routines, the drills, and even the learning process. Every lesson Eric had to learn the hard way. Learn these lessons and practise you WILL achieve remarkable results. I know this will work for you.

First and foremost: Driving it long is all about delivering maximum club head speed through the ball at impact. End of story. Anything else is wasted energy. Achieving Maximum Club head Speed the 5 Keys to Distance is about helping you achieve maximum club head speed at impact. Keep this in mind when you start working on the program outlined in these lessons or in the world champion’s book.

Golf is a mind game; do not just do the drills or techniques prescribed just for the technique’s sake. Do them to generate club head speed:  If the drill is working, keep it up, and try the variations. If the drill for some reason is not working, review why and if you have physical issues that prevent you from implementing the drills, please do not create additional issues or harm yourself. We all have different levels of fitness so please use your good judgment and also consult a physician for advice prior to any physical activity. Please send us feedback with your own story. Let us know your results and what you discover. This will help other members to achieve their goals We strive to provide the best instruction we can all the coaches are passionate about teaching.

Some of the things we will tell you and show you in these lessons may fly in the face of today’s modern teaching methods. Here’s what we have to say to that: Try it first. If it works and you like it, use it. If it doesn’t work, don’t use it. The art of teaching golf is constantly evolving, and what is commonly taught today will change in the future. Some of the concepts in these lesson and in the 5 Keys to distance videos and book may be leading edge at the moment, but common practice tomorrow. I encourage you to keep an open mind and to maintain a willingness to experiment. Regardless of the technique you will still need to find a way to make it work for your own unique swing.

I am going to take a moment to give you some technical information. You don’t need to memorize this information, but just knowing it may help you practice and learn more efficiently, and being deliberate in your learning will help you to progress much faster. 1. Distance is affected by a combination of three things: speed, centre contact, and club head angle of approach. Speed is the most important factor by far. Thus, the largest portion of this book is dedicated to helping you find ways to increase your club head speed. 2. But speed is not the only thing. And if you want to maximize your distance potential, you need to know the other factors that affect distance—things that are not opinion, but are based on the laws of physics and aerodynamics. You can argue all you want about some of the technique recommendations, but the laws of physics apply to everyone, and for every shot.

The second distance factor (after club head speed) is Centre Contact. This means how well you hit the ball squarely in the middle of the clubface. 4. Here are some basic statistics: A 100 mph swing will drive the ball approximately 240 yards if hit perfectly square. A ball struck ¼ inch off-centre will decrease distance 2-3%, or 3-5 yards. A ball struck ½ inch off-centre will decrease distance 5%, or 12 yards. A ball struck ¾ inch off centre will decrease distance 10-15%, or 25-40 yards*. 5. Ask your local PGA pro for some impact tape. Put it on your clubface and hit some balls. Your impact pattern can be very revealing. How close to the centre of the clubface do you routinely hit the ball? 6. The third factor that influences distance is your club head’s Angle of Approach. A steeper downswing will impart more backspin, which in turn creates more “lift” to the ball. Your ball will go higher, but you will lose distance since some of the kinetic energy imparted to the ball is at an angle to the direction of flight. For this reason you want to hit the drive on a slight upswing to impart ideal backspin rates. *Information courtesy of the PGA of a Long Driver’s Angle of Approach

This is for advance players – low handicap players,

The more closely you can match your angle of approach to the launch angle, the more efficiently you impart energy to the ball and the farther it will go. For instance, if my driver loft is 10 degrees and my ideal launch angle when the ball takes off is 16 degrees, then the ideal angle of approach would be a club ascending to the ball at a 6% angle (6% angle plus 10% face loft—16% launch angle). For instance, when I am in long drive competitions I typically use a 5% lofted driver. Most clubs used in long drive are 48” in length—the USGA’s maximum allowed length. For every inch of driver length above 45” there is a corresponding increase in driver loft at impact of about 1 degree (due to the action on the shaft—sag and deflection). So the net effective loft of my 5 degree driver is about 8 degrees. My Launch Angle My ideal launch angle is around 12 to 14 degrees. I know this because I have hit thousands of balls on a launch monitor. That means my ideal swing path is 5 degrees up at the ball. My spin rate is lower than most, around 2,200 rpm, and this combination produces for me the ideal trajectory PLUS roll-out/release when the ball lands. That is one of the reasons most long drivers tee the ball up higher than normal. They are using a lower lofted club to reduce the amount of backspin, and compensating for the lower launch angle by swinging up slightly more during the swing. A 14 degree launch angle is not ideal for wet conditions. When the ground is wet, I need to increase my launch angle to 16-18 degrees to get the best combination of air time/roll-out. I usually tee the ball up a little higher (only about ½ inch), and move the ball slightly forward (only about ¾ inch) to get a little more air time. Try to Shallow out Your Swing How much is a 4 or 5 degree angle of approach? Not much. If you laid a standard 45” driver on the ground and put a golf ball under the end of the grip you would be at about 4 degrees. That is why the swing is generally described as a “U” shaped swing rather than a “V” shaped swing. What this means is that you don’t have to start making big adjustments in your swing by swinging more upward. In fact, the opposite is probably true. The average golfer probably has too high of an entry and exit angle (the “V” swing), Try to think more about how you shallow out your swing to get closer to a “U” shape. You’re Launch Angle For the average golfer, the ideal launch angle is between 16 degrees and 20 degrees. Average golfers need to maximize their air time rather than optimize trajectory for roll-out. Generally the slower the swing speed, the higher the launch angle needs to be, so carry distance can be maximized. The need for more air time is one of the reasons some people tee it up higher. It is also one of the reasons seniors and ladies typically play with a higher lofted driver. The air provides significantly less friction/ resistance than the ground. If your ball travels 10% farther on the ground once it hits you’d be doing well. That means for a 240-yard drive, if you got another 20-25 yards of roll you’d be pleased. In summary, there are three elements of distance: club head speed, centre contact, and angle of approach. As stated, the most important by far is speed.

If you are a good player looking to take your game to the next level this is amazing.

Ball Flight: This is the best technical information on ball flight we have ever seen. You do need to read it carefully, and with your driver in hand go through all the swing paths that are detailed.   Just imagine being to stand on the tee and know you can shape your shots, fade, draw, add a complete new dimension to your game.

The direction the ball travels is determined by the club path (straight, left/pull, right/ push) while the shape of the shot (straight, slice, hook) is determined by the face angle, which produces side spin. Thus, a straight golf shot is a square path and a square face. If you had a weight on the end of a string and you imagined it swinging back and forth like a pendulum you could easily imagine a straight-back, straight-through path. If you could tilt the string to match the angle of your club shaft at address and somehow manipulate gravity so the weight would still swing straight back and forth the same way, you would have a straight-back, straight-through club path. To someone standing behind the weight the path would look like an arc. Swing Path and Ball Flight There are three possible swing paths: straight, outside-in (right to left), and inside-out (left to right). There are only 3 possible ball flights: straight, slice (left to right), and hook (right to left). If you put the two together, you have 9 possible shots depending on the path of the club and the angle of the clubface. Ball Path 1: Straight Shots a. Straight—Square/square (square path, square face angle) b. Pull—a straight shot to the left. Outside-in path/square face. c. Push—A Straight shot to the right. Inside-out path/square face.

Notice that the first three shot patterns all describe a straight ball flight. The club face is square in each. The only variable is the club path, which affects the direction). Ball Path 2: Fade/Slice Shots a. Slice—the ball starts out straight toward the target, but curves to the right. Square path/open face b. Pull-Slice—The ball starts out left of the target and curves right back toward the target. Outside-in path/open face c. Push-Slice—the ball starts out going right and then curves even more to the right. Inside-out path/open face (Notice again in all three slice examples the face is the same—open— but the path is different). Ball Path 3: Draw/Hook Shots a. Draw—square path/closed face b. Pull-draw—outside-in path/closed face c. Push-draw—inside-out path/closed face (Notice that with a draw the club face is closed, and the only variable is the swing path. A closed face at impact will impart the kind of sidespin that will make the ball travel right to left). Why do I take the time to describe the shot patterns? If you are trying to fix a slice by adjusting your swing path you are in for a frustrating effort. You are addressing the wrong issue. A slice is caused by an open club face at impact. You need to address the swing issues that cause the face angle change. Hitting The Shot You Want Similarly, if you are trying to achieve a particular shot—and we all would love to hit a little draw with the driver a slight push-draw—a shot that starts out down the right centre of the fairway and draws back 5-10 yards to the centre), then you know you need a slightly inside-out swing (to achieve the push path) with a slightly closed club face at impact (for the draw action). Notice I said “slight.” 1 or 2 degrees here is all you’ll need. Often students think that if a little is good, a lot must be even better. Not true! Keep it in moderation, and have it occur as naturally as possible. I’m interested in studying ball flight laws and the laws of physics because I know that if I concentrate on refining and maximizing the physical components of the swing (as they relate to the laws of physics), I can help my students maximize distance. The point of this information is not to supplant the “eye” and knowledge of a trained professional. The point is to give you a foundational understanding of the elements that really contribute to distance and accuracy. This knowledge will allow you to apply the concepts to your own unique circumstance to develop a solution that works best for you.

This takes lots of practise – do not try to introduce it into your competitive game until you are confident you every shot on the range or in practises rounds.

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