By Paul Myers
On his way to winning the U.S. Open at Oakmont, Dustin Johnson hit one impressive fade after another. Most golfers think they need to turn the ball over from right to left in order to hit it a long way, but Johnson proves that theory to be completely incorrect. Hitting a cut on nearly every hole, Johnson easily led the field in driving distance – and was incredibly accurate at the same time. While you might not ever be able to launch the ball down the fairway with the power and control that DJ showed at Oakmont, you can learn from his example to improve your own driving ability.
The following tips will help you to produce a powerful tee shot that falls slightly to the right (for a right handed golfer).
Attack from the Inside
This is one of the biggest misconceptions among amateur golfers. Most players thing they need to hit across the ball from outside-in if they want to produce a fade, but that is not true. If you want the ball to fade, you simply need to make sure that the face is open relative to the path that you take into impact. In order to create power, you need to attack aggressively from the inside, rather than wiping across the ball weakly from the outside. So, to launch a powerful drive that fades into the middle of the fairway, the best thing you can do is attack from the inside with a slightly open club face. Once you find the right balance of path and face angle to create a tight fade, you will see just how effective this ball flight pattern can be.
Keep Turning Through the Shot
One of the many things Dustin Johnson does well in his swing is continue his body rotation all the way through the shot. Rather than stopping is body turn as so many players do in the downswing, Johnson turns hard through the ball to keep the club face in a good position at impact. If you stop turning, or even if you slow down your turn, you will run the risk of flipping the face over and hitting a hook. Focus your efforts on turning your lower body through the shot aggressively and you will love the outcome of your new swing.
There is nothing quite like confidence to enable you to hit great drives. Players who lack confidence will always have trouble hitting fairways, as low confidence usually leads to weak swings through the hitting area. Spend enough time practicing your fade on the range to build up confidence, and then turn your swing loose when you get onto the course. It isn’t always easy to swing without fear, but that is exactly what you need to do if you are ever going to play your best when it matters most.