Let me start by saying that I don’t necessarily recommend this method for higher handicap golfers. Developing two swings to use exclusively with your driver is best reserved for lower handicap players. If you’re a 15 handicap, just keep working on developing one solid swing that gives you consistent results off the tee.
So what do I mean by “two” swings? If you watch 99% of the pro’s on tour today, you will notice that they have their standard issue swing with a driver that will produce the most consistent results. This swing is not a full power swing, but a more controlled, balanced swing that gives them good distance, but more importantly finds the fairway more often than not. However, they also have the “reserve” swing where they tap into that extra power source when they really need to hit one in order to carry bunkers or get past the corner of a dog leg. It’s a risk vs. reward swing.
Unfortunately, most amateur golfers use the same “swing hard every time” swing when they pull out the driver and rarely do they have the mindset of backing off the power meter a notch, sacrificing a few yards or two in order to keep the ball in play. This is a huge mistake and will cost you strokes..guaranteed.
So how do you develop these two different swings? Well it’s really not a matter of changing the swing itself, merely generating more clubhead speed by firing your hips a little more than normal. For my control driver swing, I like to create a mental image of Vijay Singh’s swing. It’s very rhythmic and long, with no changes in speed. It has a great pace from takeaway to follow through. This is a perfect model for your controlled swing with the driver that you should be using 75% of the time. I like to take a slightly narrower stance, move the ball back a tad and even choke town on the club by an inch. This provides much better control and makes you take a more controlled swing that will provide far greater accuracy.
For the times you need that extra juice, it’s just a matter of getting the lower body and hips turning a little quicker. You’ll want to take a slightly wider stance for a larger base to swing around, but it’s important to keep good balance and keep your swing mechanics the same. The additional lower body speed will help create that extra “lag” and club head speed that will give you the extra yardage. Tiger is such a great example of a player who has two different swings on the tee. When he goes after one, you can instantly see how the lower body squats and turns to provide additional torque.. much more than his normal swing with a driver.
Next time you’re at the practice tee, work on taking rhythmic, moderate tempo swings and developing your “go to” driver swing that will get you in the fairway more often than not. You’ll find that by not swinging out of your shoes every time, you’ll make much more solid contact, and not lose much distance at all. You can always tap into your power reserves when you want to cut a corner or give yourself a good chance to go for a par 5 in two.
Once you develop these two swing styles with your driver, you’ll be playing smarter golf and saving strokes at the same time. Good luck.