The modern Driver club head on the left is more than twice as large as
the 1970's version.  The modern Driver is also longer and lighter.  (46
inches in length compared to 43.5" and only 10.5 ounces in weight
compared to 12 3/4).
Space Age technology has made this possible both in the Heads
(Titanium) and the shafts (graphite).

The larger club head size and lighter weight make is possible to swing
faster with more forgiveness on off center hits.  Just like the oversize
Tennis Racket changed Tennis, the Modern Driver has changed the
game of Golf.   Junior Golfers can hit the ball well over 300 yards today
because they are being taught to hit the ball as hard as they can.   
Back when I learned to play (I played with George Washington) you had
to focus on hitting the ball in the "sweet spot" or it went no where.   
TIP: To achieve the maximum distance with the new modern 460 cc Driver. I recommend that you set up by
placing the ball more forward in your stance.  Use a tall tee and play the ball off your left toe. Try to sweep
the ball off the tee, keeping your head at least 4 inches in back of the ball and try to actually hit the ball
slightly on the upswing.  This is tricky, and can be hard to do if your normal swing is a slice because a slice
swing is usually a steep downswing.  A steep downswing could cause you to pop the ball up or top it.  Every
effort should be made to use a shallow downswing and to achieve a straight or slightly right to left ball flight
Golf Balls have also changed and improved dramatically over the past 10 years.   You will no longer
find balls that are wound with rubber thread.   The modern ball is made in layers and can be custom fit to
your swing speed and the type of course that your play.   Next lesson at the academy, compare your golf
ball for spin, launch, and ball speed with some of these awesome new balls.   
TIP:  There is an art to hitting the modern driver.  Due to the size of the head it must be hit on the upswing.
This is the opposite of the way to hit the ball on the ground with an iron or fairway wood.  The fairway shot
must be hit just before the bottom of the swing arch, the modern driver should be hit just past the bottom of
the swing arch.
Study the photos below.  The picture on the right is actually Tiger Woods
drive at impact.  Notice where the ball is striking the face.   The point of
maximum compression on the modern driver is relatively high on the face.  
This is because the center of gravity is much higher that a fairway wood.
MORE DISTANCE PLEASE!  This has been the request of every student that I see.
The good news is that there are some relatively easy ways to pick up some extra yards.   
The bad news is that you also have to find the ball once you hit it.  So distance without accuracy is often
counterproductive.       
 
In future newsletters I will talk about improving your accuracy.  This month lets just have some fun and talk
about increasing your club head speed.

Most of my male students average around 80 miles per hour of club head speed with their driver.  This
would result in a 200 yard drive.  (You get 2.5 yards per mph on a solid hit).  Most of my female students
average 60 mph and hit it about 150 yards.  Adding just 4 mph of speed would mean an increase of 10
yards.  This is a realistic goal and it can be achieved in a relatively short period of time (30 days).

There are three factors that can affect your speed and hence your distance.  In order of importance, they
are Swing Mechanics, Golf Specific Fitness, and Equipment.

Equipment is the easiest way to a few extra yards, so lets look at the modern Driver and the modern Golf
Ball and see how they can help you.   
January 2011 Newsletter:  Keys to increasing distance:
How equipment can affect your distance.
Compare the two drivers below:
TIP:  One of the difficulties of swinging the modern driver is that its overall light weight is often very difficult
to "time" or swing with good rhythm.  This is especially true if you are used to gripping too tightly and if you
have a tendency to try to "hit the ball hard" on the downswing.   A great drill is to turn the club around and
swing the grip end on some practice swings.  Listen for the "swishing sound."  Gripping the club head end
and swinging the grip end will force you to lighten your hands and get a feel for swinging.  This is vital.
TIP:
If you are playing in a
temperature of 60 degrees or
colder.  Try a ball that is
designed for much lower swing
speeds than yours.
For example, if you normally
swing your driver at 90 mph,
play a ball designed for 70 mph.
The reason is that cold
temperature will make the ball
harder and it will not compress
as well.  I love the Srixon Ball,
and also the Bridgestone Ball.
I do have them in the Academy.
To conclude:  Evaluating your driver and your golf ball are the first steps that I would make to
maximize your distance.  You won't need to break a sweat or hit the range to check out these two keys.
Next month, it gets harder.   I will be suggesting some swing ideas and fitness ideas.  Adding 25 Yards is
possible, but it will require all three keys:  Equipment, Technique, and Fitness.
Great golfing to you in 2011.