Distance off the tee can give you a huge advantage over your competitors, being able to hit wedges into par fours, rather than 5 irons, and hitting par 5’s two can drastically reduce your score (assuming you can putt, of course). Sadly, golfers tend lean towards the self-destructive swing techniques when trying to gain those extra yards. Use these distance tips below, and you may just find yourself a little farther down the fairway.
Smooth & Slow Transition
I often see players make quick, rushed swings in attempts of getting more yards. I understand the logic, if you swing harder the ball will go further right? Well, the truth is, a rushed swing disrupts your entire rhythm. The top of your backswing is of the utmost importance – the transition, as it is called, is what sets your swing on the proper downward path to the ball. If this is rushed (usually by the smaller muscles like the hands and wrists) you’ll unwind too quickly, resulting in an over-the-top motion. This move will force you to release you wrists from their cocked position too early, reducing your overall swing speed, and distance. You must ensure you complete your turn at the top, and transition smoothly and slowly before accelerating down to the ball.
Think about it… you’re not hitting the ball with your backswing, so how exactly does speeding it up help you hit the ball further? Slow it down at the top!
Loosen Up Your Small Muscles
This may be news to many of you, but a harder swing doesn’t require a tighter grip. Tension is a power killer. A golf swing is much more powerful if all your key joints can move freely and quickly when they have to. Your wrists and arms play the biggest role in power creation in the golf swing. They must be loose and flexible to be able to cock, rotate and bend through impact to maximize the power your swing can create. They are crucial in creating and retaining wrist cock, and lag, which is the snap you need for long drives.
Your grip pressure should be quite light at address, so light in fact that if you gripped a new tube of toothpaste, your grip pressure would not cause a drop of it to leave the tube. Many of you may claim to have a loose grip at address, but where it really counts is on the downswing. This tip is what separates the long hitters from those who continue to buy a new driver every year. Relax the arms and grip throughout the swing!
Extend on the Backswing
Unlike your fellow passengers on cramped flight, wider is better. Your backswing sets the stage for the top of your backswing. The wider the arc you create, the longer the club will have to speed up before it reaches impact. Hit the range, pull out your driver, and take a few swings in slow motion (no ball this time). Keep a close eye on your lead arm as you start your backswing… is it straight and locked? It should be. Your lead arm plays the biggest role in extension during the backswing. Perform some practice swings and focus on keeping your lead arm straight until you reach the top of the backswing, this is what extension feels like.
Take a look at this picture; you’ll notice even at the top, my lead arm is dead straight. This plays a huge roll in creating extension, width, and is key to hitting the ball further.
Give it a shot!