Top Instructional Tips on Longer Drives
The million dollar question. Everyone wants to hit the ball as far as Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson, but I will be the first to tell you, hitting the ball as far as they do just does not exist for the average golfer… heck, even the best golfers in the world can’t keep up with these two guys. During this section, I will cover how to hit the ball longer… realistically longer that is. Everyone wants to add distance, which there is nothing wrong with that, but there is a correct way to add distance, and you can continue to pack on the yards as time progresses – but first, we need to get to the basics of adding distance, then you can work on your game from there.
The most important thing to look at when wanting to hit the ball father, is tempo. Tempo is the absolute key to hitting the ball farther. When you have solid tempo, the contact with the ball is much more consistent, and you are hitting the center of the clubface more often as well. I realize that Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson swing very hard, I mean they swing so fast it is unfathomable. With that said, they still maintain a consistent tempo throughout their swing, which allows for them to make solid contact with the ball, and ultimately allowing them to hit the ball farther. I realize that everyone wants to drive the ball over 300 yards, which is only realistic for some (80% of the professional golfers don’t even average 300 yards off the tee), but if you want to hit the ball farther focus on one important thing, tempo.
I know I went on and on about tempo, but there are some other factors that will help with driving it longer. The best thing that I have found is keeping my hands lower at address. This keeps my arms quit throughout my swing, allowing for the core of my body to do all of the work… and allowing for more consistent contact as well. The best swing to look at for this portion, is Jim Furyk. I know he looks like he is swinging a garden hose throughout his swing, but I don’t want you to look at that. Take a good look at his set up prior to hitting the golf ball. He keeps his hands lower, which allows him to keep his arms quiet throughout the swing. To work on this set up, simply address the ball as you normally would. Now bring your arms up (keep everything else where it is), and drop your forearms closer to your body until you feel relaxed. From here, simply drop the club back down… I bet your club head is closer to you than to the ball, right? This is a good thing, because we will now correct this and prevent you from using your arms too much throughout the swing. Now, step close to the ball and keep your arms relaxed at the setup. I realize this will feel a bit too close to the ball at first, but just trust me, and trust your swing. From here, take your normal swing and enjoy. This will take some getting used to, it took me weeks to truly trust this setup, but the results are second to none. You will begin to see more consistent contact with the ball, and added distance because the core is doing all of the work for you.
Although the proper set up and tempo is vital to hitting the ball farther, your equipment does play a big role in driving distance. When looking at your equipment, the first thing you want to check out is your shaft. To hit the ball farther, you need a shaft that truly fits your swing, and nine times out of ten you don’t have the correct shaft currently. You can find plenty of info online regarding shaft stiffness and swing speed, or you can visit your local club fitter and be set up with the correct shaft within minutes. When looking, consider shaft stiffness, torque, and butt stiffness. These are all major factors in choosing the shaft that fits your swing the best. Along with the proper shaft, you need to take a look at your driver head, particularly the loft. If you want to add distance, you need to be suing the proper degree of driver. For example, an 8 degree driver will not go as high as a 10 degree, which can hinder your carry in the air. As with the shaft, look around online or visit your local club repair guy. Personally, I recommend a 10 degree driver, if you are looking to not only hit the ball higher and longer, but add some extra roll to the end of your shot.