5 Top 100 Teacher-approved tips to boost your driving distance
Right around the turn of the century, golf changed for good. Equipment advances started to come at a quicker pace, balata balls were replaced by ones with solid cores, and Tiger Woods changed how golfers were viewed as athletes. The confluence of these three things added up to one big thing — distance. And that increase in distance has only skyrocketed since.
Earlier this year, the USGA and R&A partnered to release a distance report giving insights into just this phenomenon. While they didn’t commit to changing anything about the game, they did acknowledge that golf does have a slight distance problem with an arms race on its hands.
Bryson DeChambeau has taken the quest for distance to the next level as he’s beefed up in order to mash the ball never-before-seen lengths. And he’s not alone. Other pros have begun rethinking how they attack the golf course as advanced analytics continue to illustrate how beneficial distance is in the modern game.
In short, every player should be looking to increase their distance. The numbers don’t lie. But that’s easier said than done. That’s where we come in. We asked several GOLF Top 100 Teachers for their input on the best way to increase your distance off the tee. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Increase the speed of the backswing
One of the biggest things amateur golfers can do to increase their clubhead speed is to increase the speed of their backswing. This has a couple benefits:
1. The greater the intensity of the backswing, generally the bigger the hip and shoulder turn. This helps to lengthen the swing, giving them more time to accumulate speed on the downswing.
2. A fast backswing takes a larger muscular contraction to slow down the club and body in transition. Think of a vertical jump. To jump your highest, you wouldn’t lower yourself slowly then try to jump fast. You would lower your self fast to rebound quickly out of the bottom of the jump. This is exactly what happens in transition with long hitters.
2. Stay back longer during the downswing
Keeping the trail shoulder back longer during the downswing while accelerating the arms, wrists and club through impact is a critical power move for the driver. Most golfers deliver the club to the ball using their torso and never tap into the firing power available from the arms and wrists. It’s as if they are carrying the club through impact rather than releasing it.
The old saying: “ keep your back to the target to start the forward swing” is accurate, as long as the student accelerates their wrists and arms. This motion also keeps the head behind the ball until after impact which helps to launch the ball higher with less spin, a key ingredient for maximizing distance with the driver.
3. Proper shoulder tilt at address
One of the easiest way to increase your distance on your tee shots it to set your shoulder angle at address to launch. You can accomplish this by positioning your ball forward in your stance, and in line with the instep of your lead foot. When you do this, your shoulders should tilt back and away from the target so that your lead shoulder is higher than your trail shoulder. This will allow you to have a proper swing path into your driver so that your club is “smashing” into the back of your golf ball and sending it out. Properly tilted shoulders can look a bit odd visually at first as when you set up properly your eye line will also be tilted as your head should still be centered in your shoulders. Remember this is just a starting position and once you start your swing it is correct to move athletically.
4. Make harder practice swings
One great way to increase distance is simply moving the club faster. When the club moves faster the opportunity for increased distance is enhanced. To do this, simply start making practice swings up off the ground. Hold the club head at knee level, swing the club back and thru at that height and listen for the sound the club makes thru the air. Work to get the sound as loud as possible without losing your balance. The louder the swooshing sound, the greater the clubhead speed and the more potential for increased distance.
5. Use your wrists
Once you are set up properly at address, it can be a huge distance generator to allow your wrists to move. A proper grip where the club is held in your fingers should allow security without tension so that you can use your wrists throughout your swing, which can dramatically increase clubhead speed and distance. This is particularly helpful for women and seniors who may not be as strong, but can use this efficient setup and speed generator found in your wrists to make huge strides in distance.