How to add distance without completely changing your golf swing

GOLF Teacher to Watch TJ Yeaton says gaining distance without completely redoing your swing is easy - just follow these tips

GOLF Teacher to Watch TJ Yeaton says gaining distance without completely redoing your golf swing is easy — just follow these tips!

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Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a series in which we’re sharing improvements, learnings and takeaways from amateur golfers just like you — including some of the speed bumps and challenges they faced along the way.

It’s no secret that every golfer obsesses over distance, longing for the secret recipe to hit the golf ball farther.

But as most amateur players know, just stepping up over the ball and swinging out of your shoes isn’t the best way to see the results you want. If that was the answer, everyone would do it. But that isn’t something that happens overnight.

In order to hit the golf ball farther, you need to understand how your body works, how the club works and how the swing works — and then figure out the most efficient way to generate enough speed and power to bomb your shots.

Think this is going to be an exhaustive process that requires a full reboot of your current swing? Think again. With the help of GOLF Teacher to Watch TJ Yeaton, you can see major gains in no time. Simply follow his tips below.

Do this to hit the golf ball farther without a full swing reboot

Hitting the ball farther makes the game more fun and enjoyable, and there’s a strong correlation between how far you hit it and how good you can potentially be. Many times, golfers will come to a lesson and say they think they hit it far enough, but just need to learn how to hit it straighter.

The reality is, these things are not mutually exclusive: So you can have your cake and eat it too.

So how can you learn how to hit the golf ball farther? Here are some good ways to start seeing more distance.

Just swing harder

Let’s start with the lowest-hanging fruit, swinging harder!

The more repetitions and shots you hit at a certain speed, the more you become conditioned to move that way. Oftentimes, when I ask golfers to try and hit it as hard as they can, they usually add 3-4 miles per hour instantly. This isn’t fast enough to change shot dispersion, so the outcomes are almost exactly the same — except they went farther.

If you were driving down the highway at 70 miles per hour with your foot on the pedal, would you notice if your car sped up to 73 miles per hour? Probably not. But when you do it in the golf swing, you might have the feeling that your swing is out of control. That feeling is simply moving your swing at a speed that’s slightly beyond what’s comfortable.

So at the end of each practice session, hit some shots with your driver as hard as you can, which will start to get you comfortable with faster speeds.

Use the right type of swing and loft

There are certain relationships we look for when it comes to impact. For instance, irons should be descending towards the ball and in a slightly delofted condition, resulting in average to above average club speeds. Drivers should be moving upwards in a slightly added lofted condition due to shaft deflection. All ball strikes should be towards the middle of the clubface.

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I’ll often see golfers who have clubhead speeds that should produce longer shots, but end up going shorter due to mismanaging the strike or loft of the club.

The best way to check this would be to get with your coach and review key metrics on a launch monitor. You’ll quickly learn all sorts of helpful nuggets this way.

Increase clubhead speed

OK, so you’re swinging harder and the club is impacting the ball in an effective manner, so the final piece of the puzzle is figuring out how to further increase clubhead speed.

In this regard, we have two options to look at: Increase the amount of force we apply to the club, or increase the amount of time we have to apply force to the club. The first would likely require a drastic overhaul in both physiology and technique, but the second doesn’t.

So how can we add clubhead speed without completely overhauling your swing? By increasing the length of your backswing.

To do this, increase the change in flex of the legs (where the left leg bends and right leg extends for righty golfers), turning both the pelvis and the torso to increase the length of your backswing. This often results in “effortless” power, since it makes the club swing faster with the same feelings you previously had.

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