A foolproof way to properly load up in the backswing for increased distance

Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a new GOLF.com 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.

Whether you’re a pro or just a weekend warrior who’s trying to break 100 for the first time, every single golfer wants to hit the ball farther. Unfortunately for the latter category of golfers, increasing speed and improving balance takes a little bit more time to master before the results show up.

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So how can an amateur like you or me increase distance? By working on swing fundamentals in order to generate more power.

This is where GOLF Teacher to Watch Jake Thurm comes in, with the video above showing a foolproof drill that helps load up in the backswing in order to increase distance with each shot.

Take a look below to see what Thurm has to say, and then give this a try for yourself to start experiencing huge gains.

This alignment rod drill will help increase distance

According to Thurm, in order to increase distance, you must learn how to load up in your backswing. By doing so, this will create more opportunity for swing speed and power as you come through impact.

“What I want to show you today is how to load your trail side in the backswing, which will give you more potential to [increase] distance,” he says.

Instead of just going out and swinging as hard as you can, though, Thurm says that using three alignment rods (available here) will help you learn the basics.

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“I’ve got three alignment rods here, with one off my trail hip, one through my [first two] belt loops, and then one on the ground that’s slightly askew. It’s not quite in line with the ball position, so it’s a little bit more at an angle,” he instructs.

Thurm first demonstrates how the alignment rods should be positioned, focusing on the one through his belt loops lining up with the one that’s on the ground.

Golf instructor demonstrates the movement of the swing.
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As he takes a practice swing, he shows the importance of rotating the pelvis and lining the rods up.

“This is a great visual cue,” he adds. “I am shifting my lower center back into my right hip, and that’s going to be done very quickly in the swing.

“But I’m not just shifting it, I’m adding a rotational component to the lower body.”

Next, Thurm shows how the drill should feel, ensuring that the full rotation exists in the top of the swing, which will help generate more power.

“That’ll be at the top of the swing, so that’s how you load your right side,” he says.

“If you want to hit the ball the farthest, you want to create speed. So not only do you need to load laterally to the trail side, but you need to rotate as well.”

So take this to the practice range with you and see if you can load up, properly rotate, and experience an increase in distance.

Nick Dimengo

Golf.com Editor