Add easy yards off the tee with this 1 small setup tweak

rory mcilroy huts a tee shot during the 2018 pga championship

Everyone could use a few extra yards off the tee, and you can get them simply by adjusting to hit a different shot shape.

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Golf instruction is ever-evolving, but the best advice stands the test of time. In’s new series, Timeless Tips, we’re highlighting some of the greatest advice teachers and players have dispensed in the pages of GOLF Magazine. Today we have a tip on adding power to your swing from our April 1986 issue. For unlimited access to the full GOLF Magazine digital archive, join InsideGOLF today; you’ll enjoy $140 of value for only $39.99/year.

Hitting the ball longer is something that all golfers should strive for. There is no substitute for a distance advantage over your opponents. If you want to take your game to the next level, leveling up your power is a must.

Actually finding those extra yards isn’t so simple, though. A couple options are getting fit for a driver suited to your swing, or going through a speed training program. Each has its merits and will help you squeeze a few extra yards out of your driver.

But what if there was a way to get those extra yards without all that fuss? Lucky for you, dear power-hungry reader, there just might be. Below, you’ll find an article from the April 1986 issue of GOLF Magazine that explains how you can add yards to your drives simply by changing your shot shape.

1 tweak for more power

You’d give anything to hit your shots 10 yards longer. Add that to both your drives and your approaches and you’d reach several more holes in regulation. 

You may not have the time or energy to work on building physical strength, and you don’t want to change your swing, either: Despite its shortcomings, it’s dependable. Assuming you hit a straight ball, you can gain substantial distance by adjusting your setup so that the draw becomes your basic shot. If you currently hit a fade, you’ll gain even more. 

Why a draw goes farther

When you hit a ball dead straight, at impact your club is moving along the target line with the face exactly perpendicular to that line, so that you’re striking the shot with the club’s true amount of loft. 

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To hit the draw, however, the clubface must be slightly closed or turned to the left relative to the path of the club. A closed clubface carries a little less than its true loft. So not only does the club impart right-to-left sidespin, it also launches the ball at a lower angle. So the draw will carry a touch farther than the straight shot, as well as gain added roll after it lands. 

Draw with your setup

Ordinarily, you’d align your body so that lines across your shoulders, hips and toes run parallel to the target line. Instead, align yourself so that these same lines point either directly at your target or a touch to the right of it, depending on how much draw you want. 

While lining up your body a little right, remember to set the clubface squarely at the target. Then swing normally along your body line. The clubface will be closed relative to that line at impact, imparting sidespin so that the ball starts on your body line but draws left, finishing on the target. 

If you currently fade or slice the ball, you’ll need to make a bigger adjustment in your aim since you probably aim left of the target. As you adjust your body, however, be sure to keep the clubhead facing the target so you get the necessary right-to-left sidespin. 

One other tip to enhance a draw: Move the ball back in your stance an inch or two. This ensures that the clubhead path points to the right of the target line at the moment of impact. 

Practice until you’re accustomed to the new setup and can marry it to your normal swing. Take note of the changes in total distance your shots travel with each club so that you can plan for added distance. 

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at