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Top 100 Teacher: One key to gaining distance that you’re probably overlooking

October 3, 2019

Distance is something every golfer wants more of, even if they’re not always sure how to get it. Often, their solutions revolve around the obvious: More turn, more weight shift, and swinging longer, harder, and faster. All of which will probably help you hit the ball longer, it must be said, but it’s usually quite difficult to do. Instead, there’s a something simpler golfers should be focusing on, which GOLF Top 100 Teacher Tony Ruggiero explains in the video below.

Focus on Making Solid Contact, not swinging ‘harder’

It’s true that professional golfers swing significantly faster than the rest of us (though the overall average might not be as high as you think), but crucially, they’re hitting the ball closer to the sweet spot more often. They’re connecting more solidly. We know because Smash Factor generally decreases the higher golfer’s handicap is.

Driver Smash Factor By Ability Level

PGA Tour player: 1.49
Scratch of Better: 1.49
5 HCP: 1.45
10 HCP: 1.45
Average Golfer (14.5): 1.44
Bogey Golfer: 1.43

Smash Factor maxes out at 1.50. The closer you are to that number, the more efficiently you’re transferring energy into the golf ball.

And that, Ruggiero says, is what you should be focusing on to increase distance. Reset your goal to making solid contact more often.

“Professional golfers are extremely good at finding the center of the clubface almost every time,” he says.

To help you do that, follow Ruggiero’s three golden rules from a previous video (which you can watch here):

  1. Look at your grip
  2. Neutralize your swing path
  3. Develop your pivot