Everyone wants to hit their drives farther. Whether you average 100 yards or 300 yards off the tee, we’re all on the search for the next 15.
The golf club companies will tell you that a new driver will do the trick, and it will if your current weapon of choice wasn’t made this decade. But you don’t have to spend $400 just to hit the ball farther.
Instead, in this article I’ll tell you how you can gain distance for free.
You don’t have to spend more time in the gym to find a little more pop. The six tips below will help you increase your overall driver distance in no time at all.
Flare Open Front Foot
First, flare open your front foot. Rotate your foot closest to the target, so that your toe points a little bit more down the line. It doesn’t have to point directly at the target, in fact, that’d probably hurt your distance (and blow out your knee). Try rotating it no more than 45 degrees.
Low angle close-up of the bottom of a golfer’s modern, new golf shoe on the green right after the swing.
This change will allow you to clear your hips and rotate them through the ball a little bit easier. In the golf swing, a lot of your power comes from the lower body, so this simple tweak will give your lower body a greater range of motion, resulting in added distance.
Relax Your Muscles
Next, relax your muscles. All of them!
A lot of times when golfers step up to a tee shot that they really want to hit hard, they tense or flex their muscles. This hurts overall distance instead of helps it because it limits our range of motion.
A relaxed muscle has a much greater range of motion than one that is contracted. This will allow you to have a longer backswing and create more club head speed through impact.
So, resist the temptation to tense up your muscles before, and during, the golf swing. This includes your grip. A lot of amateur golfers have a really tight grip and don’t even know it.
Our tendency is to grip tighter when under pressure. Make sure you keep your grip nice and loose too. Imagine your club is a tube of toothpaste with the cap off and pointing down towards the ground. If you were to swing that tube, no toothpaste should come out. That’s how loose your grip ought to be.
All the other muscles in your body will tend to follow your grip pressure.
There are two main factors that influence distance; swing speed and centeredness of contact. Never sacrifice centeredness of contact to gain swing speed though.
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The harder we swing, the less likely we are to hit the sweet spot. So, when you swing harder than normal, essentially what you’re doing is sacrificing centeredness of contact to gain swing speed. Instead, try swinging a little bit slower, about 85-90% intensity, to ensure that you hit the center of the clubface.
This consistency on the club face will result in more distance off the tee.
Wide Stance, Long Backswing
Most people know that with the driver, you should have a slightly wider stance than a normal shot. To get more distance, try a stance that is even a little wider than you’re used to.
This wider stance will give you increased balance and stability, leading to better contact, but it’ll also allow you to execute a longer backswing, while staying balance.
Most teachers want you to stop your backswing once the club is parallel to the ground. One of the reasons for this is because it’s the moment that gives the player the most club head speed without sacrificing balance. With a wider stance, your balance increases, so you can afford to swing a little past parallel to gain even more club head speed.
Tee High, Tilt Back
Next, there’s a little bit of a debate around the angle of attack with a driver. Some people say that you should swing slightly down on the ball, while others say that you should swing slightly up at the ball. In my opinion, swinging up at the ball is more effective for gaining distance. So, in order to get a little bit more of an upward swing at the ball through impact, tee the ball a little bit higher than normal and tilt your spine backwards. This spine tilt will allow you to catch the ball more on the upswing.
Swinging up on the ball gives your club more loft without changing the actual loft of the club. Basically, if struck solidly, the longer a ball is in the air, the farther it can travel. So, give yourself the best chance to get the ball up high by teeing it high and addressing the ball with a little spine tilt.
Finally, use a stronger grip. Now, above, I talked about maintaining a looser grip pressure. When I said “stronger” grip, I’m referring to the placement of your hands, not the pressure.
A strong grip is one that rotates slightly back, or clockwise, on the club’s grip itself. A stronger grip is going to force you to rotate the club through impact quicker and more effectively. It may also lead to a ball flight that draws, which also travels farther. So, be sure to play for this flight if you’re not used to it.
There you have it! If you want to put on a little show with your driving distance, give these six tips a try. I think you’ll start to notice a few more yards on your tee shots.
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