Have you ever heard the old cliche drive for show and putt for dough?
As you know there are many games within the game of golf. There’s your chipping game, putting game, mental game, iron game, and power game. With only so much time in the day to devote to practice, you need to maximize your time by practicing what influences your scoring the most.
So if you believe it your time should be spent on practicing your short game and putting. Recently I have moved away from that idea and instead would much rather increase my distance and improve accuracy with my irons over putting and chipping.
I’m assuming you believe the same since you are reading this post. Let’s be more like Happy Gilmore.
The average driving distance for players on the PGA tour is 290 yards. If your goal is to become a single digit handicap I would say the absolute minimum you can hit your driver is 250 yards.
Regardless of how far you are hitting the ball now the lessons below will improve your distance potential. I just want to stress if your driving distance is currently below 250 yards spend the next few months only working to improve your distance.
Comparing your driving distance to others can be very misleading. There are several external factors that can contribute to total driving distance. For example, golfers that play golf in high temperature high elevation environments are going to achieve dramatically superior results compared to the player at sea level with the exact same impact.
Keep your expectations realistic and determine your average carry distance. This will give you confidence off the tee knowing whether or not you can carry the bunker and what lines to take.
No matter what play your game and don’t let anyone else’s club selection off the tee influence your strategy.
Here are some simple changes that should instantly add distance to your drives no matter the conditions.
Tee the ball up higher.
If you find your ball floating in the air chances are you have too much spin and it’s killing your distance. Tee the ball up so that when you place your driver directly behind the ball half of the ball is completely above the driver. If this means barely putting the tee in the ground, so be it. This should indirectly increase your attack angle bringing the trajectory up and spin levels down.
If you are feeling really ambitious decreasing your drivers loft will increase compression and lower spin even more.
Consistent center contact.
Due to gear affect with your driver any off center hit will influence smash factor and spin. Get yourself some Dr. Scholls foot spray to spray on your clubface to see where you are making contact. Works even better than impact tape.
You want the ball to impact just above center. Shots hit low on the face will shoot the ball out low with lots of spin.
Toe indicate a path to the left. Heel shots could mean you are coming to far from the inside.
Positive attack angle.
Maximum distance with your drives is the combination of high launch low spin. The easiest way to achieve this is by increasing your attack angle. When the ball is on a tee it allows for an upward strike on the ball. A positive attack angle should feel very different than your irons and woods because with the ball on the ground you should always be hitting down.
Make sure your ball position is in the front of your stance opposite your left heel with the driver. This will drop your head well behind the ball creating a nice spine tilt away from the target.
If you look at all the longest drivers on the PGA Tour one thing they share in common is a massive spine tilt at and through impact. I think Jack Nicklaus and Bubba Watson are great examples.
Develop fast twitch muscles.
Training with the combination of a weighted golf club and alignment stick will give you both strength and speed.
I bought a Power hitter at 310 grams which is difficult to swing and should be. When training with a weighted club swing as hard as a can without sacrificing tempo and balance.
On the other hand when you swing an alignment stick or shaft forget about balance, timing, rhythm and swing as fast as you possible can. This should actually take much more effort than the weighted club.
Swing both right and left handed.
Hit the gym.
No excuses, find the time to get yourself into excellent shape. Just ask Gary Player.