Tips for Longer Drives

Launch your ball even farther with these expert tips

Everyone wants to hit the long ball. It’s fun to knock it past your playing partners, whether you’re competing with one another or not. Some people will tell you it doesn’t matter as much as other parts of the game, but we all play for fun. Isn’t it fun to hit the ball far? The answer is absolutely yes.

Gain an extra 10 to 15 yards (or more) without all the hard work.

Not only is it fun to drive it far, but it also helps more than some would like to admit. After all, look at the professional tours, where all the top players are chasing distance gains. Hitting your drive farther gives you a better chance to hit a green or knock it close because you’ll have a shorter club in your hands. No one would rather hit a 4-iron into a green over a 6. If given the choice, every golfer would choose the shorter club 100 times out of 100.

It’s one thing to desire more distance, but it’s another thing completely to actually attain it. Now, you could spend the entire offseason in the gym lifting weights, stretching and doing speed-training drills to gain an extra 20 yards, but that’s a lot of work that’s not a ton of fun.

The good news is, there are some simple things you can do right away that’ll help you gain an extra 10 to 15 yards (or more) without all the hard work.

The first thing you have to realize is that your instincts are probably wrong. When most players try to hit the ball farther, they grip the club tighter and try to swing faster by tensing up their muscles. Unfortunately, that does the exact opposite, limiting the length of your backswing and stopping your hands from rotating through impact well. Instead, keep your grip loose and rotate your hands both to the right on the club (for a right-handed player). This is often called a strong grip, but it has more to do with the position of your hands rather than the intensity of the pressure.

Then, you’re going to want to keep your arms and shoulder muscles loose as well while making your backswing as long as possible. The length of your backswing allows your club head more time to gain speed. Many people like to say you shouldn’t “go past parallel” at the top of your swing, but that’s just not true. (Go pull up Brooke Henderson’s swing on YouTube.) Going past parallel can actually help you increase distance as long as you can get your timing down at impact.

Finally, pay attention to your front foot (left foot for right-handed players). Try two simple things with that foot: First, flare it open a bit at address. This opens your hips and allows you to clear them through impact a bit quicker. Also, at the top of your swing, try picking the front heel off the ground. This helps lengthen your swing and shifts more weight through impact. Again, you might’ve been told to keep that foot flat on the ground, but there’s nothing that says that’s better than the alternative. Again, look up a swing on YouTube for proof: Arnold Palmer’s.

Spend a little time on the range trying those things and you’ll quickly realize you have the ability to hit the ball farther than you previously thought.

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