8 tips for longer drives

Published 26/09/2009 08:28:22

Everyone wants to hit the ball further - it looks impressive and it can help shave shots off your game. A long drive can leave you with an easy approach shot and the chance of birdie. In this article I'll help you add power to your game, and hopefully shave shots off your score.

  1. Get practicing with the big stick

    Your local driving range is where you learn to hit the ball properly with the driver. Although it's not the best habit to endlessly hit drive after drive, it will help the muscle memory and prepare you for hitting big shots where it counts - on the golf course.

    Also get some lessons from a professional - your bad habits at the range will be made permanent if you don't start out right. Once you're confident of a good swing, you can "grip it and rip it" all day long.

    Never neglect your short game though - remember that it makes up around 50% of your shots whereas driving only makes up a few.

  2. Tee it high - let it fly

    Teeing the ball up higher will help you get more loft on the shot. This will add crucial yards in situations where the wind is with you, or where you're playing downhill. Also, rain might remove run from your shots so a shot that carries further will be more useful. Take a look at the top professionals - they get a lot of height on their shots for a reason - spin.

  3. How is your backswing?

    Are you taking a full backswing? Traditional golf teaching suggests you shouldn't swing past parallel and generally this is true. However, look at guys like John Daly - he swings a long way back and in his day was the biggest driver on the PGA Tour.

    The extra distance on your backswing will help in generating clubhead speed as you'll have more time to swing it. More clubhead speed will generally mean more distance.

    Be very careful in following this tip however, it could break your swing rhythm very easily.

  4. Get a good tempo and hit it hard

    A good, rhythmic golf swing is a beautiful thing. But to get a real power shot, you're going to have to swing fast and hit through the ball. Never swing so fast that you can't control it - you shouldn't be sacrificing accuracy for distance as a lost ball is a lot more costly than 30 yards distance.

  5. Work on your strength and flexibility

    Do some weight training for golf - no-one is expecting you to get jacked, but it's important in the modern game to have some musclature to keep up. Look at guys like Tiger Woods or Camilo Villegas  - they look after themselves and it shows.

    In terms of flexibility, this is perhaps the single most important thing to maintain your swing as you get older. Look at golf stretching routines and keep the muscles you use most in good order. Tom Watson is a guy who looks after himself and he nearly won the British Open at the age of 59!

  6. Stance and address

    Create a wide, powerful stance that keeps you upright and ready to hit the ball powefully. The driver is the biggest club you'll hit so balance is very important.

    Place the ball in line with your left heel - this will enable you to get extra loft and hit the ball on the upswing. Drivers are generally the least lofted clubs so you may need all the help you can get in this regard.

  7. Transfer your weight

    Your weight should transfer from right to left during the swing. You will start with it predominantly on your left foot, shift it to right on the backswing, and back to left on the throughswing.

    You should end the shot pointing at your target, with your right foot only touching the floor by the tip of your shoe. If it's still on the floor (like it would be in a short-iron shot) you probably haven't shifted your weight properly and lost torque and power.

  8. Check your equipment

    Your driver could be holding you back. Are the grips ok? Has the shaft got dents in? Does it have the right amount of flex for your swing? Is is the right length for your u

    If you are in doubt about any of these things, go to your local club shop and get the pro to help you out. But never splash out on a new club if you can't justify the purchase. Remember the retailers will do their best to make you walk out with the most expensive club they can.

If you follow these tips you should be able to add 10-50 yards onto your existing drives and lower your scores. But remember - never sacrifice a good swing for power. Showing off won't help you lower your scores.


1.  Some great tips, looking forward to what you have to say

comment by Daly's Peak - 15/03/2010 22:56

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