Two thoughts for more distance on your golf shots

Published 04/10/2010 07:44:00

Being able to hit the ball straight doesn't necessarily say anything about your ability -- your handicap could be 3 or 33. Which means that while many players could use a few extra yards, you shouldn't all go about finding them the same way.


Average Players: Swing a Sledgehammer

For players whose mechanics aren't perfect, the most likely source of more distance isn't a bigger shoulder turn (requires flexibility) or a powerful leg drive (difficult to master) but a more effective swing. Learn to cock, uncock, and release your wrists and you'll produce a longer backswing, a draw, and more distance.


You can't manipulate the wrists to get there. It comes from clubhead awareness. If the clubhead swings your hands and arms back and through, all that wrist cocking -- and clubhead speed -- will come naturally. Imagine that you are swinging a sledgehammer: Once you get the club started, the head is so heavy that it swings itself. Imagine that the heavy head makes the club dip past parallel so you can feel the clubhead at the top of the swing. To start the downswing, simply get the club moving in the right direction; gravity will take care of it the rest of the way. The result of all this imagery will be looser muscles, allowing the club to swing more effectively.


Better Players: Break the Ribbon

Agile players with more flexibility may get extra yards from a downswing thought. Better players often lose distance because their bodies get lazy in the downswing, leaving only the arms and hands to propel the club through impact. The most powerful part of your body -- the torso, from hips to shoulders -- must contribute to produce distance.


Imagine that a ribbon runs from your left hip to the tee. On the downswing, turn the right hip through so you break the ribbon. This forces you to rotate your right hip aggressively through impact without sliding your left toward the target. Your shoulders, arms, and club will follow, maximizing clubhead speed.


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