Better to be 20 Yards Short than 80 Yards Wide

Published 24/09/2012 07:34:00

Golfers are always seeking to hit the ball further. How do the pros hit it so far? Two things: clubhead speed and good ball contact. Combining the two creates greater distance in your shots.

Unfortunately, the two must be in sync for your shots to work. A greater clubhead speed combined with poor ball striking will simply result in a slice or another failed shot. And by the same token, a good impact with the ball in the "sweet spot" of your club won't guarantee a massive drive if you swing like a 60-year-old woman.

What controls clubhead speed?

The following factors control clubhead speed:

  • How fast you rotate your body
  • How fast you swing your arms
  • How fast and well timed you release your hands

In turn, the amount of power you generate from your legs determines how fast you rotate the body which in turn dictates the speed that your arms swing through the shot.

One good thing to remember is even though you need to be like a coiled spring through a power shot, don't tense your arms like you're a bodybuilder - relax them and let the hips do the work.

Start the swing by turning the legs and hips to where you intend to hit the ball, which will start the arms swinging. Coupled with fast, loose hands, the system of movement should guarantee a poweful swing.

All of the power comes from the legs - your arms and upper body are just along for the ride. If you're swinging with your arms then you will soon hit a brick wall in terms of distance - unless you happen to be Arnold Schwarzenegger!

In fact, those stronger players who feel as if they can just muscle their way through are often disappointed. Don't let that happen to you.

Finally, don't try and swing too fast on every shot. Aim for 80-90% of your max swing speed. Swinging faster will mean your contact could be jeapordised more often than you'd like.

Better to be 20 yards short than 50 yards wide.

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