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How did you gain distance in your drive?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I just started in Golf last September. Since then I've been in the driving range maybe about 25 to 35 times. Trying to work on my driving. From 80 yards to 100 to 125 to 150 and currently around 210. I have also played for 4 times and the last time was Tuesday which my drives were very good, straight and around 200yards.

What did you do to have better distance? I know for a fact that swing speed is one but are there any other drills, mechanics or equipment?

Thanks.
post #2 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Originally Posted by mdr817 View Post
I just started in Golf last September. Since then I've been in the driving range maybe about 25 to 35 times. Trying to work on my driving. From 80 yards to 100 to 125 to 150 and currently around 210. I have also played for 4 times and the last time was Tuesday which my drives were very good, straight and around 200yards.

What did you do to have better distance? I know for a fact that swing speed is one but are there any other drills, mechanics or equipment?

Thanks.
Good, straight drives of 200 yards are great! Why are you so concerned?

Yeah, I know. I hit it about that distance and I want more too.

One. Launch monitor. Find out your optimal driver loft and ball. A launch monitor got me to switch from Titleist DT So/Los to Bridgestone e6s; I am able to see a distance increase right there. Lower loft != more distance 100% of the time!

Two. Exercise. Check out the One Shot with Sean Fister: http://www.golfdigest.com/magazine/2.../myshot_gd0603
He suggests the muscle to exercise; this implies to me hammer curls. Exertubes with your arms can help. So can core strength; medicine ball works too. Stretching exercises.

Three. Flexibility, to allow you to make a strong, controlled swing. Note this doesn't mean "fast" (although all other things being equal, fast would be better; tempo is still more important!). I suggest yoga if it's available to you.

Four. Use the course conditions to help you. Can you get the ball to land on the decline of that hill? It should spring forward. If you land it past the decline on the slope below, even though it *carried* more, the overall distance might be less. This means that, in some conditions, the Driver isn't your longest club off the tee.

Five. Be happy with what you have, make a smooth controlled swing, and distance will come with time. My average drive isn't much past 200, but sometimes I make a smooth controlled swing, just to put the ball in the fairway, and I find it 240 yards from the tees.
You aren't trying to win a long-drive competition tomorrow, are you? Work on your short game so that when you have length off the tee, you can take advantage of that to score. The woods are full of long hitters. You want to be a long hitter who posts low scores, right? And it won't hurt you while you're a "short" hitter either.
Work on your wedges and putter. You'll post better scores that way.
post #3 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

I seem to hit my drives and shots the farthest when I start my downswing with a turn of my left hip. (if only I could remember that for the rest of my golf career...)
post #4 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Originally Posted by mdr817 View Post
I just started in Golf last September. Since then I've been in the driving range maybe about 25 to 35 times. Trying to work on my driving. From 80 yards to 100 to 125 to 150 and currently around 210. I have also played for 4 times and the last time was Tuesday which my drives were very good, straight and around 200yards.

What did you do to have better distance? I know for a fact that swing speed is one but are there any other drills, mechanics or equipment?

Thanks.
If I could hit it 200 and be in the fairway every time, I'd take it. I'm used to hitting out of cabbage but it's hard to recover from four consecutive duck-hooks OB. What I found to increase my drives by about 30 yards is to wrap your right thumb to the left (rather than extend it vertically down the shaft). That frees up your wrists - if you can time it correctly you'll hit a monster drive.
post #5 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Sound like you are making good progress. Sometimes we try too hard to put power into our swing. You might try lightening up your grip pressure. Let the club swing "through" the ball. Avoid hitting at the ball. Don't look up till the ball is gone.
post #6 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Shift all of your weight onto a firm left leg then turn your hips. The body will turn around the left leg pivot, accelerating significantly due to centrifugal force.

Just pull on the grip with your left arm, allowing the clubhead to lag the grip as much as possible. Do not cast the club ! When the club is parallel to the ground the clubhead will automatically start to whip around into the ball.

This is all very obvious in Hogan's rendition.

I can't do any of that but it sounds good on paper.
post #7 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Assuming you are a right handed player... the easiest way to get more power into the ball (with all your clubs) is to "strengthen" your left hand on the grip. That does NOT mean squeeze it tighter, but to turn your left hand "clock wise" on the grip so that you can see two or even three knuckles of your left hand at address (do this while the club face is pointing at your target line). Then let your right hand "cup" fit over the top of your left thumb which should be going down the grip at about the 2 O'clock position. Just this one thing, will make you come into the ball from the inside, promoting a draw, and putting you into the power slot. Keep practicing!!!
post #8 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Originally Posted by mdr817 View Post

What did you do to have better distance?

Thanks.
I'm friends with Barry Bonds.
post #9 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Swing 'free-and-easy' - you know when you've tee'd the ball and you have a couple of practice swings with the driver? Try that when you actually go to drive the ball.
I had a problem with the driver when I first started and it was all down to getting too quick from the highest point of my backswing down to connecting with the ball. I then made a conscious effort to slow down but for two months I still only managed maybe clean drives out of 10. I got a friend to film me and I was horrified to see my technique still too fast - it just looked incredibly bad.

What I do now is a few simple steps:
1 - Stance: I stand as tall as I can and bend about 10-15° at the waist, (even less at the knees) and put more weight on my right-leg.
2 - Take-back: I swing flat and wide. Try to imagine another golf-ball maybe 12-15" behind your tee'd golf ball and imagine you're trying to brush it along the ground with the back of the driver head. That should start off the basis for a correct swing-arc.
When the driver head/shaft are parallel to my waist, that's when I really turn my hips and shoulders in unison with the correct arc which then puts me on the correct plane. It's this which most of us find hard to do (unless you're really supple) - a lot of folks 'slide' to the right leg which cuts out your power-buildup, big-time. At this point, I still find keeping my left-arm straight quite a challenge.
3 - Downswing: when I feel as though my shoulder will not turn any further back (that is, without it feeling too tense or discomforting), I start to unwind my hips back toward the target. The I try and 'drop' my shoulders back down in front of my chest and swing the club nice and slow til about waist-high again....and it's only at this point, that I really try and power it through the ball as fast as I possibly can.
4 - Follow-through: my method here is to imagine I've thrown a medicine-ball as hard as I can toward the target which keeps my arms straight and my wrists turning over.
5 - Finish: if you don't get the above correct, you'll do what I do - throw myself off balance even if you hit a straight drive.
(in fact, try hitting drives using a half-swing using the above tips - you'll probably outdrive your previous efforts without much effort at all - then you can build up)

Currently, if I get my above methodology into practice, I can drive the ball straight anywhere between 260-275yards (carry-and-roll) (I'm using a Nike Sasquatch SUMO 9.5°/stiff-shaft and currently standard Pinnacle Gold balls). However, I am also prone to 'snap-hooking' the ball when I'm either too tense in my grip or shoulders or when I try to swing too fast too early on the downswing - the ball then dies after maybe 200yds.

It all comes down to percentages though and the old saying "280 in the rough or 240 on the fairway?". Bear in mind that, mere mortals like us don't hit on pro golf courses, so if do manage to hit 290+yds, how often are you going to use the driver? Twice per round?
Distance and control on standard golf-courses can be easily achieved using a 3-wood or even 3-iron off the tee.
post #10 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

The easiest way too gain more distance effortlessly is to consciously cock your wrists at the top of your backswing and hold that movement on the dowswing until releasing it precisely at impact.
post #11 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

for someone who started 4 months ago, 200 and straight is pretty good. do not mess your natural ability with too many swing thoughts. getting proper equipment is a definite help but take it slow..one step at a time. enjoy the game.
post #12 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

I got a pretty good distance (and accuracy!) boost when I began starting my downswing by "firing" my hips. Also, trying to release as late as possible seems to help with distance, but I'm not 100% there yet.
post #13 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Working out.
post #14 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Originally Posted by neudi View Post
Working out.
About.com just posted an article about weight training for golf: http://weighttraining.about.com/od/w.../golf.htm?nl=1

I have yet to read this, so I can't vouch for it. But I'm going to read it this afternoon.
post #15 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Number one, do not do hammer curls. Your biceps are small, your Back muscles are huge. So, if you do want to lift for golf you should build up your back. Think about it, I can curl 135lbs. but can pull down close to 300 lbs, now what is stronger?

I gain huge distance by turning my shoulders and hips and letting my body not my arms hit it. Under pressure its easier to swing with the big muscles rather than when your arms and hands are shaking. Just turn back and turn thru.
post #16 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Originally Posted by deakanutz View Post
Number one, do not do hammer curls. Your biceps are small, your Back muscles are huge. So, if you do want to lift for golf you should build up your back. Think about it, I can curl 135lbs. but can pull down close to 300 lbs, now what is stronger?

I don't think hammer curls are harmful in and of themselves, but you're absolutely right about working out one's back. I do some minor back exercises, but I think I should step it up a bit in winter and see. Which exercises do you suggest?
post #17 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Originally Posted by Shindig View Post
Good, straight drives of 200 yards are great! Why are you so concerned?
One. Launch monitor. Find out your optimal driver loft and ball. A launch monitor got me to switch from Titleist DT So/Los to Bridgestone e6s; I am able to see a distance increase right there. Lower loft != more distance 100% of the time!

I read that higher loft means more distance and most people play driver lofts too low. In fact just read 100MPH driver swing goes furthest with 11.5 degrees. Now how many folks who can swing a driver 100 would be seen with a 11.5 lofted driver?
post #18 of 31

Re: How did you gain distance in your drive?

Originally Posted by Norm66 View Post
I got a pretty good distance (and accuracy!) boost when I began starting my downswing by "firing" my hips. Also, trying to release as late as possible seems to help with distance, but I'm not 100% there yet.
During a practice swing I turn my hips well, but when I swing at the ball I tend to turn my shoulders first.

Any ideas ?
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