Is There Anything More Satisfying Than Ripping A Powerful Drive Straight Down The Fairway?
In this blog I have teamed up with our resident pro to give you 5 ways to hit longer drives and feel confident walking off the tee box to your second shot.
1. The Set Up
No. 1 on our '5 ways to hit longer drives' list is the set up!
Before we get into the technicalities of the set up lets talk about the head game. Having a routine in your set up will help with consistency, humans work on autopilot most of the time so if you have a set up routine it increases the repeatability of your long drives, even on the last few holes when your getting tired or maybe you have had one too many the night before. And who doesn't want repeatable long drives! In practical terms the only way to gain the perfect repeatable set up is through perfect practice.
Ball set up, The driver breaks the rules in terms of set up compared to the rest of your clubs. Ball position for your driver should typically be more forward and in line with the lead foot, check out Martin Chucks video here.
2. Greasing The Groove
No. 2 on our '5 ways to hit longer drives' list is greasing the groove!
Like anything in life, if you do the basics very well you are well on your way. As Bruce Lee once said "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."
Hitting your driver properly in the center of the face makes a huge difference and doing it consistently makes an even bigger difference. Check out this blog on Golf.com that shows you how you can mark your driver face with face tape or a powder spray that will show you the contact point of the ball and the face. Groove good contact by starting with your routine set up and slow, small swings, Once you find the sweet spot doing that, add speed. And remember the tip from above, you want 'perfect practice' so only add speed when you are very consistent at hitting the sweet spot. As you can see in the picture below the difference between the pro and the 7 handicap is ruthless consistency.
3. Improve Your Rotation
No. 3 on our '5 ways to hit longer drives' list is rotation! Improving your capacity to rotate will increase your torque.
Torque = Force x Distance.
In a golfing context, this refers to the rotation of the shoulders during the backswing while simultaneously maintaining square stable hips (notice how in the picture below on Tigers back swing his hips are still facing the ball), and then rotation of the hips during the swing itself (again finishing with hips facing the direction the ball is going). In order to improve these attributes there are specific mobility drills you can measure and improve on, check them out here!
4. Get Stronger
No. 4 on our '5 ways to hit longer drives' list is get stronger!
When discussing this blog with the golfers in the gym, Long time member and casual golfer Dave jokingly says 'I have accidentally put 30 yards on my drive in the last 2 years' without any golf lessons or specific goal of doing it. Funny that. The only thing that had changed in that time frame was some structured strength training.
The first reason Dave seen this huge increase in his drive is pretty simple, if your training your body to be able to produce higher levels of force it is going to transfer into all areas of your life especially an area where you are also trying to produce force.
Secondly, you not only have to be able to produce the force but you need to be able to transfer the force from hips to club. This ability comes from a strong core. Remember I mentioned above about maintaining stable hips as you rotate into the back swing, this is where you need a strong core.
strength = stability.
An added benefit of strength training is increased work capacity. Basically what was once hard becomes easy, therefore requiring less energy from you, this means you can say goodbye to that back 9 slump.
5. Warm up
No. 5 on our '5 ways to hit longer drives' list is do a warm up!
The best golfers in the world don't expect to be able to perform cold and neither should you.
Similar to the mind side of the game mentioned in the set up, arriving early and having a routine does wonders for the head game.
After all golf is 90% mental and the rest is in your head.
Your warm up should do 3 things:
If done correctly the warm up will help improve performance and lower injury risk.