Proper Technique = Added Driver Distance
By: Dan Davis, PGA Professional, Thousand Hills Missouri Golf Instruction
Many people want to know how to drive a golf ball farther. Proper technique is the single most effective way to improve your length off the tee. I would love to be able to tell a student that they simply need to lift more weights to hit the ball farther. Physical fitness has its place in the sport of golf now more than ever but it can never be as valuable as knowledge and repetition. The search for how to hit a golf ball for maximum distance will always be an endless journey but the following are a few tips which should help add yards to your drives.
- Loading the club – Also called a hinge, the loading of the club is one of the first places that we generate power. As we come back with the club from address we start to rotate the hands so that our thumbs are eventually pointing away from the target. We then want the club to start in a more vertical direction which is accomplished by pointing the thumbs in a vertical direction without lifting the arms. This process is a wrist motion that is referred to as radial deviation (see below). By using the wrists to change the thumb direction we can keep our right elbow relatively close to the right side. When the club is fully loaded you should see a right angle between a straight left arm and the shaft of the club.
- Initiating the downswing – From the top of the backswing through impact we are in the process of releasing power as opposed to generating it. This process is initiated by the turning of the left hip, followed shoulders, legs, hands, arms and finally the head of the golf club. The right elbow should be dropping closer to the right side and the club head should follow a path that is inside the target line.
- Pre-impact – As the club is in its downward motion from the top of the backswing we want to maintain the right angle that was obtained in the first step of loading the club. By holding this position until the last possible instant before impact will reduce the amount of energy wasted. The club is properly unloaded by rotating the hands back so that the clubface squares at impact and the thumbs point to the ground. This downward thumb action is accomplished by a wrist motion called Ulnar deviation (see to the right).
When practicing how to hit a golf ball farther, alway follow through with this technique. Once the proper form has become second nature, strength can be added later for even more improvements. Drive smarter, not necessarily harder and you will get more yards per swing.
Dan Davis is a PGA Professional for Thousand Hills Golf Course. See more free Missouri Golf Instruction tips from Dan or contact him for personalized instruction.