Backswing RoundUp

How can good amateurs get even more distance with their driver? Fitness? Swing Improvements?

How can good amateurs get even more distance with their driver? Fitness? Swing Improvements?
If you're already a decent golfer, then one thing that you may be constantly in search of is more distance. So if you're already a pretty good golfer, how can you squeeze out those extra yards off the tee?

Magic Pill!

There’s no magic pill to get you more distance. Strength training, stretching, stability, cardio and proper technique are the pillars that support distance. Also solid contact is a must as well. The key is getting started. Start with 2 days a week of the above with a certified trainer or coach. Then move to 3 days, 4 days, 5 days, 6 days etc. The stronger, more stable and limber you are the further you will smack that ball with some power. I hope this helps!

GlenArbor Golf Club

Rob Labritz

Director of Golf

GlenArbor Golf Club, Westchester County, New York

Speed = Distance

Students often come to see us looking for more distance. Who isn’t, right? From an instructor’s perspective, the real question is, “How can the student generate more club head speed”? The answer comes in three parts. First the student must be evaluated on their set-up. Secondly, the student must use large muscles and ground forces. Lastly, the student must work on flexibility.

The process starts with looking at the golfer’s set-up. Can I get the student taller, or is he or she standing too much over the golf ball? If the student can get his or her hands more away from the golf ball, then they should be able to deliver the club head to the golf ball with more speed.

If the student now has a set-up built for speed, let’s make sure that they are using the right muscles. Are they simply taking the club away with the arms, and not moving the hips? To generate club head speed, the golfer must use their core muscles, and legs. This may actually shorten the swing, stop over-swinging and give the golfer more yards with every club in their bag.

Finally, the golfer must work on their own body. Stretching, and working the core muscles allows for a larger shoulder turn, and building up their legs and abs simply allow the player to get stronger. This will assist the golfer hit it further and reduce the risk of injury.

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AJ Nelson is the Founder of the Swing Essentials golf app

AJ Nelson

PGA Golf Professional

Swing Essentials Golf App, Centreville, VA

Swing Improvements.

Most amateur golfers believe that club head speed comes from swinging the arms faster. They try to accelerate the hands. This leads to a steep angle of attack and an out to in swing path. Resulting in a weak slice. At impact the shaft is leaning away from the target.

The power comes from the unwinding lead by the lower body. This produces a shallow angle of attack and a much straighter swing path. Results are a square face so that the ball starts straight and the straighter path means the ball doesn’t curve.

The next time you watch golf on TV notice that pros at impact have the shaft of the driver leaning forward, toward the target. So swing at the speed that the lower body can move and you will play straighter, longer drives.

Timarron Country Club

Dave Baron

PGA Master Professional

Director of Instruction

Timarron Country Club, Southlake, TX

Optimization.

The first Thing to consider would be your optimization numbers. Be sure to get on a track man system and find out if your distance is being optimized for your speed. Your angle of attack launch, spin and club specifications Have to complement your personal speed. I have seen as much as 25 yards more length when these impact factors have been properly matched to swing speed.

The Rookery At Marco

Dennis Clark

PGA Master Professional

The Rookery At Marco, Naples, FL

Find the sweet spot

While this is overly simple, most amateurs struggling with a lack of distance are not striking the ball in the middle of the club face. Most teachers that I talk with and learn from stress the importance of striking in the middle of the club face. I have never met a player who finds the middle of the club face on a regular basis complain about a lack of distance. I always talk about getting the toe of the club to the ball before the heel of the club. Once a person learns the feel of squaring up the club face, center face contact becomes a habit.

Brian Kelly

Head Golf Professional | Ohio State Athletics

Ohio State Athletics, Columbus, OH

Get Fit For Golf

Want to hit the golf ball further? It is imperative that golfing athletes work out and make their bodies healthy and strong! The three areas of fitness to train for the game are: strength training, cardiovascular endurance and muscle flexibility. My advice to every golfer who wants to hit the ball further is to hire a licensed physical therapist or a strength training coach and get yourself on a golf fitness program! Visit your local PGA Golf Professional for weekly golf lessons and hit the gym with your fitness coach on a regular basis!

The Country Club of Virginia

Adam Smith

Head Golf Instructor

James River Golf Course

The Country Club of Virginia, Richmond, VA

Centeredness Of Contact

Most people think in order to get more distance you have to swing harder or be some extreme physical specimen. But, they often forget that when you make a more efficient move at the ball you will catch the sweet spot more often, which automatically results in more distance without having to exert any extra effort. Making the right compact, repeatable swing (with less room for error) will result in more centerdness of contact and more distance with less effort, which is the right way to swing and still keep the ball in play. If you want to know more about exactly how to do this, come see me for some lessons.

Brian Powers

PGA Golf Professional

Master Golf Teaching Professional®

Tee Time Practice Facility, Carpinteria, CA

Distance,distance,distance !

The most often question asked on the practice tee is this question on how to get more distance.The answer will vary on the students development. Assuming you have no obvious flaws, then we can address the core objective. Fitness should require a personal trainer, because you only want to build your golf muscles. DeChambeau took this route to a proven superior outcome.

Size is not all it takes, but can be an advantage. Older golfers may remember when Chi Chi Rodriguez was one of the longest hitters on the tour in the 50’s and 60’s. He was short in stature but built wiry. The LPGA women have that same quality and that is good hand action. A full shoulder turn matched with a good downward pull of the arms as the hips begin the forward rotation will retain the wrist angle for a stronger release at the nadir of the arc, which is the ball’s location.

Every part of the body is moving the same direction in sync toward the target. Even Gary Player added a walk through step toward the target to solidify this objective.

John Barge

Gateway PGA, Life Member

Hidden Trails Country Club, Dexter, MO

Increase driver distance

Good morning! If anyone wants to hit their driver farther, it is extremely important to get fit for the driver that will warrant better performance numbers. Secondly, do something to increase your flexibility. I personally have a stretching routine I follow every day before leaving my house. Lastly, if you seek more distance with the driver, the club head must go faster! Get in better physical shape and watch your distance increase! The number 1 thing to focus on is your timing, it will change because of increased speed. Take notice of your tempo when you hit the ball far and try to duplicate that rhythm each time. You will hit the ball farther! That’s the secret to increased distance! Good luck!

Oneputt Productions, Inc

Charlie Starrs

PGA Golf Professional

President

Oneputt Productions, Inc. , Miami Beach, FL

Driver Distance

Distance is the one thing that everyone craves. However if you truly want to hit the ball farther, you have to train for it.

It will come down to a combination of fitness, flexibility, launch conditions and speed.

I believe distance in golf is acquired through fast twitch muscles, meaning it is more like a sprinter and less like a body builder.

One of the things Olympic Sprinters do to train is run down hill. They get there body used to moving faster and being able to control it.

Super Speed Golf has done a great job in creating a training system and drills that can help you learn to swing faster and eventually control it. However you have to dedicate some time to it.

Golfers should also get on a good Launch monitor. Understanding your launch conditions and spin rates can make a huge difference in how far your driver goes.

Take a lesson. The golf swing is a very athletic and coordinated movement. However, if you are not making an athletic swing you will not maximize distance. There are multiple power/speed sources in the golf swing, but most people do not utilize all of them.

Stay flexible. If you can maintain your flexibility it will allow you to make a bigger turn, increase swing length and the longer the club head has time to pick up speed the faster it will be moving at impact.

Flagler Golf Academy

Rick Flagler

PGA Certified Professional

Five Ponds Golf Club | Flagler Golf Academy, Warminster, PA

Clubfitting is essential if you are serious

People buy drivers mainly for the wrong reasons, e.g. Tiger uses it, Rory uses it, I want to look cool, keep up with my buddies etc. If you are taking instruction to improve your game and want to increase driving distance, you need to be fitted for your next driver. There are multiple adjustments for every driver on the market today, the most important being the shaft. It is the engine of the golf club. Would you put a Hyundai engine in a Ferrari? Along with loft, draw/fade adjustments I suggest scheduling a fitting for your next driver so that you can optimize your swing speed and gain some yards.

Ian Grant

PGA Teaching Professional

Mistwood Golf Dome

Oak Brook Golf Club , Oak Brook, IL

increased driver distance

I am compelled to comment on this, since I’ve made sort of a opinion shift of late on this topic. For most players, I agree that better swing technique, more consistent impact factors, and improved fitness are the most important keys to improved length in todays day an age. However, with your better amateurs and professionals, I also believe that having the correct equipment that suits your body and swing can make a huge difference.

For guys that have a reliable and repeatable swing, having the correct equipment and (most importantly) shaft can make a huge difference. Finding the right technology to maximize your launch angle and spin rate of the golf ball will not only inherently improve overall distance, but will also lead to a more predictable ball flight. Spin can be a killer of both distance and direction for the majority of miss-hit golf balls, and finding the equipment, along with the right technique, to find the “sweet spot” for spin rate will go a long way in improving both. I believe a good fitting for your better players can make a significant improvement.

PGA General Manager - Gamble Sands

Brady Hatfield

PGA General Manager

Gamble Sands, Brewster, WA

Play the right tee!

Extra distance is something that everyone wants but few can deliver. I usually make the case for players to work on increasing their distance through club fitting, exercise and practice….But, while your doing those things play the tee that scales the course in such a way that you get the “Tour Experience”. That simply means that if the hole is meant to be played with a driver & 7 iron, play the tee that allows you to do just that. Instead though, we tend to play the tee that we think we are “supposed to” and end up playing at a yardage that doesn’t fit our distance ability.

Check out The Longleaf Tee system at longleafteesystem.com to see our recommendations for the distance you should play from, based on your driver carry distance.

Senior Director, Academy Development U.S. Kids Golf, Longleaf Golf & Family Club

James Hardy

Senior Director, Academy Development

U.S. Kids Golf, Longleaf Golf & Family Club

Longleaf Golf & Family Club, Southern Pines, NC

More distance

There are many ways the get more distance with the driver, but I think the best way is to be a better you!
Get more mobile, more stabile, stronger and faster! Learn how to use the ground to create speed. Have better Tempo and spatial awareness ! Learn how to disassociate your joints for segmental loading ! LENGTHEN YOUR SWING and get the club higher, and last but not least practice swinging as fast as you can ( speed training ) if you are not doing some sort of speed training – speed stick trying to rip it etc. then for sure you are getting a little slower Everyday !!

James Butcher

PGA Director of Golf Fitness

Kiawah Island Club - River Course, Kiawah Island, SC

No magic bullets for distance

If you need more distance, work on solid contact first. If you are a scratch player, computerized club fitting MAY help, but knowledgeable eyes can also. If you’ve played the game for many years, technique changes will upset your instinctive timing, and that’s a tough one to overcome. Develop your short game and recovery skills, because taking pressure off the long game will help you relax, and relaxed muscles are faster than tense ones.

Moses Lake Golf Club

Owen McClain

PGA Golf Professional

Teaching Professional

Moses Lake Golf Club, Moses Lake, WA

The endless quest for more distance...

The endless quest for more distance will continue to plague golfers of all abilities if they train improperly. The most common fault is the YouTube, magazine article, or quick tip from their buddies on how to circumvent the real issue.

The 1st Step to adding distance is getting the body more flexible to prevent injury.

The 2nd Step is improving your mobility, range of motion, strength, and overall speed.

The 3rd Step is technique based training using your new spring loaded body.

Justin Marsh

PGA Golf Professional

Director of Instruction

Boulder Creek Golf Club, Boulder City, NV

Short swings, built long swings....

Want more distance? Get more efficient with your swing mechanics!….Good working mechanics are achieved buy a rock solid short game swing!
When your swing mechanic’s are improved, then distance will be gained by swinging the club faster…However, if your mechanic’s are sub-standard, then you have no chance!…Sorry….

Frank Panetta

PGA Golf Professional

Teaching Professional

CordeValle Golf Club, San Martin, CA

Hit it square

Most amateurs can hit it farther by improving there centerness of contact, path and angle of attack, and face squareness. After getting those dialed in get the driver (and other clubs) properly fit and they are golden for length AND accuracy. If they want to try fitness, make sure you are following guidance of a real expert and focus on flexibility. Otherwise you could potentially make things worse or cause injury.

Arsenal Island Golf Course

Todd Fowler

PGA Member

2015 Iowa PGA Professional of the Year. 2004 Iowa Golf Association Professional of the Year

Golf Galaxy, Davenport, Iowa

Orange Whip Workout

I send my players through a orange whip workout. A lot of speed trainer devices. Simply swing work outs will increase speed quickly!

Briar Leaf Golf Club

Cody Ward

PGA Associate Professional

Briar Leaf Golf Club, La Porte, IN

Getting more distance with driver

Well the easy answer is “more protein shakes!!” Honestly, it comes down to the rotation of the hips and shoulders and that would be flexibility. Fitness is so very important to all sports but especially Golf. I recommend to my students to continue working on the core and even some strengthening of the legs. All of this should help the swing get faster to help produce longer drives. As with any part of the swing making sure that the club in in good positions throughout the swing will also help create better contact and offer more distance.
Good luck

Rob Elliott Golf Academy

Rob Elliott

PGA Golf Professional

Founder

Rob Elliott Golf Academy, Pewaukee, WI

Increase driver distance

Good morning! If anyone wants to hit their driver farther, it is extremely important to get fit for the driver that will warrant better performance numbers.

Secondly, do something to increase your flexibility. I personally have a stretching routine I follow every day before leaving my house.

Lastly, if you seek more distance with the driver, the club head must go faster! Get in better physical shape and watch your distance increase! The number 1 thing to focus on is your timing, it will change because of increased speed. Take notice of your tempo when you hit the ball far and try to duplicate that rhythm each time. You will hit the ball farther! That’s the secret to increased distance! Good luck!

Oneputt Productions, Inc

Charlie Starrs

PGA Golf Professional

President

Oneputt Productions, Inc. , Miami Beach, FL