We’ve all seen those big-swinging professional players who can seemingly hit the ball with almost superhuman strength, smashing it for huge distances while still maintaining a surprising amount of accuracy. For most golfers, when we see those players, we all wish we could do the same. Adding distance to your drives offers much more than just bragging rights.
Firstly, it helps you get closer to the hole, shortening your approach shots and giving you a better chance of a good score. Secondly, it feels great. It’s immensely satisfying to be able to hit big drives on a consistent basis, so we’ll be focusing on how you can start driving the ball further here in this article.
Of course, a big problem that many golfers face when trying to get more distance is a loss of accuracy. This is often the sacrifice or compromise that players feel forced to make when they try to hit the ball harder, and it can be a big problem. It’s no good getting some extra yards if you’re hitting the ball inaccurately and veering off course.
This problem usually occurs because golfers believe that distance is directly proportionate to power. They think that the only way to get more yards is to smash the ball extra hard, but this isn’t actually true.
The distance of your drives is much more heavily influenced by the style and angle of your swing, as well as bodily movement, so if you want to start driving the ball further, don’t just swing your arms harder, start using these techniques instead.
Using a Strong Grip
First up, let’s talk about grip. The grip needs to be strong, without being too powerful. Squeezing too hard won’t help in any way, but holding the club too loosely will prevent you from generating enough power, so try to find a happy medium between the two extremes. Grip firmly and focus on the position of your hands.
It’s important to remember the role lag plays in driving the ball further, and the role a loose grip and loose wrists play in generating lag. The lead arm should remain stiff, grip should be firm enough, but everything should be loose enough to be fluid and smooth.
If you’re a right-hander, your left hand should be turned slightly inward, with the knuckles facing your target zone. This hand position allows you to follow through cleanly, driving into the ball and creating that smooth swing you’ll have noticed in many of the big-hitting pro players.
Improve Your Distance With Your Hips
The next key is all about your hips. A good swing in the hips can really help to generate additional power and distance in your drives. In fact, this is how many of the smaller players can still manage to generate surprisingly big hits in spite of their diminutive stature. Any player can add some distance simply by focusing on the movement of their hips.
The idea is to use your hips almost like a trigger to release all of the power you build up in your swing, pulling the club through and generating additional momentum as you twist your body. The right hip movement can add speed to your swing and provide a stronger hit at the moment of impact.
Weight Shift With the Driver
Sticking with body movement, it’s important to focus on shifting your weight from one leg to the other at just the right time. All of your body comes into play in a drive and you need to take advantage of every muscle you have to generate the power needed to get the distances you desire. The best players are in total control of their bodies and can shift weight from one leg to the other at the perfect moment.
During the peak of your backswing, the majority of your weight should be on your back leg. As you swing and drive through the ball, that weight should be transferred to your front leg. Try to match your weight with the swing of the club, transferring it forwards as the club draws closer to the ball.
What About the Arms?
Note that we’re talking about a golf swing here and we haven’t started on the arms yet! This shows just how important it can be to get the whole body involved in your swing. Too often, inexperienced players try to generate all of their power in their arms, but the hips and legs and shoulders all have a part to play. Concerning the arms, a big factor is to keep your lead arm as straight as possible.
The straight your arm, the longer the ball will be in the air, and this, of course, will help to generate additional distance in your drives. How does this work? Well, with a straight arm, your swing is effectively lengthened, meaning that the club will travel a longer distance, giving it more time to generate power, resulting in bigger hits.
Maintaining straightness in the lead arm also helps you to get the perfect 90 degree angle with the wrist during backswing, which also helps to boost the distance of your drives.
Finally, let’s look at your hands. Turning your right hand (or left for lefties) at the perfect moment is a key aspect of any successful drive. The key here is to twist your hand through the ball just as you strike it. What this does is generate just a last little burst of speed, adding a final few yards to your drives.
So you see that hitting the ball big distances isn’t about being a tall player or having big arm muscles; it’s all about the movement of your body and the style of your swing. Give these tips a try and we’re sure you’ll start enjoying much longer and stronger drives.