What would you guess is the question our golf school students ask us the most during the year? “Will Tiger Woods win at least 18 majors?” No. “Will the belly putter be banned from the PGA Tour?” No. “How did Kyle Jerome know to pick Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson in the Academy ‘Masters pool’ last year?” Umm…no. What about, “How do I hit the golf ball further?” Yes, you nailed it. Most of the time, the question they should be asking us is, “How do I hit the ball straighter?” However, for many golfers, hitting the ball further is as much of an obsession as learning how to make grandma’s biscuits.
We are going to show you several ways to create more clubhead speed while not giving up accuracy. We will also give you some very effective practice drills for your next round of golf to help you achieve this.
Relax your arms and shoulders
Relaxing your arms and shoulders at address is the first step to creating more clubhead speed in your round of golf. Tension is the biggest killer of speed and it is almost always the one common characteristic in the loss of distance.
Look at other athletic motions as an example. You can throw a ball much further/faster if you are relaxed before and during the motion. You can run faster if you are relaxed while you are doing it. Swinging a golf club is no different.
DRILL: Make a conscious effort to move your arms, feet and legs while addressing the golf ball. Being too still over the ball at address creates tension. Move!
Stay centered over the golf ball
Staying centered over the golf ball during the swing is important to creating more clubhead speed because you can always swing an object faster in a circle than you can in a line. For example, if you tie a ball onto the end of a string, you can swing it around in a circle faster than if you move it back and forth in straight line.
Golfers that try to transfer their weight during the swing tend to lose distance compared to someone who stays centered and lets their weight transfer automatically with their turn. This also helps your body swing your arms during the swing, not the other way around.
DRILL: Hit shots in your next round of golf with your feet close together. By keeping this stance, your body senses a lack of stability and forces you to stay centered. This stance, in turn, will help you create more clubhead speed when you take your normal width stance.
Be aggressive through the hitting area
Being aggressive in your swing is good…as long as you keep your balance. However, where you are aggressive is the key. Many golfers make the mistake of being aggressive from the top of their swing starting down. To create maximum clubhead speed, be aggressive through the hitting area. Trying to hit the golf ball hard when starting your downswing creates two problems: Power leak and balance problems.
The fastest part of a good player’s swing is just past the ball. Jack Nicklaus said he tried to swing slower when he wanted to hit the golf ball further. What he accomplished was a smooth transition from the backswing to the downswing while his clubhead speed increased through the hitting area.
DRILL: Hit shots on the range making different clubhead speed swings. Hit some shots swinging at 30% of your normal effort, some at 60% and some at 90%. Practicing shots this way not only helps you keep your transition smoother, but it lets you know what clubhead speed is working for you that day.
Stretch before and after your round of golf
Being flexible is just as important as anything you can do in your swing to increase your clubhead speed. You should always stretch, at the very least, before and after your round. Stretching away from the golf course will only help. Just look at the top 5 longest hitters on the PGA Tour as an example. Bubba Watson, Charlie Beljan, Robert Garrigus, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are all very flexible.
Remember, good golf swing fundamentals help you hit the ball more solidly. Hitting the ball solid is the first step to hitting it further and straighter. After that, practice these four fundamentals and you will be able to increase your clubhead speed.
For more information about golf and golfing techniques, contact The Academy of Golf Dynamics. Give us a call today at 1-800-879-2008
or Contact Us
via email. We are located at 45 Club Estates Parkway in Austin, Texas.