At some point every golfer gets the itch to hit the ball farther, and why not? Adding a bit more distance can help shorten your approach shots and improve your ability to hit greens in regulation (plus it feels great to really give one a ride).
The problems begin to creep into the picture when you start give up consistency for those extra yards. These issues predominately arise from the belief that hitting the ball farther means you need to be stronger or swing harder – a common misconception. If you haven’t already figured this out on your own you’ll soon find out that doing so increases your margin of error, thus resulting in a hook, a slice, and all sorts of other messy shots.
With that said, here are five easy and more effective tips to help you hit the ball farther. Give these a try the next time you hit the range for a practice session:
1. Watch Your Grip
First, try adjusting your left hand (for righties) a bit inward so that your knuckles are facing your target. This hand position will better allow you to drive through the ball at impact. Also be mindful to not over-squeeze the grip. Instead try treating it as if you’re holding a tube of toothpaste and just slightly squeezing some out of the container.
2. Move Your Hips
Get your hips involved! Ever wonder how some of the smallest players on the PGA TOUR drive the ball so far? Well, it’s all in the hips!
Keep that in mind when you start your downswing. Using the hips as a trigger to pull the club through your swing (rather than trying to push it through with your arms) allows you to use your twisting momentum to generate a faster club head speed. Think of it as using your hips to release all of that torque you built up twisting into your backswing.
3. Shift Your Weight
Transferring your weight is also very important. At the peak of your backswing, roughly 60% of your weight should be on your back leg. After you pivot through the ball with your hips and hands about 85-90% percent of your weight should shift to your front leg.
4. Keep that Lead Arm Straight
Did you know that the straighter you keep your lead arm (left arm for righties) the longer the ball will travel? This is essential in adding distance. With a straight lead arm, you’re creating a longer distance for the clubhead to travel in order to get to the ball (at impact). A longer swing usually results in more distance on your shot.
Keeping your lead arm straight will also help you get that proper 90 degree angle with your wrist during your backswing (another key to gaining distance).
5. Turn Your Hands Over
Lastly, make sure you finish your swing strong by turning right hand over at the correct moment. The key is to snap (some refer to it as a “whoosh”) your right hand (for righties) through the ball at impact in order to ramp up that extra club speed which will in turn increase the flight distance of the ball.