Welcome to Coastal Golfaway’s “Coach’s Corner”. This time we will be talking about how you can increase how far you can drive a golf ball as well as how to hit straighter drives.
To hit a golf ball longer and straighter you will need to work on the action of your club and your stance as you address the ball. Your body should have a consistent language when it speaks to the ball. The slightest mishit can cause you to lose serious distance off of the tee. The shorter you are off the tee, the more club you need to hit the green in regulation on your approach shot.
How to handle the driver:
First, you need to work on striking the ball with accuracy. If you really want to get that ball to travel down the fairway straighter and farther, you will have to take the time to go a driving range and work on your swing. Catching the ball on the heel or the toe could cost you some major distance. Utilizing new golf apps such as GottaGolf, which we discussed in length in our blog post “New Golf Apps That Will Change The Way You Play The Game” will also go a long way in straightening out your drive.
Hitting the ball square is most important, not the speed at which you hit the ball. You have heard it many times before….”The woods are full of guys who hit the ball far”. Focus on making a smooth transition from your back swing all the way to your follow through. You should be able to whistle during your swing and hear the same pitch from back swing, at contact, and into your follow through.
Another method we have heard over the years is “Tick-Tock like a grandfather clock”. Stand above the ball and as you start your swing say the word “Tic” to yourself. As you hit the ball, say the word “Tock”.
On your follow through, say the words “like a grandfather clock”. The key is not to think about the words you are saying. Instead, create a rhythm that will keep you at the same tempo throughout your swing.
Many golfers are looking to lower their scores and to be more competitive within their group each weekend. Although hitting longer and straighter drives may turn a few heads in your foursome, it is not the easiest way to shave strokes off of your score. The short game is where you can pick up some serious ground. But for this post, we want to help you hit it a bit farther from the tee box.
Here is a lesson for your next trip to the driving range. Buy about 50 balls when you get to the driving range, and set up ten to get started. Instead of hitting the ball with no plan in mind, imagine that you are teeing off on each hole of your favorite course.
Stand behind the ball, pick your target, and take a nice rhythmic swing. To start, take a shorter backswing and notice how far the ball actually travels when you hit it on the sweet spot. Over swinging gets you off of your plane and causes many of your hooks, slices, and other issues. Start with a three quarter swing, and focus on your target. You will be amazed at what happens.
Once you loosen up, try these little tips to hit longer and straighter drives.
- Start with a half swing back and forward, as if you were working on your pitch swing for about 50 yards distance. Keep your head down and watch where the driver head is making contact with the ball. Try to see exactly where the clubface makes impact with the golf ball.
- If you are hitting the ball too much on the heel or toe of the driver head, you will notice that the ball goes everywhere except straight.
- Once you have managed to find that sweet spot with consistency, you can extend your swing to gain 50 more yards. Pay attention to the head as it strikes the ball. With more extension to your swing you can get more speed on the club. That additional speed is what gets you the distance. But the sweet spot is what gets you a straighter ball flight.
- Eventually, you will be able to go for a fully extended swing with the club going through the complete arc, with good speed for distance and good aim toward the ball with the sweet spot for a straight shot down the range.
Now you can work on your body’s mechanics since you have figured out how to make better contact with the ball. Your stance will affect the impact on the ball as well as the flight of the ball.
- Maintain 60% to 70% of your weight on the back leg with your feet slightly wider than shoulder’s width apart.
- Use a stronger grip as you address the ball, but loosen the grip after you strike it.
- Use a wide arc with the arms to maximize extension.
- Don’t lift on the toes of your feet; maintain a solid foundation with the lower body. You want to feel like you are in an athletic position with the knees slightly bent. If your playing partner were to push you, would you fall over?
- Complete the back swing for that fast energy through the swing.
Remember that you want to work on consistency with the sweet spot and maintaining a solid stance. Swinging for power will not get the ball far or straight; it will just get the ball lost in the rough. Speed is your friend, not strength. Just ask Mike Watson, who at 64 hit the longest drive ever recorded on the PGA Tour.
Concentrate on consistency to get what you really want; a long straight ball toward the green. And don’t forget, pick out a target on the fairway and hit the ball to that target. Hope this helps!
We offer this free bit of advice so the next time you visit the beautiful courses along the Myrtle Beach Coast, you are able to take a few extra dollars from your opponents. When you do, make sure you tell them you learned it all when you were booking your last golf trip to Myrtle Beach!