We all know that hitting longer drives does virtually no good unless we are also putting the ball in play as well. Even if we are a few steps off the fairway, as long as we can make a normal swing at the ball without fear of trees or other obstacles, added distance will lower our scores.
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More distance will have a ripple effect throughout the play of a hole. After a longer drive, you will have a shorter iron into the green, which will lead to a closer average proximity to the hole. This makes chipping and putting much easier.
So yes, being a longer and straighter driver actually benefits your short game!
In the video above, I discuss five different ideas that are of great benefit to both your distance and your accuracy.
- Grip. Make sure your left hand grip is strong enough, i.e turned to the right or clockwise far enough. Very few long hitters have a weak left hand grip. Most players with a weak grip will either slice, or hit the ball too high with too much backspin.
- Inside Approach. The clubhead should approach the ball on an arc from the inside. As if coming around a clock, the head will strike the ball at 12, which will put it online with the target. Since this often results in a more upwards angle of attack, it will increase distance as it helps you hit the ball straight.
- Left Exit. In an effort to hit inside to out, many better golfers get stuck on a plateau because their follow through is too much out to the right. After impact, the clubhead and handle should continue on their arc, around to the left and disappearing behind the body from a DTL angle.
- Butt back. Another common error that better golfers make is by pushing their hips out to the right, or slightly towards the ball. Known as early extension, this pattern fosters either a high block to the right, or a quick hook, as the golfer must flip the face to square it up. Instead, if you can keep the hips back on their original line, you will create more stability and rotation during your pivot – speeding up the hands and clubhead while increasing the torque that squares the clubface. Getting the face angle straight will take less effort.
- Keep Supple! Moving with a sense of relaxation and freedom makes it not only easier to swing for higher clubhead speed, but also makes it easier to control the clubface. Many average golfers are tense with too much grip pressure right from setup. Others will tense up, or squeeze, approaching impact in an effort to steer. Whipping the club freely without tension gives us more speed and control.
These five ideas are fantastic for gaining both distance and hitting more fairways.