After reading and researching on how to hit long drives, I have come to the conclusion that there is no set standard. Each player has a slightly different swing and this causes challenges to come up with a definitive way to hit long drives. I realize that there is a foundation for the proper swing and I think I found a video that offers a step by step process for hitting the long ball. When I watched it, I felt that as a single digit handicapper it fit my swing more than most, so I thought it was worth talking about.
The technique to hitting a long drive is slightly different from hitting irons. There are a couple of extra steps that I do not perform with my irons such as the shoulder tilt. Regardless, I do like the way Rickard Stronghert, touring professional, takes us through setting up for hitting the driver; especially how to set up our spine angel and shoulder tilt.
I am always on the look for simple, repeatable and effective ways to improve my game. Watching a step by step video is helpful. Unfortunately, Rickard did not expand on other important aspects like ball position and follow through. This would have made the whole video complete. Trying to find short videos such as the above one with all the information needed for even one swing is a challenge. So, I recommend focusing on the few important parts of the video that applies to your game.
One often overlooked aspect of trying to hit the ball long is keeping our hands, wrists and forearms loose. If you ever wondered about why this is important, well Rickard explains if perfectly. Loose grip and forearms produce a faster swing because they can easily flow through the entire swing. They allow for a great freedom of movement and that equates a faster club head speed. Faster club head speed allows for long drives. It seems simple now that it was explained, but for some reason amateurs like ourselves overlook this important tip about hitting the ball long.
Hitting long drives is always fun! Hitting them straight is even better. Creating the proper setup is key to success off the tee and I hope today’s article helps in some way to improve your game.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
4 thoughts on “Hitting Long Drives”
I’d say he covered all the basics pretty well. What he’s not saying is that long drives come from using the big muscles. I guess that’s to be expected since this is a video of some age I think. Sounds like things I remember from my youth for sure. Current thinking with all the computerized aids we have today adds to this but doesn’t detract from it at all.
There’s a couple I would add. Lifting the lead heel (left for a righty) in the backswing helps create a fuller turn and provides additional acceleration when you stamp it back down to start the transition. And it’s a help for those who aren’t as flexible as well as supposedly helping with lower pain strain. (can’t vouch for that lol)
The other thing I would add is speed is all in your ears. You don’t need a ball to practice for it. You just need to swing and listen. Well, and search for it. If you make a habit of just swinging the club and trying to make it go faster, you will eventually stumble upon the timing that brings your speed up if you keep at it. Power gets in the way at first. Best to search for it without trying to put everything into your swing. Search for it with the idea that you want to make the sound move forward from where you hear it. You want to try and make it swoosh to your left rather than right or front. Push it way out in front. The club head can move fastest as it come down or it can be snapped up to the ball and that’s what we want.
I still do this drill. It helps both for distance and for the reason I took it up. For times when I don’t have a range to warm up on. It gets me ready to go.
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I like the speed/sound drill. You are correct that a ball is not needed. I have an orange whip that works very well for your drill. Thanks for adding to the article.
The orange whip reminds me of the old fashioned rubberized donut weights we used to use. They both work very well. They are doing something totally different from the speed through sound drill though.
Adding weight to the end of the club or using your whip will help develop muscles to deliver more speed. Take a few swings with the whip or with a donut on and then take it off and the club head feels really light all of a sudden. It brings you more speed that way. But it doesn’t necessarily help you find what you may be still missing speed wise. For that, you still need to listen and search.
You can still cast with a donut or the whip. Casting will go away if you get the sound to move forward. You simply can’t cast and do that at the same time.
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I am looking forward to starting my training program. More to follow.