So how do I get someone to increase their distance? Simple, I make them swing looser, NOT harder!
THE LOOSER SOMETHING IS, THE FASTER IT WILL SWING!
To understand what I mean, I want you to think back in your golfing past. At some point, you probably experienced a tee shot that went 30 – 50 yards farther than any other tee shot you have ever hit. Now, I want you to think back to how this shot felt, and remember what you said to yourself after hitting it.
I can guarantee that you said, “boy … that felt effortless” or you said, “that felt so easy” or you said, “wow! I didn’t even hit that one and it went a mile!!!” Now, if you had this this effortless, nothing feeling, how did you hit the ball so far? Well, you swung looser not harder. I say this because if you would have hit the ball as hard as you could have with just your arms, you would have felt them. It would not have felt effortless!
So why could you not hit this amazing, long ball over and over again? Simple … you wanted even more. So, you stood up on the next tee and tried to hit it even farther.
In trying to hit the ball even farther, you relied on the only feeling you know and that’s to hit the ball really hard. You see, in your mind, you currently equate distance with a hard hitting feeling. So to get extra distance, it seemed logical to whack at the ball as hard as you could. As you did this, the 4 things I listed in the first part of this tip came back into your swing and all of a sudden you were back to your good old self. The dream of beating Tiger just became a distant memory.
So What Should You Have Done?
Simple … you should have kept that feeling of “nothing”. In feeling “nothing”, your arms would not have contracted through impact. They would have stretched out fully because the mass (club) would have stretched them out. In other words, when you set the club in motion in the downswing, the weight of the swinging club would have stretched your arms out fully thus maximizing the width of your swing arc.
If the arms would have stretched out fully, the grip of your club would not have fallen behind the head either. So, you would have hit the tee shot with the correct loft on the club.
You would not have tilted your spine to the left in the downswing either because you were not trying to hit the ball hard at all. So your plane would have been better and you would have made more direct contact on the ball.
Finally, your wrists would not have tightened. They would have remained loose throughout the swing. Remember, the looser something is, the faster it will swing.
Here’s the Problem
Right now it is not logical swinging with a feeling of “nothing” is going to produce a shot that goes farther than your hardest swing. But remember, I just gave you 4 reasons why it will go farther. So, not only do you have to understand how it is possible to swing with a feeling of “nothing”, and still hit the ball a long way but you have to convince yourself that this is the correct feeling.
The Future is Bright For You
So what should you do as you go into the future? Well, I want you to tell yourself, that in the past, the feeling of whacking at the ball as hard as you can has not worked, and will not work, so don’t keep trying it this way.
Secondly, you have already proven that your best shot came when you felt “nothing”. So you have to try and latch on to this feeling and apply it to every shot hereafter. If you do not get it immediately keep trying because you know that this will work. You’ve already done it before!
Next, I want you to change what you do when you go to play and practice. Do the drills below and you will finally add the extra distance that has been eluding you:
Drill 1 – Loosen the Wrists
Remember, something that is looser swings faster than something that is tighter. So, start loosening your wrists as you swing the club. What this means, is that from this day forward, you do little half or three quarter swings allowing your wrists to loosen up. You do them at home. You do them at the range. You do them before you tee off. You do them while you are playing. You do them over and over again until you get used to this looser feeling.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. It is not a letting go of the club. Your hands are secure on the club. The only thing that is loosening are your wrists. I like to describe it to people like this: imagine your club is your front door and your arms are the door frame. Your wrists are the little metal bar that is part of the metal hinge that holds your door onto the frame. Now, if you think about opening and closing your door, there would be NO RESISTANCE. It would swing freely back and forth. So with this image in mind, you swing the club (door) back and forth while loosening up your wrists. Yes, it will feel different. This different feeling is what you want because the feeling your currently have is not giving you the distance you desire. As you keep doing it, the wrists will loosen up and you will get used to this new feeling.
Drill 2 – Extend Your Arms
This drill will help you to get your arms stretched out fully when you swing. Remember, the wider your swing arc the more clubhead speed. So, you can do this drill 2 ways. The first is to take your club to the top of the backswing. Then, as you come down, hold the club at 3 feet past impact with driver, and 2 feet after impact with irons. At this very point after impact, both of your arms should be perfectly straight.
So, you go back to the top of the backswing and come down ONLY this point (not beyond it). Make sure the arms are fully stretched out then go back to the top of the backswing again and come down ONLY to this point again, and again, and again.
Now don’t think that you will have this mastered in 3 repetitions. Usually, I cannot even get the average player to do it once, so you do have some work to do. Just remember that you are trying to get your arms to stretch out fully at this point after impact. As you keep doing it, it will get easier and easier.
If you cannot do this, then do it another way. Take your set up with a wall or your golf bag (on a stand) a couple of yards off your left hip (the idea would be that you are hitting your ball at the wall or at the golf bag).
Then, take your set up. Now, turn through (no backswing) and try to touch your golf bag, or the wall, with the head of the club. After you have measured this distance, take at least 1 big step to your right so you are now farther way from the golf bag, or wall, and you will NOT hit the object if you swing through.
Now that you are standing far enough away from the object, do a swing and try to hit the object (knowing full well you cannot because you are standing too far away from it). The idea here is that you now have an object to concentrate on. If you are trying to hit it, it will stretch your arms out as you swing through. Most people are concentrating on hitting the ball. Because of this, they do not allow the arms to extend. With an object to your left, you are not thinking about impact anymore, you are thinking about hitting the object. Now you can think past impact and get the arms to stretch out.
Again, you cannot do this 3 times and think you’ve got it. You have to keep doing it over and over again until this does not feel weird.
As a final thought to get the arms to stretch out, use this simple image. Imagine you have a magic marker attached to your club and there is a big sheet of paper in front of you. Now, when you make your swing try to draw the widest circle you can. If you use this image, it will also get your arms stretch out to their fullest.
Drill 3 – Do Tons of Practice Swing Off the Ground
If you don’t know by now, this is my favorite drill. Although I do show people this drill, and tell them to do it regularly, they don’t. So, I will try to stress it again. To do this drill, you simply take your normal set up with the club down on the ground. Then, you raise your body up so the club is off the ground at approximately knee high. From this elevated position, you do practice swings. Why? Because 99% of all golfers are thinking of hitting the golf ball. The harder you hit, the tighter you get, the slower the club will swing.
By elevating the club in the air, there is nothing there to hit. This means that as you swing you will be able to feel your body making the club swing instead of just whacking at it with our arms. If you remember back to Iron Byron, and how they got it to hit the ball farther, they simply sped up its motor. In doing so, its driveshaft turned faster, which made the arm come down faster, which made the hinge at the end of the arm whip the club through impact faster.
With the club in the air, I want you to think about your legs being the motor to your swing. Make the club swing through by using your legs. As far as the arms are concerned, just let them go along for the ride.
Now, when you start off do this at a slow rate of speed and listen to the sound the club makes as it whips through. After you are feeling your legs make the club swing, try to drive them a little harder. In this process, you will hear the club whip faster. This is the tell-tale sign that you can increase the clubhead speed by using your body instead of whacking at it with your arms.
After you are used to swinging at this pace, you go even faster still. Now, you should really be hearing the club whip through and feeling the body making it happen. This is the feeling you should be having when you hit a golf ball that’s why I really want you to do this drill as much as you can. So you get used to it feeling like this in your practice swings, then you apply this very same feeling to your shots.
When you started reading this tip you were probably hoping for one magical tip that would allow you to gain 30 – 50 yards on your tee shot weren’t you? Well, if you think back, I did give you the one magical tip. Let me refresh your memory … When you hit the ball you should be feeling “nothing”. When I say “nothing” I don’t mean it feels a little looser. The true feeling you should have is that your body is hitting the shot and your arms are just going along for the ride. Remember … the looser something is, the faster it will swing.
So … the magical tip to get you to hit the ball farther than ever before is to feel “nothing”.
Until next time,
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