Maybe we can’t launch our drives like Yani Tseng, but a few expert golf tips can help us advance the ball.
HOW DOES your drive measure up to that of the typical LPGA Tour player? According to the TrackMan system, her swing speed with the driver is 94 mph. Her attack angle is 3 degrees, her launch angle 13.2 degrees and her spin rate is 2611 rpm. Her ball speed is 140, her maximum height is 25 yards and the drive travels 218 yards on the fly.
And then there’s Yani Tseng, who, for all her troubles, routinely ranks near the top of LPGA Tour with average drives of 275 yards.
Ah, so you have a ways to go? The equipment companies would recommend you get fitted for a new driver. The teachers, however, have some other ideas that cost much less and can help you much more. Pick out one of these golf tips and give it a go. Who knows, maybe then you’ll be watching your golf ball go, go and go.
GOLF TIPS FOR DISTANCE
- “Some ladies have been taught to slow down their swing in order to hit the ball. Perhaps it’s a fear of losing balance or losing control and wanting to guide the ball, but whatever the reason, ditch that idea. Don’t be afraid to move fast. Start training today! Try the seven-ball speed drill. First, tee up seven shots in a row. Set up to the first shot, and as soon as you are set you hit the ball. You then go on to the next shot and hit all seven balls as fast as you can. This eliminates the time it takes to get set up to the ball. It helps you shut down your intellect and access your inner athlete (motor cortex) so that you stop thinking and let it go. You will be surprised at how many good shots you can hit when you are not really trying to focus, over-think and take a lot of time.”
—Wendi Wiese, Texas Team Junior Golf and Director of Golf Instruction (PGA), Pebble Creek Country Club, College Station, Texas.
- “If you do this three times a week, you will find your golf swing will have more speed along with more balance.”
—Robert Penner, Level 2 Certified K-Vest Instructor, Ted & Dave Custom Golf, Calgary, Canada.
- “Did you know that after the age of 35 we lose one degree of flexibility each year? Did you know that the loss of flexibility negatively impacts balance? One of the best bits of advice I have given to my students with GREAT results has been for them to take one less lesson from me each week and seek out practitioner-assisted stretching. My students have seen such a tremendous impact on their lives that I became a certified practitioner with Stretch Zone, and I myself get stretched twice a week.”
—Jane Broderick, Director of Golf (PGA Master Professional, LPGA Master Professional), PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
- “This tip is for all level of players, but especially those who have lost distance or are just stuck at where they are: Get the clubhead moving. First, find out if you are hitting in the center of the face by spraying it with some Dr. Scholls foot spray. You will see the impact the ball makes on the location of the face. Secondly … Swing the clubhead faster! Too many women become protective with the driver and try to steer the ball down the fairway. The best drivers of the ball are free and flowing, having a specific target but swinging like you are swinging out to the ocean. The swing must have energy and clubhead must get ‘thrown.’ The right wrist flexes and extends. To get the feeling take a long head cover, hold on the sock part and throw or fling it around you in the finish. Overhand serve in tennis is the same motion. Take a golf ball in your right hand and feel like your hand is going to brush your left hip as you throw it around you, palm up. “
—Krista Dunton, Senior Instructor Berkeley Hall Club (PGA, LPGA), Bluffton, S.C.
- “Make sure that your grips fit your properly so that you can hold the club properly in the fingers. Grips that are too large eliminate this ability and if you hold the club in the palm, you have to hold so tightly to keep the club from slipping that speed an be difficult.”
—Kellie Stenzel, Director of Instruction (LPGA Professional, PGA Master Professional), Boca Raton Resort & Club, Fla.
- “Not many women can beat a man in arm wrestling. I feel that If woman can build strength in her wrists and forearms (the small muscles), that newfound energy will feed the big muscles and result in a confident, powerful swing. Develop forearm strength with this drill: Attach a rope with a weight at the end to the middle of a broomstick. Extend your arms parallel to the ground and roll the weight up and then slowly back down. Like shampooing, repeat as necessary. Start with a pound or two and challenge yourself with a weight that makes it difficult to hold your arms parallel to the ground from the start.”
—Jim Wysocki, “San Francisco’s Favorite Pro,” www.theswingfixer.com
- “An important element for the beginning to intermediate player searching for those few extra yards is the first move away from the ball. The width of a player’s swing arc will assist with those needed extra yards. The first move the club needs to make on your takeaway is to extend the club head low, close to the the grass for about 3 to 5 inches behind the ball. Then allow the club to proceed up the swing plane. Always remember to extend your club head and swing that extra 3 to 5 inches as you swing back through to the ball on your follow-through. Try to match the width of your arc on your takeaway with the width on your follow-through.”
—Beth Blevins, Director of Instruction (PGA), Summer Grove Golf Academy, Newman, Ga. www.summergrovegolf.com
- “Most of us could use more hand and forearm strength. These hand grippers at right work better than squeezing a tennis ball.”
—Dede Moriarty, (LPGA, PGA) Instructor, Presidio Golf Course in San Francisco.
- “Here’s the tip I give ladies who want more distance.”
—Nancy Quarcelino, Founder, Nancy Quarcelino School of Golf (PGA/LPGA, LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame), www.QSOG.com
- “In a study done by Dr. Angelo Scarpati in New Jersey using the members at his club, he found that the best way to increase clubhead speed and ball speed (measured using the TrackMan) was to incorporate the TPI golf fitness program with SPEED circuit training. Try the ‘Skaters’ drill: Bend slightly forward at the hips and jump from side to side, building up speed similar to a speed skater. Do that for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds and repeat four times.”
—Helen Kurtin, Co-founder of the St. Louis Golf Academy in St. Louis, Missouri (LPGA-PGA).
- “Try teeing the ball higher — most amateurs will tee the ball too low and try to ‘help’ the ball get in the air. Let the loft of the driver/club do the work for you! Keep your takeaway low to the ground, and this will help you swing up and through the ball at contact. And it’s a must to make sure you have the proper equipment, it will make a world of difference.”
—Nikki Gatch, Regional League Manager at PGA of America, Greater Los Angeles Area.