It seems pretty obvious that in order to hit the ball farther you need to increase your clubhead speed. After all, the long drive guys can carry the ball up to 400 yards with clubhead speeds in the 150 mph range. Keep in mind these guys are super human with nephilim-like bodies, with ripped muscles in abundance…so excluding maybe Jake Hansen, these guys are clearly not like the rest of us. That doesn’t mean we can’t get better…even a 5 mph gain in clubhead speed is pretty significant to any golfer. Who doesn’t want 10-15 more yards off the tee, which means shorter shots to greens, more greens hit, closer birdie putts and better scores. So here we go:
1. Get stronger. Yes that means working out. You don’t have to go nuts and become a gym fanatic but the facts don’t lie…as people age, they lose muscle mass and get weaker. So if you want to gain distance, step one is pretty logical. There are many ways to get stronger- pilates, kettlebells, lifting weights, swinging a weighted club, etc. All are good…all are helping you gain strength.
2. Get flexible. I’m not as nimble as I used to be. Some mornings I feel like the tin man from the wizard of oz or Wendy Benson (…some people will get it!) If only someone would give me a magic oil bath. Not happening! But I have found that the more I move, the better I feel. The same thing applies to gaining flexibility…the more you do, the better you will move. In golf, rotation is the engine that matters most… so maybe start with some rotational stretching. A simple one : Put a shaft across the back of your shoulders and practice holding turns in both directions. If you gain even an inch of turn on both sides, you are on your way to a more powerful swing.
3. Speed training. It is the same training principle that short-distance runners use by intentionally sprinting downhill. The goal here is to get you out of your speed comfort zone…to get you to swing faster. A good way to try this type of training for golf is to swing an extremely light club ie. just the shaft only – as fast as you can. Also try the same thing with one arm at a time. Then try to match that speed with a real club. We are not trying for technique here…just get that club whipping with some speed.
Every Spring there are always a few giddy members eager to report how much farther they are hitting the ball and it is all due to whatever they did fitness-wise over the winter. It always comes down to getting stronger, gaining flexibility, and increasing clubhead speed. Come April, I’m hoping you are among the giddy ones!