Add Yards to Your Drive: 3 Tips to Elevate Your Golf Game

W2W Aug 23

Hello and welcome back to the blog here at Woods to Wedges, Buffalo’s leading golf outlet, lesson and fitting provider! Here on the blog, we like to give you little golf hints and tips that you can employ in your golf lessons, whether you’re training yourself or coming to us for assistance from the pros. Today, let’s dive into some tips that should add yards to your drive

Everyone wants to find out how to hit the ball further, and a lot of tips you find online do little to progress that goal. Today we want to give you actionable tips that you can incorporate into your golf game and some easy drills you can put into practice on those tips.

The Science of the Swing

Before we dive too far in, let’s start with a story. It was around 5 years ago, hitting balls at the range with my father and uncle. The two of them had been driving 220-some-odd yards with big, pin-straight shots at towering angles. My own shots were scarcely over 100 yards and would hook wildly off-target. So, I asked what gives, looking for tips on improving my swing and approach. My father gives a small chuckle while watching my swing and simply states – “Try hitting up on the ball more. Move your tee up or your foot back”.

I had, unconsciously, shifted my approach in the years it had been since I played with any sincerity. Treating the golf ball more like a baseball on a tee in batting practice than a golf ball bristling with the potential to explode off the clubhead. 

The Role of Attack Angle in Generating Speed and Carry 

Let’s take that baseball analogy a bit further since the science of hitting your drive longer and straighter has some rhymes in the science of hitting home runs. This lesson will be the core of our methodology for increasing your drive distance – increasing your attack angle. An increased attack angle will increase the ball’s exit velocity, lead to a higher launch angle, have less spin, and ultimately add yards to the ball’s flight. Some of those terms will probably be familiar to baseball fans, the launch angle, spin rate, and exit velocity, as the core of hitting home runs. Increased launch angle at higher exit velocities leads to the ball traveling further, and a decreased spin rate could make it fly straighter. This was understood by many of the game’s best drivers, but the invention of tracking technology like Trackman and its prevalence has cemented and proved the thought. 

Let’s not delay any further, and dive into the tips that you can use to add yards to your drive. 

Tee the Ball Higher: Optimizing Your Launch

By increasing the height of your tee, you create an environment where it’s far easier to be able to increase the attack angle of your swing. Think about it, if the tee has your ball sitting down too low, your club, if it even hits squarely, will launch a more line-drive style shot at best, and a shot angled down into the ground at worst if the clubhead only hits the top of the ball. 

At-Home Golf Drill: Tees at Varying Heights

There are different types of tees for hitting different shots with varying clubs. For your drives, you want to be reaching for the taller ones in your bag, making it easier to strike the ball at a positive angle

Let’s talk about a simple drill you could incorporate into your practice that can get you used to hitting from different heights. Set up three balls in a row on tees of varying heights – one tall, one medium, and one nearly flush to the ground. Level your club behind the ball on the highest tee, to try and find out where your swing will bottom out, then swing at and hit the ball. You don’t want to break the tee under the ball. Then, move on to the middle tee and repeat the process, and again on the lowest tee. Breaking the tee under the ball is likely a sign that you are striking the ball too early, your shoulder position shifted, or your contact point is at the wrong spot. Work on the drill until you can solidly strike the ball from each tee. 

Position the Ball Closer to Your Lead Foot: The Setup Advantage

The position of your feet relative to where the ball is plays a much larger role in the eventual flight path of the golf ball then you’d think at first. By standing with the ball closer to your lead foot, you create more lift in your shot and strike the ball later in the swing arc

Moving the ball closer to your lead foot (either by moving the ball itself or your foot positioning) creates more lift, which creates higher ball flight. With the ball flying higher, it can go further, and ride wind currents for even more distance. The club striking the ball later in the arc reduces the odds of “topping” the ball.

At-Home Golf Drill: Weight Shifting to Reduce Topping the Ball

One simple drill you could incorporate into your personal practice sessions is the ball sweeping drill. For this drill, you want to set the ball about 1-2 inches ahead of your lead foot, much further than you would typically be set up. Then, place the club head directly behind the ball, and sweep the ball off the tee with a smooth swing and follow through. When sweeping the ball, remember to shift the weight in your hips before impacting the ball so the club strikes the ground after hitting the ball.

Lower Your Trailing Shoulder: Perfecting Your Posture

Shoulder position plays a large role in determining the power, accuracy, and distance of the shot. The tilt of your shoulders helps to build the foundation of your swing and influences the path of the clubhead. If you’re trying to add yards to your drive, lowering your trailing shoulder will promote an upward swing, increasing the angle of attack, and lengthening the amount of time the club is square to the ball. This helps promote the increased launch angle, which we’ve gone over how that will help add yards to your game. 

At-Home Golf Drill: “The Trailing Shoulder Drill”

A simple drill you can do during warmups before hitting the links is the top down drill. Walk up to the ball, taking your normal stance, and begin your backswing. At the apex of this, hold your club’s position. After holding for a moment, start the downswing and pay attention to your shoulder rotation. Your back shoulder should feel slightly lower than the front. Before hitting the ball, abort the swing and go again. Repeat the process at least two more times.

Integrating These Techniques into Your Game

Each of these strategies seeks to incrementally improve your swing, which ultimately will improve your drives and golf game at large. Incorporate these strategies and drills incrementally, building your skills in a manner that also builds your confidence on the course. Practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, but perfect practice does create results. You might not immediately see more yards added to your drives, but you will notice you’re hitting the ball with more consistency and the quality of the shots has gone up.

That brings us back to that story I had shared earlier. A short while later, I went with my father to the range again, this time armed with drills and practice. My drives hadn’t necessarily gone much further just yet, but the ball was flying higher and exploding off the tee in a way that I hadn’t put together in years. 

Improve Your Golf Game Today!

Check out our Golf Lessons page to see how our PGA instructors’ expert advice can elevate your game. Once you’ve seen what our Instructors can do, check out our Golf Fittings page to see how they incorporate the best gear in golf technology to even further that! Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page to see what we’re up to next! 

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