Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Secret to Driving the Golf Ball 15 More Yards Off The Tee Is Right At Your Fingers

Do you make this mistake with your grip pressure that could be costing you 15 yards or more off the tee?

In an effort to hit the golf ball harder to pick up a few more yards on your drive, do you grip the club really hard, thinking that if you could just put a little more power into the shot you could launch a bomb?

Rule of Thumb for Grip Pressure

Generally speaking, if you use a scale of 1 to 10 to measure grip pressure, with 1 being very light and 10 being very tight, your grip pressure with your driver should be in the range of 5. For irons and fairway shots, use a grip pressure of 4, and for shots around the green, use a grip pressure of 3.

The "secret" to driving the golf ball as far as you can is to increase your clubhead speed. For every 1 mph increase in clubhead speed you add about 2.5 yards of distance to your drives. Anything you can do to speed up your clubhead speed will improve your distance. Conversely, everything you do that slows down your clubhead speed will cost you distance.

Extra Grip Pressure Kills Swing Speed

If you grip your driver with pressure greater than 5, you will actually slow down your swing speed and lose distance. That extra grip pressure may be costing you 15 yards or more off the tee – particularly if you squeeze with the thumb and forefinger of your right hand.

To Swing Faster, Allow the Forearms to Rotate Through Impact

Maximizing your clubhead speed at impact involves allowing the forearms to rotate through the impact zone. Your right forearm should cross over your left forearm after contact with the golf ball.

Physiology May be Working Against You

You may be making a physiological mistake that is robbing you of forearm rotation, and therefore robbing you of distance!

If you have your right thumb on top of the shaft – called a 12:00 position – it is a quite normal reaction during the downswing to push with the thumb and squeeze with the right forefinger to control the club.

The Right Thumb at 12:00 Prevents Forearm Rotation

The problem is that using the thumb and forefinger activates a set of muscles on top of the forearm that prevent rotation, thus slowing down club head speed!

One of my students has taught woodshop for 30 years. When we discussed grip and the right thumb position, he related it to the way students are taught to hold a hammer. For precise nailing in fine woodworking the thumb is placed on the top of the hammer handle. He had always thought that lining the thumb up at 12:00 was more accurate because of the thumb alignment. He had never considered that placing the thumb along the top of the handle activated muscles that worked to limit forearm rotation!


You could see the light bulb go on.

His forearms were not rotating through the impact area in his golf swing because his thumb position was activating the forearm muscles that prevent forearm rotation.

Move the Right Thumb from 12:00 to 10:00

When we moved his thumb to a 10:00 position the results were immediate. His distance and his accuracy improved dramatically.

But there was more.

Through long habit with his thumb on top of the grip he had learned to squeeze with the right hand thumb and forefinger on the downswing. We used the "finger-wrap" drill to finally get him to stop squeezing.

Finger-Wrap Drill to Eliminate Grip Squeeze

To use the finger wrap drill, take your normal grip and address the ball. Without changing your hand position on the grip take your right forefinger from underneath the grip and wrap it around the top of the grip. Leave your right thumb in position on the grip (forefinger will rest on top of the thumb). The grip will now be between your right forefinger and middle finger.

Make your normal swing. It looks and feels awkward, but the results may surprise you.

Relaxed Thumb and Forefinger Adds 15 Yards

Pay attention to the way your grip pressure feels, particularly through the impact zone. Keep the pressure from your thumb and forefingers light. The finger-wrap drill is an easy way to learn how to keep from squeezing with the wrong muscles that slow down swing speed. Your golf ball will fly straighter and your drives will be longer. I've had students pick up 5-6 mph in swing speed and 12-15 yards immediately without any other changes to their golf swing, and the answer was right at their fingers!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Add 40 Yards to Your Golf Drives by Improving your Clubface Contact

What can you do to increase your distance off the tee? Focusing your golf swing on hitting the ball in the center of the club face – center contact – will give you the maximum distance for your swing and clubhead speed. Understanding where you currently make contact can help you make the adjustments necessary to optimize your driver distance.

What is Center Contact?

Back when drivers were made of real wood they had an artificial insert in the middle of the club face. The insert was typically attached by screws, and the placement of the screws usually defined the center of the clubface, giving rise to the phrase “hitting it on the screws” when referring to a particularly well-hit drive.

Of course modern metal drivers don’t have screws, but the concept remains the same: Hit it on the screws and it goes farther – and the difference can be significant.

How Important is Center Contact?

For instance, a 100 mph swing will drive the ball approximately 240 yards if hit perfectly square. A hit that is ¼ inch off-center will decrease distance 2-3%, or 3-5 yards. A hit that is ½ inch off-center will decrease distance 5%, or 12 yards. A hit that is ¾ inch off center will decrease distance 10-15%, or 25-40 yards!

In this case we are referring to a ball that is hit in the middle of the clubface as well as hit with a clubface that is square to the club path. Keep in mind, though, that ¾ of an inch is only about the diameter of a dime. With today’s big club faces, you could be substantially farther from center, which could be costing you

How Can You Tell Where You are Contacting the Ball?

Club manufacturers and club fitters use “impact tape” stuck to the club face to determine where you are contacting the ball. Check with your local PGA Pro and ask to use some impact tape if you want to check your impact location.

Make Your Own Budget Strike Detector

Or you can create your own “budget” impact detector with a range ball and a sharpie or magic marker. Just make a pea-sized dot on the range ball and align your ball on the tee so that the dot is directly in the back. Hit the ball, and a mark will transfer to your driver face. Presto! You’ll know exactly how far away from center you are making contact.

Make Set-Up or Swing Adjustments to Improve Center Contact Consistency

The next step is to make whatever adjustments to your set-up or swing needed to make better center contact. Sometimes it will be as simple as moving closer or farther from the ball at address. Other times you may need to make a swing adjustment. Set-up adjustments are far easier to incorporate than swing changes, so that’s a great place to start. If you need to make a swing change, try taking your specific issue to a PGA Pro. You’ll improve much faster than trial and error on your own.


Learning how to hit your drives in the center of the club face can improve your driving distance. You can quickly check your impact tendencies with impact tape, or a simple magic marker and a range ball. Knowing where you make contact on the clubface can help you determine whether you need a golf swing change or a set-up change. If you are off by ¾ of an inch or more, you could pick up an additional 20 to 40 yards off the tee by improving your contact position. Learn more with Eric Jones 5 Keys To Distance.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How to improve your driver distance

How you begin often has an effect on how you finish and the same can be said in golf. Both distance and quality of your drive can have a big effect on your performance on a given hole, not only because you will be in a worse position for the next shot but it can also have a big psychological effect by making you doubt your swing.

It can always be debated which club is the "most important" in the bag to be able to handle but there is no doubt that the driver is one of the most important and at the same time it is also one of the hardest to control. A good drive can both give you a great start and makes both birdies and eagles more obtainable.

The key to a good drive starts with the stance. With the driver you want to have a wide stance, which should be at least as wide as your shoulders, as it will help you keep your balance. A basic rule is that the more power you plan on putting into your drive the wider your stance should be. However you still want to keep your stance narrow enough to allow for a full body rotation. It can also be beneficial to turn your feet outwards, as it will give you a more fluid hip motion.

Another important thing is that you remember to rotate in your hips and make sure that you are not "sliding" to the right instead. Sliding your hips, so that your right hip goes over your right foot, makes it much more difficult to perform a good swing as you will have to slide back to the left just to hit the ball. By sliding instead of rotating you will also lose about 50 percent of the power as the sliding movement is not nearly as powerful as rotating.

If you want to add more distance to your drive I would recommend checking out World Long Drive Champion Eric Jones' Videos and E-Books.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Welcome and info

Welcome to my blog!

On this blog I will be giving some tips and tricks that I hope can help a lot of golfers become better. If you are brand new to golf, don't worry, as I will be explaining the techniques without getting too technical. I believe that becoming a better golfer is about developing your own understanding of the techniques in a way that you can implement it into your own game.

I will be posting new stuff regularly so be sure to check back.