If you want to improve your distance – with your driver and with every club in your bag – the most important skill to focus on is increasing your club head speed: more specifically, club head speed through the impact zone. So when you head to the range to work on distance, evaluate your efforts based on how well it helps – or hurts – your swing speed.
The truth is that the laws of physics determine how far your golf ball will go. Inside the PGA we refer to them as the Ball Flight Laws, and there are three laws that govern distance:
- Club Head Speed;
- How well you hit the ball in the middle of the club face, referred to as “Center Contact”
- Your Angle of Attack, which influences ball spin rates and launch angle trajectory.
Optimize all three Ball Flight laws, and you’ve optimized your distance.
But the reason to focus on speed is that once you’ve learned to hit the ball in the center of the face, and once you get the right angle of attack – you have maximized those aspects of the physics of distance.
With swing speed, however, you can keep getting faster and faster. And I’m the perfect example.
The first year I entered the Long Drive Championships I wasn’t fast enough to compete at the World level. In fact, I almost lost the Regional qualifier. But in between the Regional and the World Championships – a period of about 6 weeks – I increased my club head speed from under 120 mph to over 140 miles per hour.
I did it by systematically breaking down the golf swing into parts and analyzing their impact on distance. If it didn’t help me hit the ball farther, I moved on. If it helped, I created a training regimen around it to get better.
The training program that ultimately emerged from this process is what turned into The 5 Keys To Distance. It’s exactly the same training regimen I use every year to gear up for the World Long Drive Championships in October.
The five “parts” of the swing that help the most with distance can be summarized by the acronym BLAST, which stands for Balance, Leverage, Arc, Speed, and Target. Keep these in mind when you are working on your swing, because the nice thing about BLAST is that they are all concepts (by henry). Because they are concepts, you can figure out how to best incorporate them into your own unique swing. They are not a methodology that requires you to be in a certain position at a certain point in your swing.
So the next time you practice with the intent of picking up more distance, experiment with your balance, leverage position, wider swing arc, core speed, and your target focus. Improving in just one or two of these areas can easily get you 10 to 20 more yards off the tee.
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