Speed Killers 3
Speed Killers 3: Training For Distance
In the first video we talked about the most important Key to distance: Speed. Specifically, club head speed through impact.
I shared with you some of the challenges I faced trying to increase my own swing speed, dealing with the mish-mash of information out there, and trying to understand which elements were the most important. As part of that I also shared some of the things I did wrong, including trying to hit the ball “harder”, and then getting on the swing-tip hamster wheel.
I left you with a few simple exercises you could do without even heading to the range or course, including simply “practicing swinging faster” and the “whoosh” drill.
In Video 2 we talked about Speed Killers. Specifically – Swinging “harder” vs. swinging “faster” which is exactly the mistake I made at first and the same one that I see a ton of other golfers making.
We talked about another speed killer – Ball-Focus, or the Hit Impulse, and how it orients your body to the ball rather than the target.
We also looked at a little physics and the ball flight laws. I gave a few examples of how we can use these laws to analyze the results of shots, and then get insight into what are the real fundamental issues, so that we know where to focus our improvement efforts to get the biggest payoff.
We also did a fun exercise crossing arms as an example of how our body does certain things by habit, and to get you thinking of your swing as a habit rather than a mechanical motion. The idea is, once we start thinking of the swing as a collection of habits we begin to approach the way we go about improving our swing differently.
You can’t just make a new swing motion once or twice and expect it to be the new norm. Our bodies just aren’t wired that way.
So if you want to make a swing improvement, the best way to go about it is to have a system. A structured process you can use … over time … that allows you to focus on the right elements of the swing and to get feedback so you know you are doing it correctly.
If you want to achieve a specific goal – let’s say adding 20 to 30 more yards to your drives – the best way to accomplish that is to have a system designed specifically to help you optimize the ball flight laws of center contact and angle of approach, and particularly to generate more club head speed through impact.
In this video I’m going to share with you what a system like that would look like … And 5 Key elements of the swing to focus on to get more distance and more consistency.
You can do it, because speed is a skill. It can be learned and the motion can be grooved.
But before I talk about that system I’d just like to say thanks for all the cool comments, questions, and feedback on the first couple of videos. Clearly getting more distance is something a lot of golfers would like to achieve. I want to address some of the questions and comments, too – especially the ones about time. A couple of people asked if it will take a huge investment in time and energy to get more distance. Let me answer this in a couple ways.
First, if you are trying to go about getting longer in a willy-nilly way, without knowing exactly what to focus on, or even worse, focusing on the wrong things, it can take forever. And you may not even be successful. And you’ll probably be very frustrated.
There’s a bit of folklore you may be familiar with that says it takes 21 days to form a new habit.
Now we don’t actually Know how long it takes to form a new habit, but 21 days is probably a pretty good rule of thumb. Now … You can develop speed quickly. In fact, you can do it right away – in one or two swings – once you know what to do.
The trick is to make it stick.
I only had six weeks between the Regionals and the World Championships my first year in long drive. But I added 20 mph to my swing and I hit it 381 yards. I don’t know that I’d ever hit a ball 381 yards before. The following year at a long drive Tour event I hit one 435 yards. So what I’m saying is … not only can you make distance stick, you can keep getting better!
If you know what to do!
I’ve been teaching What to do, and the concepts of distance for so long to so many students that I decided to put it all down into a system.
So I’ve created a program that includes a book and videos that explains exactly what you need to focus on – the 5 Key Concepts – to get more distance. The book includes a step-by-step blueprint that you can use to make the program effective for you, and the videos show you exactly how to do it.
I’m going to give you 5 Key concepts, and an acronym that will help you remember them. The acronym is BLAST.
BLAST stands for:
Now here’s the thing I’ve observed with my golf students when I teach them how to improve in these areas: Mastering just one or two of these concepts easily gets them 10 to 20 more yards. When they start putting together all 5 concepts they start adding 40 … 50 … 60 more yards to their drives. And all their other clubs start going farther too.
The other thing … and I hear this all the time … is the comment that goes something like “Wow! When I do it right it feels easy. It feels natural.” That’s because these key elements are CONCEPTS. Not a methodology.
The program for improving is systematic, and it’s based on the very latest advancements in skill acquisition and training techniques used by our Olympic athletes. Having a practice methodology and a series of steps is the most efficient way to help you master the concepts, and to add more distance to your game.
But the reason I hear this comment so often is that once you understand the concepts – What you are supposed to do and Why – you will find the way that makes them work best for You. Your unique physiology. Your unique swing. Your quirks and idiosyncrasies.
Here’s what I mean: BALANCE, the B of BLAST, is a concept. Not a methodology. The way you find your balance will be unique to you.
Balance is one of the key elements of distance because it’s so foundational. To maximize your club head speed you need to make your most athletic movement you can. To make an athletic movement, you need to be balanced. To make Your most athletic movement you don’t need to be in just any kind of balance. You need to be in Athletic Balance.
In the 5 keys to distance program you’ll learn exactly what Athletic balance is, and how you can easily create it in your set up and address position, and why it’ll help you generate more speed AND consistency.
Leverage is what allows you to bring maximum force to the impact zone. You’ll learn exactly what leverage is AND your two leverage points – your right foot and your upper left arm. Using leverage effectively is like adding high-octane to the fuel line: it allows you to bring a lot more bang to the ball, turbo-charging your engine for more speed.
Arc width – the “A” of BLAST – will help you improve your angle of attack so you can hit drives with that parabolic flight that optimizes your carry in the air and your roll-out when the ball lands. It will also help you generate more speed naturally because your club head will be farther away from your rotation point, and if you generate more arc width the right way you’ll find it easier to engage your core.
Because Speed comes from the core – your hips, shoulders, and torso. Your core is like the engine of a car. The faster you get the engine running the faster your car will go. When you have balance, leverage, and a wider arc working the right way you’ll be amazed at how much easier it will be to get more distance in a way that not only feels effortless, but produces far more consistent results.
You’ll also see how adopting a target focus will keep your core accelerating through impact in a way that allows you to naturally hold your lag longer AND release better to your target. It’s how you’re going to get more distance AND consistency.
These concepts are the 5 Keys parts of the swing that produce distance, and I’ve put them together into distance improvement program called … The 5 Keys to Distance. I’ve had the program available as an electronic download for a little while. I’ve taken the feedback from golfers who have used it and I’ve revamped some of the program content. I’ve added new chapters about practicing, pre-shot and post-shot routines, and taking it to the golf course. But I’m really excited because now it is finally coming out in a hard-copy form with a DVD.
It’s been really fun teaching you some of what I’ve learned about getting more distance. I’ve really enjoyed the interaction and I really appreciate the community of golfers that has sprung up around the content I’ve been sharing. Hearing from You reinforces why I love to teach this game. And for those of you who really want to improve your distance – and by extension – your entire game, I’m really looking forward to sharing the 5 keys to Distance Program.
The 5 keys to Distance program is a comprehensive book that fits in your golf bag…with drills, illustrations and, of course, the actual DVD that demonstrates the swing concepts and the drills.
In the Program I’ll walk you through the 5 parts of the swing you need to focus on to get more distance. I’ll show you how they occur in the natural order of your swing: from Setup to Backswing to Downswing to Impact Position to your Finish. I’ll give you an easy way to remember and Use the 5 Keys. But just as importantly – perhaps MORE importantly – I’m going to walk you through, step-by-step, the smartest way for you to practice, integrate, and groove the Keys into your swing and make distance a permanent part of your game. I’m also walk you through how to practice, how to integrate and groove the drills into your swing…how to create a reliable pre-and post shot routine and why those are critical to playing great golf. The other thing I’ll do is walk you through how to take everything you’ve learned to the course (believe it or not, there is a system for that as well). I cover it all… from soup to nuts.
This program is what I used to win a world long drive championship, and it’s what I still use to compete, and what continue to use to help my own students. I wouldn’t dream of using anything different, because it’s a program that works. I’m living proof, and my students are living proof.
The book with dvd are available now.
I’ve had some great feedback so far on the blog. And I know I am going to get a lot more with this video. And I’d love to keep seeing your feedback and answering your questions. So go ahead and go to the comments section and leave me your feedback. Tell me what you number one question is, or your top two questions.
I’ll gather them up…and answer them. Nothing fancy… just answer as many as I can.
What’s going to happen after that is that I’m going to be working with my existing students again… so I’m going to have to stop putting out this free content… and get back to my teaching practice… and I still compete in the sport of long drive so I have to turn my attention back to that as well.
So if you want to go deeper, the 5 Keys to Distance program is the right pathway for you.
Now, I’d like to read you a fantastic letter I got – out of the blue – from a golfer named Tom.
I’ve played golf for 35 years and have always been a good golfer, but never real long (drives @ 245 yard avg. – 260 if I really connected). I followed your program and did all the drills. I did it all without hitting balls for about 3 weeks. The first time I went out to play, I used the white tees like I normally used to. First hole is a short par 5 (only 485 from the white). I had 155 left on my second shot! One the ninth hole, a little downwind, I hit a really nice high baby fade off the tee. We couldn’t see where it went because it traveled so far. As we were going down the fairway the course marshal came driving up to us and said with a grin, “Okay, who’s the hot-shot driving the green?” It was a 335 yard par 4, and I was on the back of the green!
Since then I play from the blue tees. I’ve actually toned it down a bit. I now know I can pull out the 300+ drive if I need it, but usually I prefer a more controlled drive and now average about 280 off the tee. I’m hitting it longer at age 48 than I did in college (played in college at Northwestern), and my handicap is down to the low singles for the first time in years.
Here’s the really fun part. I have a 9 year old son who just got into golf last year. I had him do the drills together with me and this summer he cleaned up in the local junior golf program. He won his first tournament by so much they moved him up to the 10 year old division. He was intimidated at first, but once he got his confidence, he won his last two tournaments and then won the Tournament of Champions – the only 9 year old in the division. He was all grins. Last year he couldn’t carry a driver more than 70-80 yards. Now he hits it 160-170 on the fly.
So I’d like to thank you. I haven’t messed around with my golf swing too much over the years, but I have had to adjust a few things due to lower back problems and arthritis in the neck. The best thing your teaching did was gave me permission to turn my body and not try to do the X factor thing. That was the key for me. I haven’t had a sore back after playing golf all this summer and I’m hitting it farther. Both good things.
Thanks Tom. Great letter. Not everybody gets results like Tom, but imagine if it worked for you …
I’ve enjoyed sharing the information with you, and I really love watching my students reach their own goals.
Click the link to get your copy of The 5 Keys to Distance.