How To Hit The Ball Further With A Driver
While the old adage was “Drive for show and putt for dough, ” modern studies have shown that driving the ball further will often impact your scores more. At the end of the day, it’s no fun being the shortest hitter in your group, particularly if you are in the rough or trees too!
Looking for some simple and not-so-simple ways to get a bit more yardage with the big dog?
Here are some tips to help boost your distance off the tee so you can enjoy your golf a little more.
Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Links to other merchants may also be affiliate links.
How Technology Can Help Increase Distance From The Tee
There are two obvious ways of improving your carry distance without working on your game.
- Get custom fit for a driver
- Get fitted for a ball
If you are using a driver that doesn’t suit your swing then you are going to be leaving yards on the table. Similarly, if you want to maximize your distance then a low-compression “soft” ball is not going to cut it! If possible you need to get on a launch monitor so you know what your impact conditions are. If you don’t know where you are starting from then it will be difficult to improve!
Modern equipment is designed to work best with low spin and high launch from the driver. The exact figures will depend on your club head speed but find out what your baseline figures are first so that you can measure your progress.
If you generate a lot of spin with your driver then moving to a ball that spins less could add some yardage and straighten out those hooks and slices too!
Another piece of often-overlooked equipment is the humble golf tee. Modern large-headed drivers work best when the ball is teed up high. If you are using tees that are too short then you are handicapping yourself. If you look at the Pride professional tee system you want at least the yellow tees and many of you will need the blue or even green ones!
Pride Professional Tee System
- 100% Natural Hardwood
- Color bar indicates Tee length
- Painted, Printed and Packaged in the U.S.A.
- Perfect for drivers over 360cc
- Pride Professional Tee System (PTS) for easy identification of length
- Color coded system for easy identification of which tee to use
- Different styles available such as Titanium Strength, Micro Head and Step wood tees
How Technique Can Increase Driving Distance
Assuming you have the right equipment then the other thing to work on is how you are hitting the ball. Ideally, you should have a few lessons with a PGA Professional so you are working on the right moves.
Hit Up On The Ball With Driver
The modern 460cc drivers we are all using now need to be hit with an upward blow in order to achieve the optimum launch conditions.
While some pros can still manage to hit down on their drivers and get prodigious length the rest of us would be better off working on hitting up on the ball.
A simple change you can make is to get the ball teed up opposite your left instep or heel (right-handers). Try and tilt your upper body away from the target as well and you will be well on the way to achieving an upward strike for maximum carry.
One thing to consider though when you move the ball forward in your stance you will probably be coming at the ball from out-to-in causing more of a slice-type shot which will rob you of distance.
In order to get a better connection with the ball you might want to try closing your stance a little. Be careful when you do this that you retain the same relationship between you and the ball. Don’t just pull your right foot back a bit and close your shoulders!
If you are considering investing in a new driver then check out my review of the Callaway Paradym.
Make A Stable Base
You are trying to generate maximum speed with your driver so it makes sense to have the best support during your swing. Give yourself the best chance of success by widening your stance so that your heels are roughly shoulder-width apart.
This should allow you to make a full shoulder turn and swing the club with authority while remaining balanced through the swing.
Improve Ball Striking
Most advice on hitting the ball further revolves around improving clubhead speed but ball striking is just as important to long hitting. If you can start consistently hitting the sweet spot then you should see an improvement in your average driving distance and you should be on more fairways.
As the great John Jacobs used to say “Distance is clubhead speed, correctly applied”.
Hitting the ball toward the heel or toe of the club sees quite a significant drop-off in carry distance.
Get hold of some impact stickers or use some foot spray on the face of your driver to check how well you strike the ball.
One of the best ways to improve your strikes is to place an obstacle in the way to force your swing in a certain direction. Obviously, use something that won’t cause you injury or damage your club. An empty cardboard box is a great choice.
Improving your flexibility will allow you to make a bigger turn and that should mean more speed as your swing becomes longer.
Improve Your Fitness
Working on your general fitness will allow you to train longer and harder whilst reducing your risk of injury. You’re not likely to hit the ball further if you are only able to practice once a week because you get too tired or sore!
Work On Your Clubhead Speed
Use one of the speed trainers to try and gain some speed with your driver. The Superspeed system is the most famous but is pretty expensive so you might want to try a cheaper alternative.
You could add around 5% to your swing speed by training for 3 ten-minute sessions per week over 6 weeks.
Swing Speed Training System
- SuperSpeed Golf Men’s Training System optimized for players with driver weight of 300-325 grams
- Includes Green (light), Blue (medium), and Red (Heavy) weighted SuperSpeed Clubs
- Training sessions take 10 minutes and recommended 3 sessions per week
- Can help increase swing speed up to 5-8% over the first 4-6 weeks of practice
How To Hit The Ball Further With A Driver: Summary
By implementing some or all of these steps you should be able to add some yardage off the tee. You may not be able to hit it like the guys on the PGA Tour but you could add enough distance to give yourself one or two clubs less into the green which over the course of a round will likely start to save shots on your score.