Swing Tips for More Length Off the Tee
The game of golf today is predicated, for many, on how far you hit the ball off the tee. Many of the big names on tour have big followings because they are “big bombers” of the golf ball. And the rest of us are trying to emulate them—or at the very least, trying to figure how to get more distance off the tee.
Often the first thought that comes to mind in regards to accomplishing that is to check out the latest and greatest in the big new high-tech drivers or further-flying golf balls. But that really isn’t the complete answer.
“I always said that if Tiger went to Wal-Mart and bought a set of clubs, he would probably still beat me,” says Aaron Jacobson, director of instruction at Rush Creek Golf Club.
The Swing’s The Thing
Jacobson maintains that more distance won’t come from swinging harder, either. He talks instead about building a strong swing from the ground up and then using the “proper sequencing” of the downswing.
“Start with a good balanced setup, with the ball forward in the stance,” he says. “Shoulders are tilted and your right shoulder is titled about 10 degrees lower than the left shoulder (for right-handed players) so you can sweep the ball off the tee.
“Then you want a good coil, a good rotation back with about a 90-degree shoulder turn. Then the key is to make sure you build the downswing from the ground up. Relax and make sure you release the club head and create the speed coming through, down at the bottom of the club head.
Jacobson says he sees a lot of players on the lesson tee just swinging with their upper body, rather than starting the swing with movement of their lower body.
“The key for distance once you get into position at the top of the backswing is trying to start the downswing to the golf ball from the ground up with your lower body first,” he said. “Coiling, then having you arms nice and light. Once the body has started down, you can let the handle lead in and let the club head catch back up to create some speed with the hands and the club head.”
Try The Baseball Drill
Jacobson teaches a number of drills to help build the proper sequence. One of them borrows a maneuver from another sport in creating speed and power.
“To attain the proper sequencing, I would tell you to start with your feet apart in your normal setup, swing back like you normally would, click your left heal to your right and then take a step forward with your left foot to start the correct sequence with the lower body swinging first and the upper body following it,” Jacobson said. “It’s like stepping into throwing a baseball. The lower body starts the downswing because you are taking an actual step.”
Jacobson doesn’t completely disregard acquiring new equipment to help you get more distance; he just advocates getting the right equipment with a club fitting.
“Absolutely, it will help,” he says. “If you get the right shafts and the right lofts on your clubs, it will help you off the tee. It can make a huge difference in how the ball launches and in carry distances and actually the roll factor after it hits the ground.”
Jacobson says getting more distance can be accomplished due to a number of factors in your swing, but he has seen people pick up 20-30 yards with the right equipment and good technique. Who wouldn’t want that?
Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of Minnesota golf courses and resorts as international travel destinations. Our member facilities feature award-winning, championship golf courses and are geographically disbursed across the great state of Minnesota. The combination of exceptional quality and outstanding value make Minnesota one of the best golf destinations in the United States.