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How to Increase My Drive Distance

by Robert Lee

    This article is one of our editor's top picks this month.

    Few shots in golf are more satisfying than a perfect drive down the fairway. Long drives often lead to an easier approach shot into the green and a possible one-putt and birdie. That’s a key reason why many amateur players constantly seek to improve their driving distance. Some may add a few yards by upgrading from older equipment to more modern drivers offering improved technology. Switching to golf balls built for distance can also help. Even after changing your equipment there are other moves you can make to achieve greater distance off the tee.

    Step 1

    Tee the ball up higher. In 2006, Golf.com conducted a study involving 27 golfers, ranging in age from 25 to 71. On average the players drove the ball 12 yards farther when they placed the ball at a high tee height instead of a mid tee or low tee height. The golfers ranged from tournament-caliber competitors to casual players. Their handicaps ranged from scratch to 29. Tee the ball high by placing a long tee into the ground. After placing the ball on the tee the bottom edge of the ball should be slightly above the clubface's top edge.

    Step 2

    Swing your driver at 85 to 90 percent of your maximum effort. A smooth, balanced swing at 85 percent of your power is better than a wicked, off-balance swing at 100 percent, according to golf instructor Dave Pelz. Pelz notes that pro golfers are skilled enough to go all out with their drivers but still retain perfect form and balance. Most amateurs cannot. Take some practice swings at full speed, then throttle back to see the difference. As your form and balance improve you should see a difference in your driving distance.

    Step 3

    Increase your overall swing speed through physical conditioning. Adding greater strength and flexibility will help you swing the club faster, possibly resulting in greater driving distances. If possible, work with a personal trainer to create a fitness program tailored for a golfer. Remember to continue swinging at 85 to 90 percent even after your swing speed increases.

    Tips

    • Ask a PGA or LPGA golf professional to examine your swing for form and balance. The pro can work with you on making solid contact with the ball – a must for improving your distance. Spend time several days a week swinging your driver at home without a ball. Focus on form, balance and swinging through with the clubface square at the imaginary point of impact.

    About the Author

    Robert Lee has been an entrepreneur and writer with a background in starting small businesses since 1974. He has written for various websites and for several daily and community newspapers on a wide variety of topics, including business, the Internet economy and more. He studied English in college and earned a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Governor's State University.

    Photo Credits

    • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images