There has been a lot of talk lately about driving distance on the PGA tour. Last week at Firestone, Rory was bombing it and was touted as the favourite at the PGA Championship because of his track record but also because of how he was hitting his driver which was crazy long.
I took a look at the top seven PGA pros on the fed ex standings and this is how it reads. The top seven are Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Speith, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Ricky Fowler and Brooks Koepka. They all bomb it except for Jordan (and Jordan isn’t really that short) but none of them are even close too being accurate. No one is inside the top fifty in driving accuracy yet they are the leading players on tour.
So what can we take from this? Learn to bomb it and it doesn’t really matter if it ends up in the rough. I can remember learning golf as a junior and reading Jack’s Golf My Way and he stressed to learn to hit it long first and straighten it out second.
There is no greater advantage to shooting low scores than having distance off the tee and of course there isn’t anything more fun than hitting a booming drive…and hitting it by all your friends!
I recently played a game of golf out at Woodside in Airdrie with their new Head Pro Kurtis Foote. Kurtis is a good friend and worked for me as an Assistant Pro for nearly ten years and now has become one of Alberta’s top professionals and so good to see him finally get his own Head Professional position! Kurtis hits it long, something like 325 off the tee. It was so hard to keep up to him and a bit demoralizing to be so far behind him off the tee and of course tough to beat him when giving up 40 yards off the tee. Sound familiar? So what can we do to get a bit more length?
First off, you must swing at the ball with some club head speed. Sounds simple but most people just don’t swing hard enough. I have found seniors and women tend to hold back and not swing hard enough. They think they are giving it full throttle but in reality they could swing harder, much harder, which is fine, as long as you swing in balance. I found I had slipped into this habit as well. Last year I brought my distance/swing speed monitor to the range and found my swing speed to be 102 and my friend Neil was 104 and coincidently I am usually 10 to 15 yards behind him which jives with those numbers. I used to be around 105 when I was younger and with age and perhaps unknowingly I started throttling back and I was losing yards. I simply started to swing harder, realizing that I could and I got my ten to 15 yards back. Golf became more fun and my scores came down.
Watch the pros on TV and you will see full out swings. They rip at it and not much is left in the bank, especially off the tee. Remember you have to swing at it hard to get distance. Of course there are other factors but try swinging harder, stay in Balance and you just might get those extra ten yards and be on your way to…playing YOUR best golf!