Last year the American golfer Bryson DeChambeau participated in the Professional Long Drivers of America World Championships, held in Mesquite, Nevada. It is a competition where the premise is only one: to hit a golf ball farther.
Currently, DeChambeau is one of the stars in world golf and one of the leading entertainers on the PGA Tour, where he has already won 8 times and won a major tournament: the US Open.
As we all know, the player born in Modesto, California, stands out especially for the distance he reaches with his tee shots. In last year's competition in Mesquite, he rose to the occasion. With outstanding performance, he almost finished among the best four players in the world who hit the longest's golf balls. The contest was won by Kyle Berkshire, the undisputed king in this category and winner with a final drive of 422 yards. In second place was Nick Ingham, with a final drive of 390 yards.
Undoubtedly, these players have a unique technique to hit those bombs, which we will analyze in this article.
In this article, we will expand on the golf swing as a key to obtaining greater distance and how technology has changed in this discipline. We also offer some advice that can work for any golfer, from beginners to professionals. Before going into detail about how you should go to hit a golf ball further, you have to understand that this discipline is complex and the factors that influence the result are many.
In general, there are three stages in a swing: backswing, downswing, and follow-through.
The first point we must consider is the grip. In addition to being one of the most important aspects of a correct swing, it is a very personal choice. If you have a good grip, the chances of hitting the ball well are greatly increased.
In section II we will go into more detail about this topic.
Once you got your grip right, you have to focus on the movement itself. There are many theories available about how to hit a golf ball further, but in general, there are two main groups:
- concentrated effort
- zone-focused effort
The theory that the golfer should concentrate intently on hitting or burying the ball into the back of the tee box is called "concentrated effort". The premise here is to focus all your attention on hitting through the ball.
The main drawback of this method is that the swing becomes long and very difficult to control.
On the other hand, we have "zone-focused effort", which consists of focusing on hitting the ball without thinking about how it will leave the tee box. It allows you to make a fluid and continuous movement, minimizing errors.
Both theories have great merits and are good to hit the ball further, but it is more difficult to execute them. It is more likely that you hit the ball straight if you implement this "zone-focused effort" than with the concentrated effort method.
One of the most important aspects of distance hitting, according to top players DeChambeau, Berkshire, and Ingham, is to obtain a powerful and explosive posture.
Positioning correctly before hitting the ball is what will allow you to obtain greater speed in your swing. For this, we must move our body mass towards the target , while keeping our weight over the legs.
The main thing would be not to have too much knee flexion, as this would cause an increase in the point of impact, thus slowing down our swing.
The last very important aspect is to keep your head still throughout the shot. The movement should come from your lower body until you reach a pivot point where you have maximum power. Then it is necessary to tilt symmetrically the whole body towards the target.
Once you've hit the ball, it is important to follow through correctly.
If you hit the ball with an open clubface, your shot would hook. If you hit it with a closed clubface, your shot would slice. A golfer might use this information to his advantage by consciously closing or opening the clubface during the swing.
The important thing is to follow through in the right direction. If you manage to do that, it would be much more difficult for you to hook or slice the ball.
Now that we have covered some basics, let's move on to analyzing some aspects that may be useful to hit the ball further.
What do you have to do to hit a golf ball farther?
To hit a golf ball farther as Bryson does, we have to start with something essential: the fit and position of our body before swinging the driver. For this, it is necessary to have the club fully extended in front of us, ensuring that the feet are a little further apart than usual. Also, you have to put the ball closest to the left foot (the right in the case of lefties). It's good to know that your swing will be wider if you stand further away from the ball, allowing for more speed and more powerful shots.
Last year, Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy admitted copying some of his colleague DeChambeau's techniques. Among them are those that have to do with the speed of the swing and the preparation of the clubs.
Not everyone indeed has access to modify their golf clubs, and the length of the shafts as many of the professionals do. The point is to adapt aspects of the swing and its speed to hit a golf ball farther without things getting too much out of control.
Four tips for hitting a golf ball farther
For now, it's worth taking a look at four tips for hitting longer with your driver. Take note: rods and a club sleeve will always be helpful for better alignment.
- Place the ball close to the left foot: it is imperative to line up the ball close to the heel of the left foot (right if you are a left-handed golfer). It is also advantageous to cross the rods, making one point to the target and the other as a reference, aligning the ball to the desired point. It is essential not to cross your shoulders in the stance. This is achieved by aligning the shoulders with the feet. A handy trick is to feel that you see the ball with the left eye.
- Make a wide rotation in the backswing: it is key to turn your shoulders as close to ninety degrees if you want to achieve distance. A tip that never fails is to get the left shoulder to touch your chin. Before starting your backswing, it's also important to feel more weight on your right leg. You will achieve more spin by following these tips before starting your downswing.
- Shift weight to the left leg: shift your weight to your left leg as you begin your downswing. A lateral displacement and a better hip rotation are achieved with this weight transfer. It is good to feel that the heel of the left foot is flat on the floor.
- Hit the ball uphill: The final tip is to hit the ball uphill. For that, it is good to put the cover of one of your clubs in front of the ball, in the line of the club's trajectory, in such a way that it forces you to seek to hit upwards. Also, it is important to visualize that the driver's head is passing over the sleeve. Finally, it can be a good idea to slightly lift the club when starting the swing.
There are several tips to hit a golf ball farther. Without a doubt, we consider these the most important to achieve those much-desired extra yards every time you hit your driver in around with friends.
We must not forget that the driver is one of the most different clubs in the bag, along with the putter. Remember that it is also the longest one. When hitting it, you do it with the ball on top of a tee, and also, as we saw in the previous tips, the angle of attack is different than with other clubs. That is why it is good to know that particular methods are needed to be better used.
There is an inescapable fact: the best golfers in the world miss almost 40% of their tee shots. That said, they don't get frustrated in their training and work hard to get those drives he dreams of so much. If we were to do the same, we would be much closer to our goals and tear up with our friends in golf.
Lance Bennett, known as one of the best golf players in the world by Golf Digest, once said that "the problem is not to hit it farther; it's to do that with control." So don't get discouraged if you think you should see better results. Keep practicing and working on your game.
Jack Nicklaus' advice to hit a golf ball farther
Jack Nicklaus is considered the greatest golfer of all time. Decades ago, and with the clubs of that time, he was one of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour. And he did it from a couple of straightforward tips. The first is to ensure that the legs are the ones that direct the swing, something that allows the head of the club to reach the ball with greater speed. The other advice is a seal of the "Golden Bear" and is to complete the swing with a long finish, which leads us to never stop at the moment of impacting the ball.
And as Nicklaus says, always taking the club out slowly. The more rhythm you have doing it, the more distance you will achieve. Now it's a matter of going to the driving range of your club and putting these tips into practice.