July 31, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
56°F

Driving the golf ball farther…

[Editor's Note: The following article was written by Todd Casabella, Director of Instruction at Grey Hawk Golf Club in Lagrange. Todd is a member of the Professional Golfers' Association of America and a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor.]

insl01_geoffogilvy_swing-1No one is content with how far they drive the golf ball. It doesn’t matter if you hit it 200 or 300+, you want more distance. Club companies have been built on this premise. Building a driver can’t cost the manufacturer much more than a fairway wood yet they retail 35% higher. With the added price comes the promise of more distance. The golfer believes if they can get further down the fairway they will score lower. And it’s only logical to think that. If you hitting a wedge instead of an 8-iron into a green your probably going to hit it closer and therefore make more putts. The problem with the new driver is what the USGA terms the “45 day effect”. The USGA conducted a test with golfers buying a new driver. They measured how far they hit the ball when they got the new club and retested golfers later. After 45 days the newness of the driver wears off and the golfer goes back to hitting the ball the same distance. Now you can keep buying new drivers to hit it further or learn to develop more clubhead speed. If you would prefer the latter, keep reading. If you don’t want to put in the work, then stop right now and head to your local Pro Shop.

Hitting the ball further requires more clubhead speed. In the past, one of the methods golfers tried was to swing a heavy club to strengthen their “golf muscles”. Unfortunately, stronger isn’t necessarily faster. Swinging the heavy club may make you stronger but it slows down your swing. You need stronger faster muscles. These muscles can be obtained by the overload/underload technique.

The overload/underload technique is just what it sounds like. You swing a club that is heavier and a club that is lighter. There are a couple of ways to go about this. The best way is to order a speed set. Manufacturers produce a driver that is 15% lighter and another that is 15% heavier. Once a week you do a speed practice routine. You hit 10 balls with the heavy driver first. Hit these balls as far as you can with no regard to where they are going. Now hit ten balls with the lighter driver. Again, pay no attention to where the balls are going. Finally, hit ten balls with your driver as far as you can with no concern of direction. Doing this practice session, which should take about 15 minutes, once a week will give you 3-5 mph of clubhead speed. This equates to 10 to 15 yards off the tee.

If you don’t want to buy two more drivers, another option is a training aid called “swing nature”. It has the overload/underload capabilities but is limited to swinging without hitting a ball. It’s good because of the weight of the aid is 15% heavier and lighter.

If you don’t want to invest any money, try this. Swing your driver holding your fairway wood at the same time. But the grip of the fairway wood should be down by the head of the driver. Make 20 swings as fast as you can this way. (Obviously, you’re just swinging. No hitting balls.) Now get rid of the fairway wood and swing the driver like your going to hit the ball with the grip of the club. Make 20 swings as fast as you can this way. Now finally, hit ten balls with your driver singing as fast as you can.

Good Luck!

For more information about Todd, check out his website, www.casabellagolf.com. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

To schedule a lesson, give him a call at 440.225.5022.

Image via www.golfdigest.com