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Golf 101: How to hit it really far (with Tips from Harmon, Gankas, and Killen)

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Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Dustin Johnson…all World #1’s who hit it a mile and oddly enough got to it in very different ways. But what about us? The weekend warrior that also wants to hit it as far as our bodies will allow? I want a foolproof way to hit the golf ball a mile.

Every golfer wants more speed, more distance, more swag, all of it. Yes. I said it.

Have you ever heard a golfer say, “I just hit it too far?”

No….The answer is no.

Like my recent “how to hit a draw” piece, the distance tips have been offered up 1000’s of times,  everyone from Freddie Couples to Freddy Krueger has offered up tips. The game has changed so much even in the past few years with technology, speed training, video, and brute strength but since the beginning of time, the essence of hitting it far remains the……get that clubhead moving as fast as possible. Simple.

In my 25+ years of playing this game, I have heard some really good nuggets to build speed and some….well, others.

Tips like:

  1. Get the hands away from the head at the top AKA Extension and Width
  2. Wide Stance
  3. Turn back to the target
  4. Coil
  5. Uncoil
  6. Push
  7. Squat
  8. Lag
  9. Release
  10. Hit down
  11. Hit Up
  12. Scream at Impact
  13. Hit it left-handed
  14. Happy Gilmore
  15. 50 Inch drivers

Confused yet?

This sums it up…….

So the best thing I could think to do is ask the best coaches in the world to give me ONE golden nugget each. I was fortunate to get the council of Golf Digest Top 100 Teachers Claude Harmon III, George Gankas, and Matt Killen and this is what they delivered.

Claude Harmon III:

“Switch em’”

“For the average golfer, with a driver, you have to  improve the angle of attack. Most average golfers hit down on the driver (launch it low, spin it too much). And they hit too up on their irons. So switch the two. Learn to hit up on the driver to increase launch and reduce spin and hit down and compress the ball for control with your irons. “

George Gankas:

“Scoobie Speed”

Matt Killen:

“Learn to turn the shoulders AND the hips”

“Stick an alignment in your belt loops with the longer end facing the target, as you coil make sure the point of that stick gets as close to the ball as possible…that’s what a full turn feels like. And ONE MORE thing! If that trail leg wants to straighten out, that’s a good thing.”

 

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  1. Robert Johansson

    Dec 31, 2020 at 6:21 am

    No idea what they are talking about and they are suppose to be professional golf gurus

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Instruction

Clement: Why your practice swing never sucks

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You hear that one all the time; I wish I could put my practice swing on the ball! We explain the huge importance of what to focus on to allow the ball to be perfectly in the way of your practice swing. Enjoy!

 

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Clement: This is when you should release the driver

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The golf teaching industry is slowly coming around to understand how the human machine is a reaction and adaptation machine that responds to weight and momentum and gravity; so this video will help you understand why we say that the club does the work; i.e. the weight of the club releases your anatomy into the direction of the ball flight.

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Kelley: Focus on what you can control

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(Part One) Changing The Swing

The address position is the easiest part to change in the golf swing. If an adjustment can be made that will influence the rest of the swing, it should be made here. The set-up is a static position, so you have full control over it. If concepts are understood with feedback given (a mirror or video) it can easily be corrected and monitored. Once the club is in motion, a change becomes much more difficult.

Most faults in the swing originate in the set-up. All to often players go directly to the part they want to change in the middle of their swing, not understating their is an origin to what they do. When the origin isn’t fixed, trying to directly change the part in the middle is difficult and will often leave the player frustrated. Even worse, the part they are looking to fix may actually be a “match-up” move by the brain and body. These match-up moves actually counter -balance a previous move to try and make the swing work.

An example of not fixing the origin and understanding the importance of the set-up is when players are trying to shallow the club on the downswing (a common theme on social media). They see the steep shaft from down-the-line and directly try and fix this with different shallowing motions. More times then not, the origin to this is actually in the set-up and/or direction the body turns back in the backswing. If the body is out of position to start and turns back “tilty”, a more difficult match-up is required to shallow the shaft.

Another simple simple set-up position that is often over-looked is the angle of the feet. For efficiency, the lead foot should be slightly flared and the trail foot flared out as well (the trail more flared then the lead). When the trail foot is straight or even worse pointed inwards, a player will often shift their lower in the backswing rather then coil around in the groin and glutes. Trying to get a better lower half coil is almost impossible with poor foot work.

The golf swing is hard to change, so work on the things that are simple and what you have control over. You may not be able to swing it like a world class player, but with proper training you can at least the address the ball like one. When making a swing change, look to fix the origin first to facilitate the change.

*Part two of this article will be focusing on what you can control on the golf course, a key to better performance

http://www.kelleygolf.com

Twitter: KKelley_golf

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