It’s no secret that your drive distance is vital to your golf game. It’s a combination of several different skills: your grip, your stance, your swing, and your concentration. If you want to improve your handicap, you need to improve your driving distance. But what can you do when you’re not on the golf course? This guide lists ten simple exercises you can do at home without having to buy any additional equipment. They’re recommended for all golfers looking to improve their drive.
Here are ten exercises that you can use to help you improve your golf swing and don’t require anything more than a golf club and a place to sit or stand. They’re designed to focus on your core, over your shoulders and arms. Each exercise described below is one rep (short for repetition), and a full set is ten reps. The most important parts of a good golf swing (at least those that are under your body’s control) are your grip, stance, and swing. These incorporate your hands, forearms, and shoulders, but the most crucial is your core. Any good boxer can tell you that’s where the power comes from, and that’s what these exercises are designed to improve. Each exercise will help you stretch, extend, and strengthen your core.
Ten Exercises to Improve your Drive Distance
Sit down with your knees bent and together. Take your favorite golf club and hold it parallel to the ground with both hands. Once in position, rotate your entire body, while keeping the golf club against your chest, and alternate pointing each end of the club to the ground.
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and together. Place your arms at your sides with the palms down. Then raise your hips toward the ceiling and hold that position for a five-count.
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and together. With your knees still together, tilt both your knees towards the ground and hold them just above the ground for five seconds. Then do the same on your right side.
Lateral Pillar Bridge
Lie on the ground on your left side. Lift yourself and place your left elbow directly below your left armpit with your left arm perpendicular to your body for balance. Lift your right arm towards the ceiling and hold that position for a five-count. Switch to your right for another rep.
While on your hands and knees, rock your hips backward and then forward. Be sure to keep your spine straight and neutral.
Stand with your feet directly below your shoulders. Hold a golf club in both hands parallel to the ground and about the same width apart as your shoulders. Raise the golf club above your head as far as you can and hold that position for a five-count, then lower the club to your hips.
Stand with your feet directly below your shoulders. Reach down to the ground and place your hands flat on the ground (it’s okay to bend your legs). Then walk your hands along the ground while lowering your entire body into an extended push-up position. Hold that position for a five-count, then shuffle your feet up until you reach the same position in which you started.
Stand with your legs apart as widely as you can while keeping your balance. Bend your knees slightly. While keeping your hips at a constant height, move your entire body left and right, placing it over each foot.
While standing up, raise one knee to your waist and grasp your knee in both hands. While balancing on one foot, pull your knee into your stomach. Hold it for a five-count, then release your knee and step forward while bringing up your other knee to repeat the process.
World’s Greatest Stretch
First, assume a deep lunge position with your right leg in front, bent at the knee, and your left leg stretched out behind, on your toes, as straight as possible. Second, place your left hand on the ground and, using your right hand, reach up to the ceiling with your palm open. After holding this position for a five-count, take a rest with your left knee, then press gently on your right knee to stretch it away from your body.
Why Should I Work on My Drive Distance?
Improving the length of your drive is one of the best ways to lower your golf score. Being able to control the ball’s placement on the fairway gives you the best possible advantage for your follow up to the green.
According to Golf.com, driving distance might be more important than accuracy. “The gain from longer drives outweighs the gain from straighter drives by almost a half stroke,” writes Mark Broadie. And the statistics in the PGA back this up. The top ten golfers in the world are not as accurate as everyone else, but they drive balls farther on average.
You might not be able to drive the ball as far as the pros do, but improving your distance could go a long way to improving your game. Plus, it’s fun to set distance goals and work on breaking your records! It’s also a great way to impress your friends or maybe one of your coworkers. Friendly competition is a great way for friends to challenge each other and compare their drives. Competition can encourage each of you to stay on top of your exercises and see who makes the most improvement. Who knows? Maybe one day you could have the course record for the longest drive at your favorite course in town!
How Far is a Good Drive?
The average golfer has a handicap (HCP) between 10 and 20. For golfers in this range, the average driving distance is 215 yards. The best golfers, those with an HCP of 5 or below, average 250 yards with every drive. The median range is 219.55 yards. It also depends on your age group. If you’re over 60 and you can drive over 200 yards you’re way above average for your age group. But if you’re 20 and struggling to hit the ball farther than 200 yards you’ve got some catching up to do! But that’s just the average golfer. The PGA golfers are, quite literally, in another league.
The average drive distance for the pros has steadily increased. In 1980, Dan Pohl’s average was 274.3 yards making him the leader while the PGA average was 256.89 yards. Today, in 2018, the average PGA distance is 295.29 yards with Trey Mullinax in the lead with an average 318 yards.
T.J. Auclair of PGA.com writes that “Golf is in the age of the long ball.” During 2018’s Tournament of Champions, Xander Schauffele hit a 422 drive on the 12th hole. And that’s just the most recent record-breaker. Dustin Johnson has the record for the longest drive on a PGA Tour this decade with an incredible 463-yard drive in 2016 at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Do Better Drivers Make a Difference?
Of course! Golfing technology is always improving with lighter clubs, stronger heads, and new materials that drive golf balls even farther. 2018 drivers also feature weights that can be adjusted to allow for a low-spin draw or higher-spinning fade.
When buying a new driver, you can choose between titanium, stainless steel, aluminum, carbon graphite, carbon steel, zinc, or wood. Depending on which brand you’re reviewing or which store is trying to sell it to you, each has their pros and cons. The driver’s head changes how the ball impacts and transfers the energy of your swing, and the materials in the shaft make the entire driver lighter and more comfortable to swing. Choosing the right driver for your type of swing is more important than which new material is the most popular.
These improvements in technology, along with healthier and fitter golfers, are one of the reasons the average drive distance in the PGA has been increasing every year. But it’s not about buying the most expensive club out there. It’s about finding the right club for you. Some things to consider are grip type, shaft height, and head design.
Will Any of This Work for Me?
That depends on your goals and how well you stick to the exercises listed above. Plus, practice makes perfect and every minute you spend on the fairway or the driving range is another minute of improvement. The pros in the PGA have proven that exercise, practice, and new technology can improve their drive distance. And they are at the top of their game. If you are dedicated to improving your driving distance, then there’s no doubt you can do it.
A Few Tips for Longer Drives
Try “mini-swings” at the driving range or golf course to loosen up and practice your form. It’s a great way to stretch before the pressure of hitting the ball. When you’re practicing with a ball, try using just 50% of your actual power. Sometimes we try to put some extra strength into our swing, thinking that will get us the distance. Instead, it can disrupt our concentration and change our swing just enough for a slice.
Counting through your swing is an excellent way to maintain your form. In your backswing, count from “one” to “two,” then count “three” on your downswing. Repeating this each time could help you maintain your form and not rush through each step of your swing. Make sure to keep your grip light, and your body relaxed. Tightening your muscles during your swing can create tension which could impact your form. A beautiful, smooth swing will help you make the best contact with the ball. Keep your eye on the ball. It’s a cliché for a reason. Taking your eye off the ball during your swing too early can lead to a partial contact or even a miss. That’s way more embarrassing than a slice!
Your tee height is essential as well. Setting up the tee so that the top half of your driver’s face covers the bottom half of the ball helps with getting under it and “scooping” it up. Adding height to your drive, along with power, can ensure that your ball flies farther down the fairway.
Finally, be sure to swing through the ball. It’s easy to think making contact is the most critical part of your swing. Swinging through the ball ensures you maintain the power of your swing and keep your proper follow through. Plus, stopping right after you make contact can hurt your back and shoulders.
Golf is hundreds of years old, but it shows no signs of slowing down. It’s easy to learn but challenging to master. Creating your routine of exercises from the ones listed above will help you stay in shape and could improve your driving distances. Give them a chance, and you might be limber enough for all the high fives after hitting 280 right out of the box.
Most importantly, have fun! Golf is a great hobby that is an incentive to exercise, get outside, and hang out with our friends. Try inviting someone else to join, even if they’ve never been golfing. Teaching someone else what you’ve learned is a great way to reinforce those lessons for your own game.
Increasing the distance of your drives takes time, patience, and practice. Playing golf is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, lose weight, and reduce stress and anxiety. Focusing too much and driving your ball farther down the fairway might make you stressed out or angry. Enjoying the game is what it’s all about!