Playing golf isn’t as easy as it looks, and that goes for the conquering the driving range as well. For many, golf’s not only challenging to play but to excel at, especially when it comes to developing and adding distance when it comes to your ability to successfully drive a golf ball.
Successfully hitting the golf ball into the target by perfecting your putt and swing comes down to three things: technique, skill, and lots of practice.
With that, if you have a love for the game of golf and want to sharpen your skills while impressing your golfing buddies, who better than to get advice from than Fish Fischer, former PGA tour performance coach who has helped some of the top golfers such as Bubba Watson sharpen their golf skills through fitness.
“Whether you’re a casual golfer looking to enhance your skills, or a newcomer considering the sport, mastering the fundamentals of driving, golf swing form, and body mechanics is crucial,” says Fischer.
So, grab your clubs and get ready to master your golf game.
How to Get the Ball Closer to The Target (Hole)
This is by far most people’s goal, get the ball closer to the hole from the jump.
Although there are a lot of key factors, Fischer explains the importance of developing a strong short game, as it is the most effective way to get the ball closer to the hole with each shot. “The short game [the category of golf shots that are made when the golfer is located relatively near the green, or on the green itself] plays a vital role in getting the ball closer to the hole by controlling trajectory, mastering spin on the ball, and expanding your creativity around the greens, for pitching and chipping,” he says.
PRO TIP: It’s important to experiment with different clubs and find the approach and shot selection that best suits each situation.
How to Elevate Your Drive
For casual golfers and beginners, venturing into the world of golf, and mastering the art of driving the golf ball with power and distance is Fischer’s favorite part of the game, and feels there’s nothing better than a crushed Drive right down the middle of the fairway.
Step 1: Solid Stance and Alignment
Establish a sturdy and balanced stance by positioning your feet shoulder-width apart. Align your feet, hips, and shoulders parallel to the target line, ensuring proper alignment to make a great swing over the ball.
Step 2: Proper Grip for Control
Form a strong and controlled grip on the club (driver). For right-handed golfers, place the club’s grip in your left hand, aligning it diagonally across the base of your fingers. Wrap your right hand around the club, interlocking or overlapping your left thumb.
Step 3: Optimal Ball Positioning
Position the golf ball slightly forward in your stance, aligned with the inside of your front heel. This ball placement allows for a sweeping contact through impact and optimizes the trajectory and launch angle of your drive. This ball positioning gives you the feeling of hitting up on the ball to launch it into the air.
Step 4: Controlled Backswing
Initiate the backswing by turning your shoulders away from the target while maintaining a relaxed, connected, and extended arm position. Keep your wrists firm, allowing the club to swing naturally. This swinging motion will help you achieve a wide swing arc.
Step 5: Coil with Power
As you reach the top of your backswing, focus on creating a coil by rotating your upper body against your lower body. This coiled position loads up your energy to the opposite side away from the ball and sets the stage for an explosive downswing toward the ball.
Step 6: The Dynamic Downswing
Begin the downswing by shifting your weight from your coiled position (the weight on your back foot) to your front foot in a smooth and controlled manner. This is the transition movement that leads to impacts. Make sure to release the stored energy initiated by the coil towards the ball, engaging your lower body, core, arms, and wrists to brace for impact.
Step 7: Impact and Extension
Maintain a steady head position as you strike the ball. Keep your eyes focused on the back of the ball and aim to make contact with the ball just before the low point of your swing. Extend your arms fully through impact, releasing the club and allowing momentum to carry the club into a follow-through position.
Step 8: Controlled Follow Through
After impact, allow your body to naturally rotate toward the target as you complete the follow-through after you drive a golf ball. Momentum will do most of the work. Make sure to keep your balance and ensure a smooth and controlled finish, with your weight transferring onto your front foot.
Step 9: Practice then Perfect
Mastering the drive requires consistent practice and repetitions. Pay attention to your swing mechanics, seek guidance from a local golf professional, and dedicate ample time to practicing this unique range of motion. These steps will be vital in helping identify areas for improvement.
Swinging Your Golf Club to Perfection
And now for the swing:
- Establishing a consistent Pre-Shot routine is the bedrock of a successful golf swing.
- Focus on an athletic stance over the ball. When you’re ready to drive a golf ball, make sure you are relaxed and in a balanced athletic stance with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Find the ball position appropriately for each club. For longer clubs, place the ball slightly forward in your stance, while shorter clubs require a slightly more centered ball position. This will take practice, so don’t be afraid of experimenting.
- Maintain a neutral grip, ensuring your palms face each other while holding the club. Seek a grip that feels comfortable and relaxed but still allows for control of the club.
- Focus on the backswing position as it sets the stage for a powerful and efficient golf swing. Remember to maintain a connected motion throughout the entire backward swing.
- Transitioning to a downswing is where the magic happens. Begin the downswing by shifting your weight onto your front foot and rotating your hips toward the target. This transfer of energy generates power and promotes an inside-out swing path.
- Rotate through impact and follow through to a smooth finished position. Allow your body to rotate naturally, with your hips leading the way. Maintain a stable upper body while driving your hands and the club through the ball, promoting a solid balanced strike. The result will be a balanced finish and a well-struck golf shot.
Remember this: When learning how to play golf, the most important thing is to have fun. It takes time to develop better mechanics and techniques, and with lots of practice (and patience) you’ll be upping your golf game in no time!