Every golfer wants to hit the ball farther. That is a fact. When a golfer comes to me and tells me that they don’t care about hitting the ball farther, they would just rather hit it straighter, I will usually respond by telling them that is not true.
The first thing that golfers need to understand, is that if you hit the ball straighter, it will generally go farther because it spends less energy going offline. So hitting the ball straighter and farther go hand in hand. But also, there is a more important concept that the best players are masters at to allow them to hit the ball farther and straighter with less effort.
There is an idea in golf instruction that has been around for some time although new relative to the game called Ground Reaction Force (GRF). It is the idea that if you are going to generate power and speed, you need to apply force into the ground with your feet. When you do this, the ground will return the energy in the form of a vector that goes up through your body, which I know sounds complicated, but we will try and simplify this idea.
Most golfers when they swing the golf club, thinking about weight shift. The club goes back, they shift their weight to the trail foot, when the club goes through, they shift their weight to the lead foot. The problem with this is usually this results in a “slide” as opposed to applying pressure.
So the next time you hit golf balls I want you to try and work on “pressing” into the ground with your trail foot as the club goes back, and then transition to the front foot by “pressing” into the ground again as the club comes through. If you are able to do this with the right sequence, you should start to see your club head speed pick up. Once you gain control of this speed, you will see that equate to greater distances.
Keep it in the short grass!
Scott Hogan is from Plainfield and is a Class A golf professional and full-time instructor. He has competed on the Pepsi and Gateway Tours and has been playing in golf tournaments for over 20 years. You can learn more about Scott at his website.