Driving tips: Ramp up the speed

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Put simply, increased swing speed means increased ball speeds... which means more distance. When I work with long drive sensation Joe Miller we constantly strive to boost swing speed. So many amateurs ask me 'am I swinging too fast?' My response is always the same: 'No, you can never swing it too fast!' Increasing your speed starts by understanding the role each part of your body plays in generating it, and then finding how to make it move more efficiently.

Here, as we work through the body, I'll take you through the drills Joe and I work on every day. Some were invented by us; others were inspired by some of the biggest names and hitters in the long drive game. All will give you more speed... and more distance.

Lower Body

 

Let's work from the ground up, focusing on the strike itself and your legs. Your legs and hips are the engine room of the swing, and therefore your speed core. The more rotational speed you can create here, the faster you can get your upper body to accelerate. I'll show you a simple drill to help you speed up this rotation. As for the strike, some elite faster swingers, including many tour pros, can develop a powerful strike from a slightly descending attack. However, if you swing under 100mph you will gain more distance from hitting up through the ball. Again, I'll show you an easy way to hone that attack angle.

Driving Tips

The move:
The key move on the way back sees the pelvis turn against the right thigh. This stretches the rotator muscles to induce incredibly fast hip rotation in the early downswing. Rory McIlroy is the best example of this move.

The drill:
A stick or shaft between your belt loops is a great way of building rotation and speed. Notice how the stick moves behind and down as I swing back, before rotating quickly in the opposite direction and rising through impact (right).

The effect:
The left shoulder shows how much power this hip move has created. Look how far it has moved around and up from top of the backswing to impact. People use the analogy of a skater who wants to jump and twist to illustrate it.

 Up and away

DRIVING TIPS

If you swing at less than 100mph you need to hit up on the ball; and every golfer needs to middle it to increase their ball speed. This drill is really effective with the players I coach as it tests both. Place two tees either side of your ball, just wider than a driver head apart. Hitting either on the way through means you're not hitting it out of the centre. Place another tee one grip-length in front of the ball, adjusting the height to increase the upwards angle of attack. The club should miss this front tee – hitting it means you are not hitting up on the ball enough.

 

Next: Torso, arms and hands >>