Golf Digest Schools
Tap into the distance you’re not using with this drill
Everyone wants more distance, and according to Golf Digest Teaching Professional Erika Larkin, you likely already have the speed you need to hit it farther—you just might not be accessing all of it. The key to creating a more powerful swing is timing.
“Your hand speed is just as fast as some of the best players in the world,” Larkin says, “If you can deliver the club at the right moment, you’ll hit it farther.”
Learn how to generate and deliver your speed properly and pick up distance off the tee with Larkin’s Whoosh Drill:
Hold your driver upside down and grip it on the shaft near the head of the clubhead. Take a couple of swings, listening for the whoosh sound in the air as you make a few practice swings. If you hear the whoosh in your downswing before you reach impact, you’re releasing the club too early. And if you hear the whoosh after impact, you’re releasing the club too late.
“We don’t want an early release because that means you’re casting the club down and throwing away your energy early,” Larkin explains. "And we don’t want to hold on and drag because you’ll be a little bit late and probably leave the clubface open."
The key to this drill is making that loud whoosh at the right moment. As you make some practice swings, visualize your swing arc and try to make that sound happen at the very bottom or right where the ball would be. If you’re having trouble making the whoosh sound at the bottom of your swing, try softening your wrists. Once you get a feel for your timing, try hitting a golf ball with the same sensation you had in the drill. Larkin says that's how you'll get the most out of your speed potential.
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Use this drill as a warm-up to maintain your timing or as needed if your swing is feeling a little out of sync.
Check out “Game Changers,” Erika Larkin’s newest series in Golf Digest Schools. Her game-improvement guide will help you understand what’s going wrong and give you the tools you need to fix your faults and get out of your scoring rut.