Increasing your Distance: The Only Two Variables
Hit the ball Farther (and still be in the fairway)
When you boil it down, there are two variables that determine distance. Very Simply:
- the ball
- the club
Elementary, I know, but we need to understand the difference between the two. We need to look at the key features of each and how to maximize those for more distance. Let’s look first at the main feature, the ball.
Only three factors determine how far a ball goes:
- Launch Angle
(Other variables such as wind, temperature, etc. are not in our control, so for our purposes, we will disregard those for now.)
How do we max out these factors?
Speed: Ball Speed is result of the clubhead speed and also how solid the impact was. The ratio of BS to CHS is called SMASH FACTOR. So, if your BS is 145 and your CHS is 100 mph, then your smash factor is 1.45. The maximum achievable SF is around 1.5 and anything over 1.48 is considered ideal.
GOAL #1 for INCREASING DISTANCE: Achieve a 1.48 or above SMASH (with maximum clubhead speed, more on that coming soon).
HOW TO DO IT: The simplest/only way to create the 1.48 smash is to hit the ball in the sweet spot of the club.
Spin: There is an ideal Launch and Spin for carry and roll based on the ball speed. We want the proverbial: High Launch/Low Spin for more distance. For example if your:
CHS – 100 mph
BS – 148 mph
(Before I give you the ideal Spin/Launch Angle, we need to discuss ground conditions. I will assume a firm ground, meaning you will get some roll. From what I’ve seen from over 15 years of working with launch monitors is that everyone needs to drastically REDUCE spin on the driver. I prescribe LESS spin that what you will see being recommended. Golfers also need to hit it higher. Most everyone has too much spin and not enough launch angle.)
Ideal Spin would be around 2000-2400 rpm.
Ideal Launch would be 12-14 degrees.
A great way to look at the way Spin affects the shot is to use the Trajectory Optimizer from FlightScope:
GOAL #2 for INCREASING DISTANCE: Get Spin rates under 2400 rpm (ideally 2100 or less) and get Launch Angle to 12-15 degrees.
HOW TO DO IT: Get your AoA (Angle of Attack) Positive. Ideally +2.5 or more. The mistake golfers make when hitting ‘up’ on the ball is trying to lift the club up through impact. It’s better to think of it this way:
Your club is traveling on an arc (similar to a circle). If you hit the club at the bottom of the arc, your AoA will be Zero. If you hit it before the bottom it will be negative and if you hit it after the bottom it will be Positive. Hit it after the bottom of the arc (with driver)!
Side note to Spin/Launch: if you hit too high or too low on the face, this will affect launch and spin. This is just one more reason to find the center of the face!
CONCLUSION: The quickest way to more distance is to do the following:
Achieve a SMASH of 1.48 or higher
Get spin rates under 2400
Launch it at 12-15 degrees
Once you do this, you will have ‘maxd’ out your impact geometry….
To hit it farther, we move to the fun part, training for increased clubhead speed!
4 Ways to Increase your Clubhead Speed
Hit the ball Farther (and still be in the fairway)
Once you’ve dialed in your smash factor/geometry (good ball launch), then the only way to hit the ball farther is to increase your CHS (clubhead speed).
There are 4 ways to Increase Your CHS:
- Speed Training
1. Improve Your Tempo
What is Tour Tempo? Discovered by John Novosel Sr. in the early 2000’s, Tour Tempo is a groundbreaking paradigm shift on tempo in the golf swing. After studying hundreds of legendary professional golfers’ tempos, John made a startling discovery:
- 3:1 Ratio of Backswing to Downswing
- Faster Tempo – most Tour Pros are 1.2 seconds or less from takeaway to impact
- Consistent Tempo – same tempo on all swings
These findings turned the tempo world on its head. Ideas (aka myths) such as slow/smooth, pause at the top, and others were thrown out the window!
This discovery was huge, but how do we use it to teach Tour Tempo to average golfers?
We developed three proprietary tones that signal the golfer to:
– start the backswing
– start the downswing
– match impact
When golfers can sync their own tempo to the rhythm of the tour pros, great things happen, including more distance, improved accuracy and overall better enjoyment of the swing and the game.
Why more distance?
From the department of shock alerts:
If you swing slow (tempo), then you end up swinging slow (speed).
If you take a golfer that swings 44/11 and change his tempo to 24/8, he is now covering the same amount of distance in 30% less time! This leads to huge increases in speed.
A second piece to the increase in distance is the Stretch/Shorten/Cycle. A key art of the SSC is the amount of time you take to to Stretch and Shorten and if there is a pause between the 2. The faster you can SS, the more power you create.
Thirdly, the tones of Tour Tempo are FAST, For most golfers too fast! They give the golfer NO time to think. Without the PFC/Self 1/Conscious mind shut down, the body is freed up to swing freely. Tension and other speed killers are eliminated!
Finally, there are some serious physics involved in this next reason, but the bottom line is that when you swing faster (back and thru) it allows you to more force into the grip and higher kinetic energy into the club.
If you don’t know your tempo, get the Tour Tempo Frame Counter App, it’s FREE.
If you want to train yourself to swing faster, get the Tour Tempo Total Game App!
In the next installments we will explore the other elements of body, mechanics and speed training.
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