How To Improve Driving Distance

How To Improve Driving Distance

Golf , Kinetic

At its simplest form, golf is basic physics. To improve driving distance you can either improve launch conditions or increase the club head speed to move the ball faster.  When it comes to increasing driving distance there are three primary areas for improvement.

  1. Warming up: There is a lot of scientific literature on the a proper warm up improving club head speed 
  2. Working on your body: improving your mobility, strength and power will allow you to generate more club head speed
  3. Swing Technique: working with an instructor on optimizing launch conditions

First off, why does driving distance matter? When looking at the PGA tour statistics, the math works like this:

  • You hit it further off the tee = You need less club into the green
  • You hit less club into the green = you’re more likely to hit it closer to the hole
  • You hit it closer to the hole = you’re more likely to make the putt

The PGA tour average for putting is:

As you can see, every foot you hit it closer to the hole will dramatically increase your chance of making the putt, which will lower your score. 

Warm Up:

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that golf is more like a marathon than a 100 meter dash just because it takes four hours to complete a round.  Each swing is an explosive event, and you would never see a sprinter run a race without warming up or a pitcher throw a pitch without warming up. 

The warm up helps prepare your body by improving range of motion, preparing specific muscles and priming your nervous system to move the club quickly. One study showed, completing a simple 5-10 minute warm up before each round can improve your club head speed by 1.1 mph.  That will result in several extra yards of distance for each club through the bag. (Citation)

If that isn’t enough of a reason to complete the warm up, it also reduces your risk of acute injury by 33% and chronic overuse injuries by 53%. 

Isn’t it worth showing up 5-10 minutes before your tee time to complete a warm up and hit the ball further and stay injury free?

If you need an example golf warm up, download our free Golf Specific Warm Up today.


The warm up is the “quick fix” to instantly hit the ball a little further.  But real progress and significant change takes time.  For many golfers, the gym is a low hanging fruit and the easiest place to start to improve driving distance. 

There are two key elements to improving driving distance:

  1. Improving Your Turn:

This is largely mobility related. Specifically improving the mobility through your upper back and the mobility in your hips.  If you cannot rotate through these two segments, you will not be able to make as large of a turn in your backswing. Less turn = less of an arc to generate club head speed. 

Here are two exercises that we utilize to help golfers improve their turn. 

  1. Seated thorasic rotation
  2. Hip windshield wipers
  1. Getting Stronger and More Explosive. 

As I mentioned before, at its simplest form golf is physics.  Please don’t stop reading because I said physics, I will keep it simple. 

The most famous physics equations: Force = Mass x Acceleration

Rearranged: force / mass = Acceleration

Assuming your club stays the same weight, to accelerate it quicker and create more clubhead speed, you need to put more force into the club.  The easiest way to do this is by getting stronger and more explosive.

In golf all energy is initially created from the ground with your legs, and then transferred up the kinetic chain until it is ultimately transferred to the club head and the golf ball. 

There are a few primary things that affect your ability to swing the club quickly:

  • Vertical Force Production: Justin Thomas is a tremendous example of this, both his feet are off the ground when he hits the ball!
  • Upper body strength and power
  • Rotational Power

In the gym, we can test all of these areas and design specific programs to target areas that you can improve to hit the ball further.  These programs are individualized based on each golfer’s needs, but here are some examples of drills we may incorporate for players working on hitting the ball further. 

Swing Technique:

The final way to improve driving distance is working with a golf instructor. This can help in three ways.  

  1. They can help you improve launch conditions.  By hitting the ball with a better path, making contact with the center of the club face and hitting up on the ball with the proper angle of attack are all technical changes that will result in improved driving distance.
  2. They can help you make swing changes to lengthen your swing arc and create more speed or improve your footwork to transfer energy more efficiently
  3. Design practice plans that allow you to train speed.  Too many players practice on the range with no plan and work until they are fatigued.  Eventually this will cause you to lose speed, the old saying, “train slow play slow” is definitely true to golf!

Your instructor may also recommend that you pursue specific speed training using devices like the SuperSpeed Sticks or the Stack System. These are golf specific overspeed training tools that work on you learning to swing faster by following a specific program. They are very effective in combination with a gym based program to improve your speed reserve!

This gives you an outline of the 3 main areas you can target if you want to improve your driving distance this year.  Targeting any one of these areas will likely help you pick up a few yards off the tee this summer, but pursuing a plan that incorporates all three areas will lead to significant changes and your best score in years.

Free Tools for You:

Don’t forget to download our FREE Golf Warm Up with Jason Tipton.

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