Nearly every player wants to hit the ball farther. It is no secret, that, on average, women tend to hit the ball with less distance than their male counterparts. What then happens is that women are often forced to place an emphasis on their short game and, in fact, often have very strong skills around the greens. However, distance can really help in several situations on the golf course, so rather than give up on hitting the ball farther there are a few simple techniques you can try first. In general, this requires a focus on swing fundamentals to ensure maximum energy is transferred to the ball at impact. Swinging without creating excessive and unnecessary movements will almost always lead to more distance.
Check Your Set Up
The proper fundamentals are extremely important in an effort to hit the golf ball farther and straighter. Pre-swing fundamentals include the grip, aim and set up. The golf swing is dependent on doing the previous move correctly. Therefore, focusing on setting up to the golf ball correctly promotes creating an efficient and powerful swing
Strengthen Your Grip
One sure way to lose distance is to start off with a weak grip. In a weak grip position, a player will only see one (or none) knuckle on the left hand. In addition, you form a “V” between the index finger and thumb on both hands. A neutral or stronger grip will allow you to see at least two knuckles on the left hand while the “V’s” on both hands will point in the same direction toward the right ear or right shoulder. The weak grip will make it extremely difficult to square or close the close the club face through impact. Results will generally be a weak slice. However, a neutral or strong grip will offer the ability to square or close the club face through impact, which should lead to longer and straighter golf shots.
Create a Wide Base
Many lateral movements are compounded by standing with a narrow base where your feet are too close together. Set up with the insteps of your feet at about shoulder width apart. The golf swing is a rotational movement that is supported with a wider base. Notice in our photo of the golfer at left. If you were to draw two vertical lines up from the insteps of both feet, those lines would pass straight through the outer part of each shoulder. This wider set up will help support the rotational movement of the swing and cut down on lateral movement. In addition, it will improve stability and balance in your swing.
Maintain Your Posture
Set up to the ball with the correct posture. Allow your knees to bend slightly and bend at your waist to create your spine angle. The golfer at the right is in a perfect setup position as just described. Once in this position, it is critically important to maintain your spine angle throughout your swing. One of the most common swings faults is where a player stands up from their original spine angle throughout the swing, which incidentally leads to inconsistent shots. Topped golf shots are not the result of picking your head up. Rather, a topped shot usually occurs when a player stands up from their original posture at impact. Stay down, try to maintain your spine angle and swing through for more consistent hits.
Keep the Lower Body Stable
During the takeaway, stretch your arms away while maintaining your hips and knees in their original position. The idea is to prevent the lower body from over rotating. Since many women are flexible, overturning can potentially destroy the ability to uncoil, thus preventing a powerful downswing. Try to keep the left knee from completely collapsing toward the right knee for more stability and power. As you’ll see with the golfer in our photo, her arms are extended and shoulders fully turned with a lesser turn of the hips and lower body. Her left knee has turned slightly but not fully collapsed to put her in a position to generate a lot of speed and power. She will likely hit the ball with excellent distance assuming solid contact.
Try these simple keys and remember to swing within yourself — swinging harder often can compromise solid contact. Hope these tips help.
-Matt Keller, PGA
Matt Keller is a PGA Golf Professional with over 15 years of experience. Matt is a graduate of the Penn State PGM Program. Throughout his career he has worked at courses in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida and Delaware. Matt has conducted thousands of golf lessons to players of all ages and ability levels. Currently, he is a PGA Professional at Cripple Creek Golf and Country Club located near Bethany Beach, DE.