How can I take this golf ball I am looking at and knock the cover off of it? Many of us who love to golf have looked down at that sweet little Titleist and have uttered those very words. These thoughts come to us because there are times when everything works perfectly in our swing and we hit an “amazing drive”. You know what I mean, one of those drives that make us walk a little taller and breathe a little deeper. For that moment in time we can play all the great players that the game has ever produced. We stroll to our ball in the middle of the fairway, we check the wind and we set-up for another moment of greatness. We pull our club of destruction and we proceed to hit our next great shot - straight into the woods. And so goes life on the links. We take our lumps and keep coming back for more.
As we know, hitting our drives farther has many advantages. The biggest advantage is the fact that your second and subsequent shots are closer to the green. We are not talking rocket science here. Which one of you would not like to hit one or two fewer clubs for your second shot? All things being equal, most of us would prefer to hit our 7 iron rather than a 5 iron. Give me a 9 iron any day over a 7 iron. I mention these things to help us look at an area of the golf swing where I personally see people struggle. Many people mistakenly believe that if they swing harder that they will be able to hit the ball longer. It is true that greater club head speed can help produce distance when all other aspects of the swing are optimal such as solid contact with the ball, proper launch angle and spin rate.
However, there is a “big” difference between generating more club head speed and simply swinging harder. The top long drive champions can achieve club head speeds in excess of 140 miles per hour (mph). These tremendous swings speeds matter little when you do not make good solid contact. PGA Tour Players, whose speeds may top out at 125 mph, may actually hit a longer ball because of their flexibility and their amazing contact with the ball. Strength is important but many of us can take it to the next level simply by being more flexible. Since Tiger Woods joined the PGA Tour in 1996 there has been a dramatic crowding inside the tour fitness van. People all over the world realize the better an athlete you are, the more you will increase you odds of hitting it longer and scoring better. Here are a few of my favorite exercises. They do not take a long time and can easily be done before and throughout the round.
Forearms, Wrists and Elbows
1. Take your arm and place it straight out with your palm down.
2. Now grab your fingers and pull them back gently.
3. Hold this position and you will feel the muscles in your forearms, wrists and elbows are being stretched.
4. After a few seconds of stretching your palm down, turn your hand over so now your palm is facing skyward and repeat the stretching motion. This is a wonderful exercise to help prevent injury to your forearms, wrists and elbows.
Your shoulders are an important component to creating a good turning action away from the ball. They also take on a great deal of stress throughout a round of golf.
1. Take your right arm and place it against your chest.
2. Take your left wrist with your palm towards your face, and push your triceps closer to your body. You should feel a stretching sensation in your shoulder area.
3. After performing this stretch for a few seconds repeat with your other arm.
Back and hip strength and flexibility is a big problem area for all of us, and unfortunately it only gets worse as we age. To improve your strength and flexibility try the following exercise.
1. In a standing position place your hands on your hips.
2. Bend forward at the waist and hold that position for a few seconds.
3. Move laterally, or side to side while still bending at the waist. Ok, now take a little breather.
After you are rested continue by:
1. Place your hands back on your hips.
2. Bend slightly backwards at your waist. You can also vary this exercise by placing your hands on your head.
Dan Boever is a highly sought after golf entertainer and 11-time World Long Drive finalist who has traveled the country for the past 10 years performing power trick shot shows for over 600 of America's largest companies and charities. Dan has been featured on CBS, ESPN, The Golf Channel and has been in 8 National television commercials for Pinnacle Golf. Dan also appeared in the New Line Cinema movie “Hoot", released last May. For more information about Dan and how you can energize your next golf event with Dan's one of a kind golf exhibition go to http://www.danboever.com or view http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POB4eVOvjL8