Golf Talk With Greg Holman – #50

Since this is #50 I thought I would talk today about getting more distance in your senior years.

I’ve discovered I get more distance with my driver when two things happen. #1, I hit the ball square on the face and #2, I take a little longer backswing. Like most golfers over 50, I don’t have the flexibility I had when I was 30, therefore I probably carry the ball 20-30 yards less than I did when I was in my prime. Aside from exercise and losing weight (I’ve done one of the two), you can cheat old age and add ten yards to your drive by making one simple adjustment. Widen you stance a little and play the ball just a little farther forward. This will give you a little more of an arc and a little higher flight.

I’m convinced my dad, who is 87, can hit his three wood off the tee farther than his driver because he drives his ball with the one wood right into the ground. Back in the day, the line drive was the way to go, and it’s still a valuable shot into the wind. But now most courses have watered fairways and it’s all about carry. Of course the other thing you could do to increase your distance is to increase your swing speed. That requires more flexibility and means doing stretching exercises.

If you have tried playing the ball more off your front foot and have not had any success, you could try an equipment chance to a more lofted driver. Mine is 9 degrees. If I switched to an 11 or 12 degree one wood, theoretically I could hit the ball higher, possibly with more carry and less roll. Also if you are still playing a stiff shaft it’s probably time to a regular. A flex shaft would be too dramatic unless you have had an injury and really need the shaft to work for you. I’ve made the switch with my irons but am still playing with “S” woods. I’ve also noticed when I hit them properly I can get ten more yards out of my short and mid irons with the regular shaft. If you still have a fast swing, turning to a regular shaft with your woods may cause you to lose some accuracy at the expense of more distance. So start with playing the ball a little more forward in your stance. We’re talking only an inch, and go for a little longer backswing.

If that gives you more distance, let me know at [email protected]. And if there are any subjects you would like me to discuss, let me know.

Hit ’em straight! (And hopefully a little farther).

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