The REAL secrets to hitting the golf ball farther.

(I revisit this post every so often, as it has been my most popular and has helped the most people along with the Plane and Release by Feel Video (LINK))

IMO, the most important thing in this article is the last sentence.

Is the following the way to win the Remax World Long Drive Championship? Not by a long shot.

Is it the way the most golfers can achieve their maximum average distance of drives while not sacrificing driving accuracy or score? ABSOLUTELY!

I am sorry, but it is this long driver’s opinion that every “swing system” ever devised will not make you hit the ball farther or play better. No system is going to work for more than a very small percentage of people…if it actually works for anyone at all. You know how I know? I tried most of them.

There is also no such thing as adding 30 yards instantly by the change of equipment or change of swing from one day to the next. If you are an experienced golfer and you take advantage of everything you can, you might be able to add 10-15 yards over several months. The very few exceptions not withstanding.

If you are an inexperienced golfer, distance improvement can be much greater, but it still takes time. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES IN GOLF. Any one that tries to sell you that, might as well throw in some beach front property in Florida and part of the Brooklyn Bridge. Improvement in golf is small and it takes hundreds or even thousands of repetitions for it to become part of your muscle memory. Anything else is just a band aid that ends up being a bad habit.

Experienced or inexperienced, the object of making changes in your golf game is not about shooting one low round tomorrow or hitting one 300 yard drive. It is about your handicap being lower 6 months from now and all of your drives having the best combo of distance and accuracy.

So here are some things that will make you longer and better 6 months from now. Don’t try to do everything at once. One step at a time. If you don’t understand something or disagree…immediately disregard it.

1. A driver that fits you. To get maximum yardage from a driver, you must have the proper loft and shaft flex.

2. Increase your flexibility. Stretching every morning before you go play for 15-30 minutes (I do), will add more yardage to your game than weight lifting or equipment changes. Lower back, hamstrings and shoulders/rotator cuffs are the ones I concentrate on.

3. Rotational exercises. Any kind of motion that will help you increase how well your torso rotates. I take a small (ladies size) 6 lb. medicine ball and swing it like a golf club while engaging the core muscles in my stomach. The smaller the ball, the better. I don’t like the use of weighted clubs. It ruins your feel and can cause tears in your wrists, elbows and shoulders.

4. Balance. You can swing as hard as you want as long as it is in balance. This “swing easy” nonsense is just a band aid to avoid being in balance and having good rhythm. I wrote about this in a previous post (LINK).

5. Proper rhythm. If you allow the club to set at the top of your swing, you will be able to generate more speed coming into the ball. That does not mean a really slow back swing. There is nothing worse for club head speed than a deathly slow back swing that ends in a quick transition at the top. The speed of your back swing only needs to be slow enough for the club to set. Think of the 1-2 count of a grandfather clock pendulum.

6. Constant, medium grip pressure. You don’t want it too light or you won’t be able to help but increase it during the swing. You definitely don’t want to death grip it.

7. A proper release. Here is where a lot of people have been misinformed. Everyone knows that throwing or casting the club makes you lose power and speed. A large section of the golf public has been brainwashed into believing that adding lag on the way down or delaying the release increases speed and distance. WRONG! I understand what the physics but lagging the club artificially doesn’t work. This method has worked for an extremely small percentage of golfers, but the vast majority have been ruined by this. If you increase lag on the way down (delay the release), you bury it to the inside (get stuck underneath the plane) and the club face is also open. A strong grip is a bandaid for this as you are still stuck under the plane with an open club face. If you combat this with a stronger grip, you are now flipping at it with even more force and going to hit it even farther left when you flip it to avoid the block to the right.

In addition, adding unnatural lag narrows your arc, which reduces club head speed (because it fights centrifugal force) and increases spin because the angle is steeper. Sorry to get technical, but way too many people have been sold this bill of goods. A proper release is a constant rotation of the club face from the top of the swing all the way to the finish. Some people will be afraid this causes a hook. Actually, starting the release too late is what causes the big hooks, as a flip is necessary at the bottom to avoid a block when the face is open. Proper lower body and shoulder rotation will keep a proper release from going left.

The proper amount of lag will be a result of a good golf swing. Trying to do it on purpose with your hands will isolate oyur hands and they will take over the swing.

I know…a lot of info and none of it is necessary to know. I just needed to go into technobabble to inform those who have been told to over lag the club.

Jack Nicklaus said you can’t release the club too early. Need I say more?

To sum up the above mess, the release should start as soon as the down swing starts in sync with the turn of the body. Watch the video in this LINK

As you can see in this video, a release and a cast are two completely different physical movements and unrelated.

8. Use centrifugal force (CF) to your advantage. If it’s good enough for NASA, it should be good enough for you. If you take a bucket of water and spin around, CF is what pushes the water to the bottom of the bucket and keeps it from flying out. CF will speed the club up and get your arms to full extension if you don’t counteract it. Examples of counteracting CF: adding lag, burying the club to the inside, swinging inside/out, throwing/casting the club, diving at it with your head, “swinging easy,” or grabbing it with your hands and pulling it into your body. CF will also help you square the club if you don’t counteract it.

9. Don’t try to increase your arc on the back swing. You want to keep the width of your arc constant. Another way of saying keeping your hands the same distance from your chest that they are at address. “Low and slow” or trying too hard to get full extension going back will get the club behind you and possibly pull your head down. Numbers 4-8 on this list go out the window when that happens. In addition, widening the arc purposely on the way back almost always leads to narrowing on the way down, which will give you a feeling of being stuck and having no room to hit the ball.

Trust me…you don’t want that.

10. Last, but not least, know what “completing your back swing” means. “Complete your back swing,” “low and slow,” and forced lagging of the club are in a dead heat for things people try to hit it farther and end up ruining their game. Golfers trying to “complete their back swing” or “make a full turn” almost 100% of the time end up making a back swing that is way too long. It ends up being a huge arm swing after their shoulder turn is finished and once your arm swing takes over for your shoulder turn…turn out the lights.

Put a shaft across your chest touching your shoulders and hold it there with both hands. Turn you shoulders as far as they will go. Then without moving, grip the club normally and extend your hands away from your body to where they would be after taking a back swing. That is a full back swing for you individually and anything longer than that is bad. More than 90% of all golfers aren’t flexible enough to take it to parallel. Almost 100% strive for parallel. Exactly 100% of all golfers who are trying to “complete their back swing” go well past their maximum shoulder turn with their arms.

If someone tells you your swing is too long and you respond, “I am trying to complete my back swing.” Guess what?

I have eight letters for you. JB Holmes. One of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour, with the shortest back swing…and not to be rude, but none of you are as flexible, hit as many balls or as talented as Fred Couples, Bubba Watson or John Daly, so don’t take the club back that far. Some of you may drink as much as Daly, but that doesn’t count.

You might think this is semantics, but it isn’t. Golf is not about forcing yourself to do what is right. It is about avoiding things that are wrong and allowing what is right to happen automatically.

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  1. Paul

    Getting fitted is the number one first thing you should do before stepping out to play. I know, obvious, right?

    The more I learn about it, the more I realize the game is stacked against you if you don’t. My clubfitter was telling me that irons out of the box can have lofts and lies all over the place. So the golfer finds he hits some clubs better than others. Gets frustrated and tears his swing apart and starts looking for tips and clues. Years later, he’s lost and worse off.

    I was testing drivers the other day and found a shaft that was absolutely perfect. But it was a process, it took some time, but well worth it. Unfortunately, the shaft was $350.00…oh, well.

    Get fitted and have your gear checked and regripped every year. It will improve your game and your confidence. You’ll be much better off. Take it from me, a former guesser and wanderer.

  2. S.


    No run-of-the-mill spaz is going to be a pro tomorrow. But, is significant improvement possible in a sort time? I say yes–if somebody has been relying on traditional golf magazine instruction and analysis.

    The reason is that the underlying assumption of traditional instruction is: if you get it to look right, then it will be right. Whereas, the opposite is true: if you get it to be right, then it will look right.

    If somebody switched their basic approach, from a swing that emphasized arm muscle and guidance, to a swing that emphasized centrifugal force and trusting their body to get the club to the ball, I think that distance, consistency, and accuracy could be noticeably increased in a fairly short time.

    The problem is that nobody has all the puzzle pieces. Maybe the key piece is the Monty piece–don’t consciously break it down into upper & lower body.

    • Paul

      No, you have it right. The pieces are all there. It really is all about trust. Trust that your body will wind and unwind correctly. Deliver everything with patience. I read somewhere that an 80 mph swing hitting the ball in the center of the face will produce the same distance (and better accuracy) than a 100mph off-center strike.

      I’d rather take more club and get there in regulation than take less and pull it left into the junk b/c I know I will have to over-accelerate to get it there.

      The playing field for golf is the biggest of any sport. There’s a lot of ground to cover out there. The brain senses this and wants to dominate and subdue. The body should take the first tee. Leave the brain in the car.

  3. s.

    Paul, it’s not that Monty doesn’t HAVE all the pieces, it’s just that he may not have mentioned them all.

    For instance, here’s a piece that Moe Norman has…and has been mentioned by others, but maybe not as clearly as in the first 55 seconds of this video, Moe at age 70. The “piece” is that you’re trying to maximize clubhead speed from the back of the ball forward. Yet, standard instruction is concerned almost exclusively with what happens before the ball.

    Mentally, if you’re more concerned with trying to produce a result from the back of the ball forward, you’re more likely to get that full release Monty talks about.:


    Here is the same principle in putting –Beatriz Recari:


    Notice how the trainer gets her focused on the line she wants the putt to start on…not whether she takes it back inside, of down the line, or whatever.

    • Paul

      Yes, agreed. It’s really about continuing to accelerate after impact, not at the ball. You see it in the great ballstrikers–Hogan, Knudson, Snead–that shaft is still stressed to and after impact. It’s as much about intentions…very hard to do. I can’t do it, and I don’t see many, if any on Tour able to do it. Btw, I love Moe.

  4. Wally

    One of the first jobs I had was working for a Roofer. This fellow would have hand full of nails in his left hand put a nail in about an eigth of an inch, in his right hand he would smoothly raise the hammer about eighteen inches away from the target nail, then BANG with one shot bury that in all the way. I asked how do you do that, he said “you have to let the hammer do the work”. Can an effective golf swing be much different

    • Paul

      Right on the money. And his target wasn’t the nailhead, it was about a half inch into the roof…

  5. Jeff Tayfon

    And what about adding some more pictures? I’m not trying to offend anyone, text is really great. Just as I know visitors acquire info much more efficient if there are certain helpful images.

    Jeff Tayfon
    frequency blocker



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