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Playing Golf

When Youre Losing Distance
by Robert Partain

One of the most annoying (and disheartening) problems that golfers often face is losing distance on their shots. One round of golf and you're hitting the ball like Tiger Woods, the next week you're hitting so poorly you probably feel as if you could throw the ball farther than what your club face is doing for you.

So what happened?

Could be any number of things, really. Before blaming it on your swing (which you will eventually do) consider a few other suspects--which can and do affect your swing.

If you've had an especially stressful week or if you've been hitting the gym and your muscles are tight or sore, that could be the culprit. When you muscles aren't lax enough to make a full swing without hurting, they will compensate (with or without your permission or knowledge) to avoid moving into the painful position. It doesn't take much to throw your swing off and that can certainly lead to losing distance.

If by chance you've changed drivers and have one of the new power woods, you may want to try to tee your ball up a little higher. These wonder woods need a bit more height on the tee to connect with the ball properly. In fact, you may need to buy some longer tees.

Lifting your head even a fraction of a second too soon can result in poorly hit ball. Keep your head down and keep your eyes on the tee spot until you've followed all the way through your swing.

Make sure you take a full swing at the ball. Again, this can go back to your muscle tone. But it could be you're just hanging up before you get the full arc completed. Have a buddy watch to see if you're turning fully or not. Or set up a video camera and record a few swings and then watch yourself. One thing is certain, it is nearly impossible to know if you're taking a full swing without some "outside" help. You need to see yourself or have someone watch you.

Also, make sure that you're not gripping the club shaft too tightly. If you're knuckles are turning white, you need to relax.

You also want to ensure that your left side stays firm and your left knee is bent through impact. Again, too much tightness will kill your distance. Swing through the ball and not "at" the ball. Being fluid is key.

And lastly, make sure your arms stay extended through the arc. Don't let them collapse too soon.

The best advice, perhaps, when you're losing distance is--Hey, it happens to all of us. Don't panic or stress over it. Your game will return and then it will be your buddy's turn to 'throw' his ball.

About the author

Robert Partain has been an avid golfer for over 40 years. He publishes a golf blog that is updated 4 times a week with golf tips, techniques, and information: Golf Tips Center.


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