If you are like me you are in your twilight years. Those days of whipping everyone from the blue tees and scoring a 67 are long gone. No longer do I brag about beating my son who hits it 300 yards against the wind. Because quit frankly I don't hit it far anymore and haven't for years. In fact, every year seems like I hit it shorter and shorter. Or it's just harder to get the same distance. When I try to crank it up, the ball goes in directions I've never seen from my classic smooth golf swing.
For the better part of the last 15 years, my long ball son and I have worked on my golf swing to get more distance. I am a golf instructor and poured what I knew into him. I've created a monster. He hits an eight iron 200 yards. He still doesn't score that well. His work schedule doesn't allow him to put in the time it takes to get down in the 70's. We have opposite games, he hits it far and doesn't score that well, I hit short and score in the mid seventies consistently. You see where I'm going with this.
For the last seven years, I have taught the golf swing. I'm a PGTCA certified golf instructor. I've literally taught hundreds of people during the years. The number one request from most of my clients over 50 years old: How do I get more distance without giving up straightness? They lament, "I bought this $600 dollar driver only to see my distance go down over the years."
After studying the game for the last 45 years, I've studied under some of the greatest golf teachers. I get a kick out, when an amateur golfer thinks pros hit it well because of the clubs. If you are an experienced golfer you know that if you give a touring pro the oldest beat up, out-of-date golf club and an amateur the best club with the newest technology, the touring pro will hit smoother, straighter and farther. So it's not entirely the club.
Below you will find some measurements and simple solutions to apply to help determine what exactly is happening to your swing. They will help you understand WHAT you need to DO in order to get more distance without sacrificing straightness. Then you could go buy that expensive new club with these measurements in mind.
Before you spend money on a new driver: 5 measurements you must consider.
1. Clubhead speed
This is one of the more important measurements you can take on your own golf swing. The only thing about it. You can't just go one time to a store to have them measure it. You need to take ongoing measurements to track your progress. There are affordable options out there my favorite is the "Speed Stik" which helps improve your clubhead speed and measure it. It measures clubhead speed and helps you hear when you are swinging faster. Practice it over and over at the increased speed. A more expensive option is the "SwingMate" just for measuring the speed. Both are available at Golfsmith. In order to build the strength you can also use a weighted club or weight donuts. Swing it five minutes before you use the Speed Stik. Then try it again.
2. Center of the clubface
Clubhead speed without hitting in the center will impact your distance and of course straightness. A simple solution, impact tape. This goes on your clubface and you see the mark it leaves. Do this a few times at the range or even at home with plastic golf balls. (Don't go breaking the windows or hit the ceiling now).
3. Correct swing path not for distance but straightness
The swing path is tricky to diagnose but through training you can get an eye for it. Simply observe the immediate path of the ball after impact. If the ball shoots to the left immediately after impact you are hitting it from outside in. If the ball jets to the right immediately after impact, you have an inside out swing path. Another way is take a flattened cardboard box place it one or two inches parallel outside the golf ball. The goal being to avoid hitting the box altogether. But if you hit the ball then the box you have an inside out swing. If you the box then the ball you have an outside in swing path.
4. Angle of approach.
The angle of approach can be observed through a trained eye also. The trajectory of the ball immediately after impact will give you a clue as to your angle of approach. If you are using a driver and your ball seems to jet up very high right away, you need to make a more sweeping motion to correct the sharp axing motion giving it rise. Increasing the axe motion down the club range to the sand wedge. The driver is more of a sweeping motion. The fairway wood is more descending and so on.
5. Square to the clubface, different than the center.
Many astute golfers get the center of the clubface and square to the clubface confused. You could hit it center but not be squared to the ball. As the ball is in mid path you will see a slice or pull. This tells you that the hit was center (see #2) and swing path was correct but not squared.
Okay, now after several days of measurements. Make some adjustments and track your progress. Start with number one. Clubhead speed. Then take more measurements from two through five. We want to ensure that with the increased clubhead speed you aren't straying from the other important measurements.
Now you successfully increased your clubhead speed with the other proper measurements. Go buy the best club you could buy.