Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk knows a thing or two about hitting the ball far – and straight. She earned her nickname as the reigning 8-time Canadian Long Drive Champion and currently holds the Canadian Women’s Long Drive record at 350 yards 2 feet 2 inches.
Here are 10 tips from Lisa to help you hit the ball farther and hit more fairways.
1. Warm up before you play.
Do you want to start hitting better shots on the 1st hole versus the 4th or 5th hole? Take 5 minutes before your round to warm up before you play. Include Neck, Shoulders, Forearms, Wrists, Back, Sides and Legs.
2. Fan your front foot to a 45 degree angle.
Do this when you set up for ALL your full swing clubs. This will make it easier to clear your hips through impact and takes pressure off the lead knee. If you have a bad back or two bad knees you can try fanning both feet.
3. Relax your grip pressure.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the death grip), your grip should be about a 3 or 4. If your grip pressure is too tight you will not be able to release your wrists, robbing yourself of distance and opening the club face. If you slice the ball, this may be a reason why.
4. Good Posture
Having your torso too upright, or hunching your back will kill your distance and ball striking. For proper posture there is a 4 step process:
- Stand straight with shoulders back
- Bow at hips (bottom sticks out)
- Slightly bend the knees
- Let your arms hang naturally
This is the SAME posture for all of your full swing clubs. Go through this process until you can get into this posture naturally.
5. Make a good shoulder turn.
To add distance to your game you need to create coil and torque in your backswing. A great swing thought is to initiate your back swing with your lead shoulder. This forces your upper body to turn and enable rotation. Think of trying to get your back to face the target in your backswing.
6. Don’t start your downswing with your arms.
You will lose all of the coil and torque you have built up. Instead, start your down swing by turning your front hip. This is a turn, NOT a slide. (Swing thoughts: Think TURN the front hip, or TURN front pocket, TURN belt buckle, or TURN your guts. This will make you turn the lower body first). Turn your shirt in backswing, turn your pants in down swing!
Let your swing load up and coil up, THEN create acceleration! Too many golfers start their downswing BEFORE they have finished their backswing. Think two beats in the back swing one in the downswing.
8. Swing Thought for Distance
Think Turn harder in the down swing NOT Swing harder!
9. Swing through the ball.
Your club head should be moving fastest after impact. Keep swinging until the finish! Many Golfers stop swinging at the ball. This will stop you from chicken winging and leaving weight on your back foot.
10. Finish with your belt buckle towards your target with your weight on your front side in balance!
Your playing partner should be able to see the WHOLE sole of your back shoe as you hold your finish. See if you can lift your back foot as you hold your finish. If you can’t you haven’t transferred all your weight and have lost yardage and it could cause a slice.
Make sure your shaft matches your Swing Speed. Have your Swing Speed measured at any Golf Town location. Once you know your club head speed that will be a great starting point for what flex of shaft you should use. Here is a ballpark chart showing what shaft you should be using based on your club head speed for DRIVER:
Less than 75 mph – Ladies Flex
75-85 mph – Senior/A Flex
85-95 mph – Regular Flex
95-110 mph – Stiff Flex
100+ mph – X Stiff Flex
The shaft is the engine to your club. Many athletic women are using Ladies Flex shaft because they are women and actually have too much club head speed for that shaft. That may be leading to their errant shots, not swing faults. Often men are using a shaft that is too stiff for them, in turn robbing them of distance.
Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk is the reigning 8-time Canadian Long Drive Champion. She entertains at Corporate & Charity Golf Outings, runs her own Golf School for Women in Canada and the US, is a Golf Journalist and a Peak Performance Keynote Speaker. She can be reached through her website www.lisalongball.com or follow Lisa on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.