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The greater width you have in your backswing, the bigger your swing arc will be.
The greater width you have in your backswing, the bigger your swing arc will be. (Courtesy of Rebecca Seelig/pb-pr.com)

Three tips to increase your distance

Les MillerBy Les Miller,

If you struggle with a lack of power in your golf swing, one of the first areas to check is the width of your backswing.

The greater width you have in your backswing, the bigger your swing arc will be. This increased swing arc will give your swing more time to increase your club-head speed as you strike the ball.

More speed means more power, which equates to increased distance. To increase width, you need to increase the spacing between your right hand and right shoulder (right-handed golfers) during your backswing.

Practice taking a backswing holding the golf club with just your right hand. Keep your right hand as far away from your body as possible during these practice swings. During this drill, reach your right hand toward the sky at the top of the backswing.

Other tips to increase power in your golf swing:

Flex the back knee during the backswing: Keeping your back knee flexed during the backswing does two things. First, it restricts your hip turn so you can coil your upper body (the upper body continues to turn against your hips), this builds energy in the backswing. Next, it allows you to drive your weight off your back foot during the down swing so you can release the club head through the impact area.

Keep your swing connected: A common swing flaw for many golfers is to have their hands and arms get disconnected from their body during the golf swing. Hands too far ahead cause a hook or pull; hands too far behind cause a slice or push. Both moves result in a major loss of power.

The proper golf swing has the hands and arms in front of the chest throughout the swing. A good drill to help keep these parts in unison is to hit balls with your elbows as close together as possible during the entire swing. As you address the ball, push your elbows together in front of your chest and have them touch.

On your backswing, turn your chest back keeping your elbows together as long as possible. On the downswing, turn your chest back to the ball, and keep it turning through the follow through. Again, try and keep the elbows together as much as possible.

When first trying this drill, use half to three quarter swings so you can get the feel of the swing down. As it begins to feel more comfortable, lengthen the swing out.

Les Miller was a longtime Golf Writers of America member who covered golf instruction for several newspapers and golf publications. His many years of experience as a golf professional, director of product development and tour relations for several major golf companies gave him a unique background and ability to help golfers increase their enjoyment of the game.

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