The simplest and most common way that the low-handicapper is able to gain several shots per round is by following golf distance control tips. When it comes to putting and the short game, distance control is much more important than direction. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to get better at distance control for those shots that are within one hundred yards, in order to lower your score and improve your overall performance. Keep in mind, controlling your distance will not only be a matter of skill but the clubs you use, the driver and wedges, in particular, will have a big impact on your distance and the quality of your swing. Learning how to choose the right clubs can make all the difference in the world when it comes to controlling distance.
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How to Control Distance for the Beginner
If you’re a beginner, then learning how to control how far your ball goes can seem almost impossible, especially if you don’t know how to pick out the right driver, or you’re totally clueless about wedges or wedge gapping in general. I’ll go over how you can use your driver and wedges to your advantage, later on in this article. But first, I’ll cover some basics that will discuss the right techniques to use to gain more control over your game.
If you’re not hitting the ball in the center of the face consistently, then controlling distance, even when you’re using the best golf wedges, is going to be a huge problem. Using the same clubhead speed and swing tempo, different levels of energy will be exerted onto the ball with toe and heel hits. If you want to improve the consistency of contact, one way is to use a foot spray powder on the face when you practice. Spray the face and make several shots for practice. The ball is going to leave behind a mark on the face, which will tell you the exact spot you’re making contact with. You can add more spray after every shot, working towards hitting the ball in the center of the clubface.
Why Feel is So Important
When it comes to good distance control, feel will be the most important factor. During your pre-game practice, it’s important that you have a good connection with your sense of feel. Consider what each shot feels like. Focus on how the club should interact and connect with the ground and the ball. Think about this during practice and take a swing based on that sensation.
Use a Light Grip
Golf grips are always important and can have an impact on swing quality. In order to become consistent with distance control, you need to use a light grip pressure. Many pros say that they use a grip pressure that’s about three out of ten for putting and their short game. Doing so will help you to avoid any tension in the shoulders and in your arms. This will give you maximum feeling in your hands. You’ll want to feel as though you’re using gravity as the club starts to descend toward the ball, as you move your hips toward the target. This allows you to be in total control of the distance with your club.
With each shot you take, you need to know about the carry and trajectory that you intend to have, as well as how much release you will get with the loft and lie of the club. The ability to visualize what the shot will look like is crucial and can help to train your eyes to determine the distance between you and the flag.
Practice with Your Wedge
You should spend at least half of your time practicing on your putting and short game basics. Avoid block practice and focus on random practice, experimenting with the techniques I have covered here and getting the ball to travel the correct distance from anywhere on the green. Begin by hitting the ball to one hundred yards, then ninety, and so on.
Those Awkward Distances
The best way you can adjust for different distances is to grip down on the shaft of your wedge, but still use a normal swing. Golf clubs come in different lengths for a reason. A longer shaft will work to generate more power, which is why you tend to hit your driver farther compared to when you hit with your wedge. If you lower your grip further down on the shaft if you’re using a wedge, then you’re shortening the club. This can result in changing the max distance potential that you can hit with your wedge.
Choking down on your club for improved distance control can also apply when you need to change the distance by a matter of a few yards. Instead of a max yard shot of one hundred and thirty-eight yards, you’ll choke down on the club in order to hit a shot at one hundred and thirty-three yards. Instead of an eighty-eight-yard shot, choke down on the club to hit and eight-six yard shot.
Perfecting Pitch Shots
Pitches are considered very tricky shots. They can present many challenges, considering they usually require a difficult pin position or a forced carry over a hazard. Pitches are also very difficult because they’re usually performed from a longer distance that’s uncomfortable for many beginners. But if you learn how to control the distance, then you can enjoy a successful pitch shot. The drills I’ve included below can help you to improve your distance control on the green.
The underhand drill can help to develop the follow-through motion. You won’t need a club for this drill. Choose a few different targets, each of which should be at a different distance. Make sure you face the direction for each of your targets, tossing a ball underhand to each one. Make sure you use your dominant hand for each toss. Pay attention to the relaxed feel of your hand, arm, and body when you’re making a toss. You should also pay attention to how your hand ends up finishing higher with targets that are farther away. After a few attempts, you can go back to using a wedge.
How far do you need to swing in order to hit a ball to a specific distance? Try matching your swing length to yardage. The key is learning how to follow through in order to hit a pitch shot successfully. Many players will create a large backswing, then decelerate through impact using minimal follow-through. in order to create the right finish, you’ll want to focus on using a longer follow-through and a shorter backswing. You should think of your swing in relation to the hour hand positions on a clock. If you swing your arms to the nine o’clock position for backswing then you’ll follow through to the three o’clock position. Consider how far the ball tends to go with a backswing position of six, seven, eight, and nine o’clock positions. Swinging with a constant follow through and tempo will be important when it comes to mastering pitching.
If you want to get better at controlling your distance, then practice is the only way. Because of this, I recommend setting targets at different locations, then practice hitting shots at different distances. You’ll set targets at a closer range, then gradually extend them farther away as you improve. Try to focus on developing a feel for the distance by making repetitive swings.
Using the right clubs will always be crucial to your performance and the game of golf in general. When you’re focusing on controlling distance, wedge gapping will come into play. Ideally, you should carry enough wedges in order to cover most distances from one hundred yards. Determine how far you hit with your driver and your pitching wedge. From this point, you’ll need to figure out what the difference is between these distances, then divide it by the number of clubs you have that cover this distance.
You’ll also need to work out the number of clubs you carry between the distance of about twenty yards and the full wedge distance. Lob wedges, sand wedges, and gap wedges equal twenty yards per club. From this point, you can break it down and identify any of the weaknesses or gaps within the set clubs that you normally carry in order to fill the gaps appropriately. To learn more, click here to read my in-depth guide to understanding wedge gapping.
These golf distance control tips can apply when hitting chip shots, pitch shots, and wedge shots. Focus on choking down the club shaft in order to adjust distance control instead of slowing down your swing speed. Be sure to consistently practice your full swing, or use three quarter swing distances, which can help you to master many different distances that you’re sure to face out on the course.