The Bryson Dechambeau effect is rippling through the golf community – from the junior sections in Korea to the USA’s senior sections. This article will analyze distance, including driver distance, and explore how seniors can hit the ball further.
Throughout, you will find a plethora of tips for senior gofers so you can boost your distance as you get older – one being how to find the best golf balls for seniors, too. But remember, the only number we are interested in is your scorecard!
For the article, we will analyze three tools available to all golfers: the clubs, the swing, and the ball.
How Can Seniors Hit The Golf Ball Further?
Firstly, let’s look into driver distance. Technology in golf clubs continues to improve year on year. It amazes me how many golfers, particularly seniors, still use that trusty Driver from 20 years ago. I would encourage you to look at the clubhead on your Driver and then the shaft within the club.
Take a look at the loft on your clubhead. What we want to achieve with a driver shot is a high launch & low spin rate. Senior golfers will, speaking broadly, have a slower golf swing than adults and juniors.
Therefore a 9 degree or often a 10.5-degree driver will not have the loft we need to fire that ball into the air with the required trajectory required to maximize distance.
I like to see a launch angle of 13 to 18 degrees with the Driver. Often for slower golf swings, a 12-degree to 15-degree Driver will help us reach that optimum launch angle.
Secondly, and arguably the most important, the shaft within your Driver will have a massive effect on how far you can hit the ball.
The goal with the shaft is to achieve two things. A spin rate (the amount of backspin on the ball) is between 1,800 and 3,000 RPM.
Secondly, ensure the clubface is square/ aiming at the target at impact into the ball.
Senior golfers often do not have enough “flex” in the shaft. Using a “senior flex shaft,” the clubface will square towards the target quicker at impact. Thus, achieving greater speed and straighter shots.
Finally, a senior shaft is lighter than the shafts you will see in a tour pro’s golf bag. By being more lightweight, we can swing faster, resulting in a longer shot.
Having the correct equipment is essential. However, we need to move correctly to increase our distance.
We are looking to achieve a 13 – 18 degree launch angle and approximately 2,400 RPM within the driver swing. We must strike our Driver on the upswing to launch the ball into the air to achieve this. The first tip to achieve this will be to move the ball to the front of your stance to encourage an upward strike.
Secondly, while keeping your hips stacked over the ball, tilt your spine angle to the right (for right-handed golfers). From this position, it is much easier to achieve the angle of attack we need for a longer driver distance
Several tour pros will use more loft on the Driver and hit right up onto the ball. RPM will go to 8,000 plus by hitting down on the ball, and we lose distance because the energy we have created in our swings will transfer into spin on the ball. The energy produced from an upward strike will propel the ball forward.
I can’t stress that the correct technique will be a massive driver-distance enabler. Gaining the proper knowledge has never been easier. You can speak to your local PGA professional, take a look at YouTube or even begin virtual golf lessons.
In the swing, we must also look to strengthen areas of the body that will allow us to hit the ball further.
A simple way to begin that journey is using speed sticks. Speed sticks allow you to increase your speed with weighted golf clubs. You are subsequently building the muscles you need to use.
Caution! Be sure to warm up properly before using the speed sticks to prevent injury. I also recommend doing left-handed swings to ensure balance in the training you will be doing by using them.
Our final factor for distance is using the correct golf ball. I see many senior golfers using an older golf ball or whatever they found on a round in 2005!
Again, the technology continues to move forward, and there are many options available that will help you hit the ball further
This suggestion is that the two-piece golf balls above will compress at a lower force because they are manufactured with a lower compression rate. This means that the ball will leap into the air under less force than a higher compressed ball. The result for seniors is a typically slower swing will enable maximum flight and roll on this type of golf ball.
An question that’s often asked in the club house on senior days is how far should a 70 year old hit a golf ball. So, we’re going to take a look at that next as we come to the end of our series.