Hit Bombs Off the Tee: Unlock Your Long Drive Potential

a female golfer at the tee after a long drive

Estimated read time:

2

minutes

So, you want to hit the long ball, huh? Well, improving your distance on your drives may not be as hard as you think. With some simple mobility and strength drills you can maximize your potential to hit bombs while still not having to swing out of your shoes.

Interestingly, many of the top ten in driving distance on the PGA tour are not the biggest, strongest guys on tour. In fact, number 3 on that list is Rory McIlroy who stands 5’9” and weighs in at 161 pounds. Not necessarily an intimidating frame.

What is it that allows Rory to consistently average more than 300 yards off the tee? Well, part of it is having one of the most perfect swings in all of golf. You may not be able to replicate that, but you can replicate some of the physical factors that allow Rory to hit it long. 

Here are three of the main physical factors and some exercises that you can work on to blast it off the tee like the pros:

Thoracic (Upper back) Mobility

Your ability to rotate through your upper back and create torque is paramount in driving the ball a long way. Most PGA tour players have more than 80 degrees of rotation in their thoracic spine. The more you can turn, the more power you can create. Consider this open-book exercise to improve your thoracic mobility. To perform this exercise, start in a side-lying position with one leg bent at 90 degrees. You will then rotate your upper body as far as you can while trying not to lift your top leg. Perform 15-20 reps each side.

starting position for an Open Book exercise, useful for thoracic mobility in the upper back, useful in golf
finish position for an Open Book exercise, useful for thoracic mobility in the upper back, useful in golf

Glute Strength

The glutes are the powerhouse of the golf swing, and they are responsible for creating most of the power in the golf swing. Try this lateral hop with a medicine ball to work on creating power with your push-off. Grab a med ball or some sort of weight. Hop from one foot to the other focusing on a powerful push-off and controlled landing. Perform 15-20 reps and 2-3 sets.

demonstration of body position for a lateral hop using a medicine ball, which enhances glute strength - important for golf
demonstration of body position for a lateral hop using a medicine ball, which enhances glute strength - important for golf

Rotational Power

Rotational power is only good if you can control it. This exercise focuses on stabilizing the lower part of the body while performing resisted rotation with a band. Grab a resistance band or bungee cord and hook it to something stable. Balance on your outside leg and with your arms straight try to rotate your torso against the resistance of the band. Do your best not to lean and you will feel all sorts of muscles working. Perform 20 reps and 2-3 sets each side.

rotational power exercise, resisted rotation with a band - excellent for golf

Additional golf resources

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