5 Tips For A Longer Drive from Jason Zuback

How to get a longer golf drive

by: J.K. Malmgren

Talk to anyone who knows a thing about long drive competition and odds are the first name that comes up will be Jason Zuback. The Alberta native was so dominant that he won the World Long Drive Championship four years running, from 1996 to 1999, and again in 2006, making him arguably the most famous in the sport, even 10 years after is last win. But in spite of how far he has and can still hit the ball, (450 + yards would be routine: at elevation with a tailwind, the 500 yard marker appears in the rear view mirror), of maybe greater impact is the affect his presence has had on professional long drive competition as a whole. Acushnet VP George Sine credits Zuback with legitimizing the sport, and there’s no question that pre-Jason events of the Long Drivers of America tended to draw a crowd out to see the freaks more than watch a real competition.

Hit The Ball A Mile:

Well, maybe not a mile. And maybe not even the quarter mile that Jason Zuback routinely propels his Pinnacle. But the king of the long drive doesn’t keep his magic a secret, and what he practices during his seven-day-a-week training regimen and preaches at the literally hundreds of long drive exhibitions he hosts each year could well translate into a few more yards off the tee for you.

Here are 5 secrets from Jason on how to drive the golf ball farther:

 

1. A Solid Foundation

“Take an athletic position,” says Zuback. “A wider stance, with the toes pointed out, gives you the room to swing and lets you make a bigger turn.”

2. Get a Grip

Not surprisingly, Zuback recommends a strong grip, one with two or three knuckles of the left hand (for a right handed golfer) visible as you address the ball. But strong doesn’t mean tight.

“Grip tension can be a big killer when we try to hit the ball,” Zuback explains. “People tend to squeeze too hard – it should be at about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.”

3. Look Up, Look Way Up

That’s where the ball needs to go to get any distance, and Zuback advises teeing it high enough that you can make contact on the upswing – so half the ball sits above the club when it’s grounded. That said, he doesn’t follow the traditional wisdom of where to place the ball in your stance.

“The old adage, ‘play it off the left heel’ doesn’t really hold true,” says Zuback, who himself places the ball just in front of his left armpit. “Play it in the best anatomical position for you to hit it on the upswing.”

4. A Time for Speed

If you can reach swing speeds pushing 200 km/h, you can probably afford to slow down a little by the time get to the ball. But Zuback doesn’t think so.

“Don’t waste your speed on the top of your swing,” he warns. “Build slowly, then accelerate through the golf ball – the big thing is the last half of the swing.”

5. Don’t Just Golf to Get Better

Zuback is a testament to the value of strength and flexibility when you want to go long, but he’s by no means alone in the gym. His friends and competition on the LDA follow similar fitness regimens, as do most of the young pros now making their way to the PGA Tour (read: it seems to work for Tiger). And he says there is no real down time.

“When the season is slower, instead of sitting on the couch, do something that’s good for the body – strength, cardio, and flexibility will all help,” he says. “Stronger, fitter, more flexible people just hit the ball farther.”

If your goal is to go up against the big boys and push the 500 yard barrier, be prepared to spend countless hours in the gym and on the range. But if you just want to get the rush of hitting longer, try Jason’s recipe for success in your practice and play. You may not reach the green on those par 4s, but hitting a wedge approach is better than five iron any day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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