Controlling Distance

By John Elliott

Controlling Distance

How do you control the distance that you are going to send each ball with each club in your bag? When you are talking about the full swing you are talking about the set up and then you are making your maximum motion that you can to the top to produce the maximum distance that you can get out of each club. Well do we always play golf at the max? The answer is no. Let me play a little numbers game with you. I think you will find it fun but more importantly it will help you learn to control your distance with every one of the club that you have in your bag. When I make a full backswing my backswing is what I call five hours long. Here is what that means. At address my lead arm is looking down at the ground, that is six o'clock and above my head is twelve. When my left arm travels it travels in one hour increments, it can go less but for what we are speaking of one hour will be plenty. So here I am at six, seven, eight, nine, 10 and that is my full swing, eleven. When I was much younger I would swing all the way up to twelve, but as time has gone on my swing has gotten shorter so I have a five hour backswing. I happen to hit my 7-iron 100 and 50 yards on the fly, you do the math, five into one 50 is 30, so each hour of my backswing gets me 30 yards as I might want to hit a 30 yard pitch and run. I would just take my lead arm, swing to seven, hit the shot and if you want to go pace it off it is very close to 30 yards. I can also obviously hit it 90 yards, well three times 30 is 90, at address the arm is at six, as I swing my arm to nine, while I am doing this my shoulders are turning, I have a little weight movement, my wrists are cocking, but watch the lead arm. Six o'clock to nine o'clock, 90 yards of airtime. Then of course the full swing produces the full distance. I go through my set up, I am at six, I wills wing back to eleven, hit a full shot and that ball will have traveled 150 yards in the air. The point I want to make to you is that you have control over your distance, you just may not know it yet. Play the numbers game, it really helps a lot in the wedge game because so many of the wedges we hit are not full shots. How do you control a 40 yard wedge? I do it by knowing where my lead arm is through my backswing.


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