The most common question I receive from golfers over 50, is “how can I add distance.” As baby boomer golfers enter their 50′s, 60′s, and even 70′s, power loss becomes a bigger and bigger problem.
Golf bodies naturally lose flexibility. The skin loses its elasticity and ability to bounce back to its original shape. As a result, we get wrinkles. Muscles and tendons lose the ability to move freely through a full golf motion. As a result, we lose distance.
A lot can be done for baby boomer golfers with the addition of daily golf exercises and golf flexibility activities. But you probably realized a few years ago, that you may never regain the flexibility you had in your 20′s. This loss of flexibility leads to a restricted golf swing that produces less power.
So what can be done?
I want to take a quick look at your grip to see if you can make a simple change to regain some of your lost distance and add some yards to your drive the next time you play golf. In fact, you currently have the ability to increase the length of your backswing by making one simple change in how you grip the golf club. Increasing the length of your backswing allows you more time to build up fluid momentum for a powerful swing instead of trying to create ‘instant’ swing speed by jerking the golf club down from a short backswing position.
Grip Change for Distance
Instead of using the standard golf grip, grip the club more in your fingers, with the grip of the club running along all of your knuckles of your left hand (for left handers). You can grip the club normally with your other hand.
This increases the leverage, or ability of your wrist to bend at the top of your backswing. Not only will this allow you greater time to ramp up your swing speed, but adding wrist cock will allow your forearm muscles to contribute to your swing speed at the moment you impact the golf ball.
Difficulties With this Grip
For some golfers, you will have the tendency to block the golf ball to the right. If you experience this, simply strengthen your golf grip slightly. To strengthen your grip, simply rotate both hands over to the right (for right handers). You only need to, or want to, rotate your hands slightly.
As with all modifications to your grip, this may take a little time to get used to. It will feel different.
If you are struggle to regain distance in your golf game, you can make a small modification to your grip that will make an instant impact. Many of our golfers have benefited from this modification with minimal impact to accuracy. Give it a try today and you will love golf even more!
Read this next: How Hybrid Golf Clubs Can Help Your Golf Game
Dr. Ryan York is a physical therapist and since 2008 has been working exclusively with golfers between the ages of 50 and 75. He co-directs Age Defying Golf, which is dedicated to improving golf performance, reducing the effects of aging, and resolving golf-related pain in golfers .