IVGID Tip: Develop strong core to hit longer drives

A golfer watches as a drive flies long and straight off the tee at the Incline Village Championship Course.
Courtesy Jeff Dow |

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Tip of the week” is a periodic feature running in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, in partnership with the Incline Village General Improvement District, providing locals with various tips pertaining to the recreation opportunities and services the district provides.

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — There are plenty of important aspects to a good golf game. Chipping, putting and good iron play can all lead to lower scores and all around better golf, but if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s pretty safe to assume we’d all like to be able to hit the ball farther off the tee.

Stepping up to the tee and smacking a drive long and straight down the fairway is one of the true joys of playing the game.

The good news is that if you’re thinking you need to be bigger or stronger to hit long drives, you don’t. We see it more and more on tour these days; smaller men and women stepping up and hitting massive drives.

So how do they do it? The answer lies in their core. Developing a strong core is a major key to hitting the ball farther. Here’s a simple drill you can do to help actively engage your core:

1. Address the ball as you would with a golf club, only this time cross your arms across your chest.

2. Simulate a backswing with your arms crossed. The key is to maintain the forward spine tilt and keep your back straight.

3. At the top of your swing, your left shoulder (right shoulder for lefties) will appear behind the ball. Now, drive that shoulder forward toward the target so that your left shoulder covers the ball and the right shoulder follows suit. Let your head turn with your body and rotate fully through the finish — as far as you can go while staying in balance.

To take it further, consider incorporating some free weights into your routine. Hold a round weight against your chest as you do this drill. Not only will you groove a nice move, but you’ll also build strength and muscles in the process.

And by the way, when you see players like Camilo Villegas and Tiger Woods, who both have bulging biceps, remember that their strong arms are a by-product of an even stronger core.

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