Level-Up Your Average Driving Distance with Arccos Strokes Gained Analytics Feature
Every golfer has heard the phrase, ad nauseam, “drive for show, putt for dough.” But let’s be honest, who isn’t captivated by Bryson DeChambeau’s, unrelenting, mad scientist-like pursuit of the 400-yard drive?
Especially now that he self-reported a 403.1-yard carry [aka ‘bomb’] at his Dallas “laboratory”.
Gaining distance off the tee, when coupled with accuracy, carries a decided advantage for golfers of all levels, not just PGA Tour players. And with the Arccos Caddie App’s new Strokes Gained Analytics feature, it’s easy to determine if leveling up your length will lead to better scores.
Driving Game Focus with SGA
The first step in digging into your driving performance is to visit the “Driving Game” option within Strokes Gained Analytics. To access it, tap the “Player” icon on the bottom left corner of the screen and select “Driving Game” from the drop-down menu at the top of the feature screen.
If you are losing (or gaining) strokes against your target handicap, it will be displayed front-and-center in the summary at the top along with an easy-to-interpret bar graph. Next is the Distance vs. Accuracy breakdown where you can ascertain if length (or lack thereof) is the culprit.
Pay particular attention to the “Driving by Hole Length” breakdown and your average distance on par 4s and 5s. Adding yardage to your drives on par 5s will increase the probability of getting on the green in two shots and gaining strokes against your target handicap.
The “Driving by Hole Shape” chart breaks down your performance off the tee on straight, dogleg left and right holes. If you’re losing strokes on doglegs, utilize the Arccos Player Dashboard to cross-reference past rounds with holes that fit these shapes.
There, you can find your driving distances on these specific holes and use the satellite images overlaid with shot dispersion to determine where you’re coming up short or missing fairways. This will help you create a plan for attack off the tee and better inform your time spent with a professional instructor.
Drills for Distance off the Tee From the Pros
Arccos Ambassador Andrew Rice, director of instruction at The Club at Savannah Harbor and one of Golf Digest’s Top 50 Teachers, has several drills he uses with his students to enhance driving distance.
“If you want the ball to get going you’ve got to get your body moving,” Rice states in one of his recent blog posts. “For far too long the golf instruction community has restricted the pivot, but the advent of quality statistics and a deeper understanding of what truly matters in golf has opened our eyes to the value of distance.”
Rice uses a simple drill with three keys to help players hit the ball “with authority,” as he says. First, is letting the lead heel get up off the ground during the backswing (think Jack Nicklaus), second is getting the belt buckle pointing away from the target, and third is feeling the lead shoulder stretch away from the target.
He also recommends working on swinging up on tee shots to create a higher launch angle. To grove this swing plane with his students, he has them lineup three golf balls a grip’s length in front of their teed-up ball and swing without hitting the line of balls.
With cooler weather hitting much of Northern Hemisphere this month and next, Rice also has several drills golfers can do at home to improve their swing speed in the off-season.
“Distance off the tee has a lot to do with generating speed,” says Trillium Rose, Director of Instruction at Woodmont Country Club and also a Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher. It starts with a good backswing but then where do you go from there?
“How you transition from the backswing to the forward swing is critical,” says Rose and offers a some insight that can help any level player.
She explains, the first movement in the forward swing ought to be leveraged from the ground (your big muscle groups: glutes, hamstrings, quads, abdominals) so that you get your pelvis rotating toward the target and the pressure into your lead foot. Often times, players forget that the engine of the swing is their pelvis, and allow their hands and club to start the forward swing.
RELATED: TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT STROKES GAINED ANALYTICS: DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS
Translating Swing Speed to Distance
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of training aids for increasing driving distance. SuperSpeed Golf is a straightforward and highly effective system utilized by recreational and professional golfers. It consists of three weighted shafts, one 20% lighter than your driver, one 10% lighter and one 5% heavier.
Players deploy the system as laid out in a series of instructional videos at the SuperSpeed website. Based on the “over speed training” concept, which resets the normal reaction to a motor pattern, golfers experience 5-8% increases in swing speed and up to 30 additional yards off the tee. Bonus: Arccos members get a 10% discount on SuperSpeed training aids, use discount code: ARCCOS
“The SuperSpeed sticks are a great tool and in their training protocols is a step drill that I use often with players to feel how to initiate the forward swing with their legs and hips instead of their hands.” says Rose.
Start by standing with a driver and your feet together. Draw the club back into the top of your backswing (with your feet still together). Then take a side step about the width of your driver stance with your lead foot toward the target, that step should occur before your hands. Once you take the step, allow your torso, hands and club to follow suit.
By tapping into the powerful triumvirate of the Arccos Caddie Strokes Gained Analytics feature, drills from our expert Ambassadors and proven training aides like SuperSpeed Golf, Arccos players can realize rapid game improvement through longer, straighter tee shots.