T Nation

Training for Long Driving (Golf)

Just want to say hi and thanks for the training info.

I'm training for long driving competitions and started training/eating seriously in December. I've been focusing on deadlifts, squats, oly lifts, dips, pullups, and military presses.

Stats in Dec.

6'4" 215 lbs.
deadlift 270
clean+jerk 155
press 90
squat 165
snatch 95

Swing speed ~130mph -->310-315 carry or so (with regular driver)

Stats yesterday
6'4" (didnt gain any height ha) 240 lbs.
deadlift 400
power clean+jerk 190 (clean was easy, jerk was max)
press 125
front squat oly style ATG 235
snatch 150

Swing speed ~140-145? -->340-350 carry with long driver

Lifts aren't great, but I'm pleased with the improvements. Anyway, I'm having fun with this and if anyone wants to know how to hit a golf ball farther, or see a vid of me hitting one, don't hesitate to ask.


Actually, I've been looking into getting started with long driving, but I have no clue where to begin. Any advice, etc. you could give me would be great.


This is a good topic. Maybe add in some twisting motion, that should help out some. I've actually seen my best distance gains by increasing my overall strength from the basics and doing some full contact twists.


Now, I play golf and although I'm terrible, I'm a reasonable weight lifter, and am curious why your press number seems so low...?

I took press to equal BP, but thought that maybe it was OHP, but either way its still seemingly low - unless those are the measures on each dumbell, which would be more impressive.

Just curious, with a DL of 400ish at your height, I figure the press numbers would have been higher even from the start...

I do see that the press won't carry over quite well into the golf swing, I'm just curious all together. And congrats on the gains elsewhere.


First congrats on the gains. I'm a fairly keen golfer myself, I play off a h'cap of 3.

Since geting into weights for training 2 years ago I've noticed three things:
1. I dont' hit the ball any further with driver when going flat out,
2. My short game (<100metres) has improved considerably,
3. I can hit what feels like a 90% shot further than I used too.

I think it is point 3 that is the major benefit of lifting weights when applied to golf.

The increases in swing speed you noted earlier would nearly all be attributable to the longer shaft in a "long drive driver" assuming you are hitting a 48" shaft versus the standard 44-45". Obviously this increases the swings "arc" (radius) and hence club head speed when swung at the same rotational speed. The big trick with the long drivers is timing and keeping the thing straight. Timing is easier when swinging that little bit within yourself and hence my comment relating to point 3 above.

Anyway best of luck with the LD thing. Also are those distances yards or metres? If they are metres you are indeed giving it a big rip, if they are yards they are still good but you will know you have a ways to go before we see you on the remax tour.




Please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't golf a pure technique sport. Looking at the top 10 golfers in the world Tiger Woods appears to be the only one who could possibly finish a 1-mile jog and maybe bench press his bodyweight. I know specific training will difinately improve ones game but whats the ratio?

98% technique
2% possible improvement from weight training.


Ok, from what I've read, pro golfers have certain genetic characteristics in terms of strength that separate them from normal golfers.

  1. Powerful grip/forearm strength
  2. Fast Twitch fibre dominance.

Now, mobility is also a factor here, so there is a limit to how big you can bulk yourself up. A very huge person is going to find pectoral etc getting in the way of the swing.

Remember, the swing is a relaxed and fast movement, and at the very last second of impact, your body generates as much tension as possible. Therefore the golf swing is a plyometric movement.

You will be well served by a decent amount of muscle bulk, up to the point that a range of motion is not inhibited, and that it continues to provide gains to speed in general.


so you used a normal length driver in your before and a longer one in the after?

How do you know if you've actually gained anything? Stick with one club when you're comparing befores and afters, otherwise, you don't have a clue of your progress.

next, start training with bands. This will teach your body to not 'slow down' when near the range of motion but to keep on creaiting increasing force.

Obviously some lifts can be done with bands and others can't (squats, deads, bench are good for bands, oly lifts... not quite so good for bands).

It looks like you're doing Oly lifts which seems to help out... a lot (at least me doing oly lifts has helped my distance a ton).

You'll also want to work a lot of your trunk rotational ability and you'll want adequately flexible (but powerful) shoulders and lats. The wider the swing arc, the more power you'll make. The only way to do this is a larger turn and getting your left arm up and across your body (if you golf, you know what I mean).

lastly, wrists and fore arms. the stronger and looser that they are, the better for your swing speed.

This is what I've been able to piece together on my own over the last few years.

It also helps if you have a fundamentally sound swing...

and are tall... you 6'4 bastard


One of my Uni lecturers published an article on this topic, showed a sig increase in driving distance in weight trained group vs. control group. If you can get access to the article I think it has the program that they used. If I remember correctly they used complex training (heavy compound followed by plyometric equivalent e.g. a1: heavy bench a2: plyo push up).

Fletcher IM, Hartwell M. (2004) Effect of an 8-week combined weights and plyometrics training program on golf drive performance. J Strength Cond Res. Feb;18(1):59-62.


Get some medicine ball work in there. Do some side tosses, hi->low and low->hi tosses, back tosses, etc. It will definitely improve your rotational power. Just remember to do sets of < 15 secs to work the ATP-CP system, no need to go past that into the lactic system for golf. Just walk around for 1-2 minutes between sets to simulate being on the course. You can even carry your clubs with you if you want.


Press is strict military. I'll agree that it's still pretty weak.


To those wondering about the driver lengths. My reg driver has a 45" shaft, LD has a 48" shaft (max allowable).

My distance with the regular driver has gone up about 15 yards since December, when I swing all out.

I think the golf swing is somewhat similar to a discus or hammer throw or a baseball swing. And weight training (plus extras) sure helps those athletes.

4 most important factors in distance:
1. technique (by far)
2. flexibility
3. speed
4. strength

I'm pretty good at 1 and 2, and I can feel 3 and 4 improving from my training. I can feel my muscles winding up like a rubber band on my backswing, and then exploding through.

The numbers are in yards not meters. I was blasting some 350+ carry yesterday. I need another 20+ yards or so to be competitive with the top guys.


Here's a bomb from last week:

I'm going to try to lengthen my backswing a little bit. I played in college so keeping it under control was a priority. Now I need to let it rip, so I can go past parallel on the way back.

My favorite part is the sound of contact.


It's been a year since I started training. I entered one qualifier for the REMAX in July to see where I stood. I hit one 360 yards, but 361 qualified. Oh well I wasn't disappointed, just wanted to try it out. I'm hitting it significantly farther now than in July.

6'4" 240
I gained ~20lbs of lbm over the last year. I got up to 255 and have been trimming the excess I put on. I'm going to try to do the same thing over the next year.

PRs as of now:
power clean 235
power snatch 165
oly squat 305
front squat 275
deadlift 450

goals for next year are:
power clean 300
power snatch 200
oly squat 405
deadlift 550