Find the Middle

John Stahlschmidt
PGA Director of Instruction
JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

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Have you ever wondered how to increase your distance? If I have been asked “How do I hit it farther” once, I have been asked thousands of times.

The answer is two-fold: maximize your club head speed by swinging faster and contact the center of the face on a more consistent basis. Most golfers are not maximizing the sweet spot. Have you ever thought about where your miss-hits are? Can you tell the difference between a toe or a heel hit? If wearing out the toe of the clubface, your ball will travel shorter and tend to curve to the left (for a right handed golfer). If hitting more on the heel, the ball again will travel shorter and tend to curve to the right (for a right handed golfers). Once you learn to maximize the sweet spot, the ball will travel farther and straighter every time.

Try the following drills: Purchase a can of Dr. Scholls shoe spray and apply to the clubface. After striking a golf ball, take a look at the contact point. Repeat this process over and over until you are able to establish a pattern. Once this pattern had been established, go ahead and practice the two tee drill – pictured. Here I have created a gate using two tees. The distance between the two is approximately the width of a club head plus an inch or so. The goal is to hit balls in between the tees. If you are missing both the outside tee and the inside tee, you are maximizing the center of your clubface. The result will be straighter and longer shots.

The reality is that most golfers will benefit from more distance, whether this is off the tee or from the fairway. The pursuit of more distance can be as simple as hitting the ball more solid. Practice the above and you too will be well on the way to better golf.

John Stahlschmidt is a Master Instructor for the TOURAcademy at TPC Sawgrass – Home of the Player’s Championship. To comment, send John an email at