Tall golfers have been blessed with incredible levers to naturally hit the golf ball further with seemingly little effort. Surely being tall is a huge advantage in golf then? Not necessarily.
There is more that can go wrong with a tall golfer's swing. Coordinating all the moving parts of the golf swing makes rhythm and timing more challenging.
It is vital to get the fundamentals correct in order to harness the natural speed and power. In this article we will take a look at some simple golf tips for tall golfers to ensure they give themselves the best chance of success.
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Tip 1: Get your clubs custom-fit
This is sound advice for any golfer, but getting your clubs custom fit to suit your golf game is arguably even more important when you are above average height.
The most important factor in determining shaft length is actually the length between your hands and the ground, but it is still common for taller golfers to require shafts up to two inches longer.
A custom fitting will also take into consideration your swing path, posture and other factors to determine the correct golf club set-up, including the length and lie angle.
Playing with clubs that are the wrong set-up for you can lead to bad swing habits, which can have long term detrimental effects on your standard of golf.
Tip 2: Find the write set-up position
Tall golfers can sometimes have the tendency to lean over the golf ball in order to feel more comfortable. This will only hinder the swing by reducing movement and limiting the potential for width. You should create more flexion in the knees where required and bend from the hips, but keep a tall and upright spine position.
Once the original posture is correct, then probably the most typical mistake from taller players is to dip into the golf ball. This is especially common with shorter irons and wedges.
It is imperative to maintain your height and posture throughout every golf swing, because losing dipping will cause lots of inconsistency in trying to strike the golf ball cleanly. This will cause poor accuracy and control in your short game and reduce your ability to extend through impact, resulting in a significant loss of distance in your long game.
Tip 3: Lower body stability
It is imperative for taller players to reduce the movement of their lower body. Creating a stable base allows them to stay in sync and use their longer levers far more effectively.
You should experiment with your feet width to find a position where you feel comfortable. Taller golfers do not need to be as dynamic with their lower body, because they can generate enough natural power with their upper body.
Tip 4: Use your natural wide arc
The major benefit of being taller is the ability to create a wider arc for effortless power and long distances. This wide arc does not always come naturally though, so you need to work on the correct swing path to make the most of your natural levers. A narrow arc will cramp your swing for space and not allow for a full rotation.
The key to creating a wider arc is in the takeaway. As you take the club away from the ball you want to activate your shoulders and feel like you are moving with your upper body as one. There should be no hand or wrist movement.
A good drill is to take a light object, such as a headcover, and place it a couple of inches directly behind your golf club at address. When you take the club away you want to feel as though you are pushing the object straight backwards to allow the club to then continue its natural path.
Tip 5: Swing shorter and stay connected
Trying to keep your upper and lower body connected is potentially the hardest thing for tall golfers to achieve. You need to be able to keep the whole body in rhythm to achieve consistency of strike and accuracy.
Tall golfers do not need to have a long swing, because that only makes the transition more complicated. As we just mentioned, the power is generated through the width, not the length of the swing. So, by shortening the golf swing there is less that can go wrong.
The transition into the downswing should be as ‘quiet’ as possible and you want to feel as though you are attacking the golf ball as directly as possible with your arms. Tall golfers that drop their hands below the ball or open their chest up too early will have trouble with their timing.
The simpler you keep the movements through your swing the easier you make it to keep your body in sync. As you move through the downswing you need to keep your upper body and hip movement together to reach the impact zone with perfect timing.
Making the most of your natural ability to generate clubhead speed as a tall golfer is not simple. Hopefully these tips help to guide some of your swing thoughts for improved results, but there is not always an easy fix for golf swing problems.
The best way to improve is by working with a qualified PGA Professional coach and practicing on your game. Having lessons, even if it is just to review the basics, should be a priority. Tall golfers, in particular, need to focus on the fundamentals first. Forming bad swing habits will not just harm your game, but can lead to injury problems with the back.
Remember, every golfer is different so you need to find a swing technique that works for you. There are tall golfers with unique swings, such as Matt Kuchar or Jim Furyk, playing on the PGA Tour. What is important is understanding the basics of your swing, then getting your impact position correct.
I will leave you with one final tip for tall golfers - watch some of the best and simplest swings from tall golfers on the Professional Tour. Davis Love III, Henrik Stenson, Nick Faldo and Ernie Els are all excellent examples that you can learn from by watching clips of their swings.