Hank Haney Coaches 3 Action Sports Stars to Huge Distance Gains

September 9, 2016

There are few universal truths in golf that apply to any player. Here’s one of them: the game is more fun when you hit it longer off the tee.

In a new web series, Red Bull and Callaway Golf took three action sports stars, paired them with Hank Haney’s swing tips along with new drivers and measured their individual yards gained. Dubbed “Distance Lab,” the series is broken up into three episodes, ranging from three to five minutes, and highlights the transformations each athlete makes with their drivers. The result is fun and lively while offering insight into how other amateurs can gain distance too.

Haney offers one secret. Swing faster. But not harder. 

“Sometimes I’ll tell students there’s no such thing as swinging too fast,” Haney said. “But there’s a difference between fast and hard. You want to generate as much speed as possible without throwing off your tempo.” 

With the average swing speed of a male golfer being 85 mph – compared to pros topping out around 130 mph – upping the clubhead speed will result in longer drives. But this doesn’t happen overnight for most players. The takeaway doesn’t need to be rushed, and flexibility paired with a strong shoulder turn is a huge factor. The three athletes in the show already are in top physical form and understood the work necessary to improve, which Haney said was one of the most fun parts about series. 

The results: Steel Lafferty, a wakeboarder, went from 281 yards to 320. Corey Bohan, a X Games gold medal BMX rider, improved from 208 yards to 275. Alex Midler, an 18-year-old skateboarder, went from 191 yards to 266. Lafferty’s gains were the most impressive, as his clubhead speed jumped from 112 mph to 119 mph thanks to increased wrist hinge that added extra width to his swing. And he’s not a Dustin Johnson-type either, standing only 5-foot-8. He was crowned the Distance Lab champ. 

Check out the full web series below, and start making some distance gains on your own.