ASK NIKKI DISANTO!
Pro Golfer, Long Drive Champion, Fitness Expert, Personal Trainer for Pop Star Ke$ha!, Star of The Golf Channel's hit show "BIG BREAK" (V and VII)
Nikki Disanto is an amazing gal and athlete and we're thrilled to have her join our terrific staff of Golf Experts! With her extensive background in golf, long drive competitions and fitness for golf training, she is certainly a valuable commodity for all of us hackers to have at our fingertips! So take advantage of this opportunity and ask Nikki your golf questions for free! She'll answer every question posed, as do all of our experts. Thanks again Nikki for joining our fine staff of pros and taking the time out of your very busy schedule to help out your fellow golf nuts!
"Hi ISUCKATGOLF Fans!,
My name is Nikki Di Santo and I am so happy you are visiting this sight!
I hope you are enjoying it and learning we are never to old to learn and
improve something in our game! Golf mimics life, I think that is why we all
love it so much. It doesn't come easy so we have to have deep respect for
our game and those we play with. How fortunate we are to have these
opportunities to express life in our golf game! This is indeed the greatest
sport ever played. I love it with my entire heart! ;)
An important part of golf is our fitness and flexibility. Golf and fitness are areas in my life
I have given a great deal of my attention and dedication both mentally and physically. I would love the opportunity to share some info with you on these topics. Please feel free to ask me you golf swing questions, including questions on how to hit it longer and how to increase your fitness level for better golf. I will do my best to help you achieve you goal to play better golf!"
Long Drive Competitor and Champion
Personal Trainer for Pop Star Ke$ha!
Co-Star of The Golf Channel's "Big Break V and VII" !
World Class Triathlon Coach
Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor
Specialties: Sports Nutrition:
Core work and Plyometrics for Golf
Strength training for Long Driving
PAST QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Workout for longer drives and better golf
Fitness or Form? Why do you hit it so far?
Help with Distance and Strength
If you had to give the “average golfer” one tip on how to hit longer drives, what would it be?
Hi Sue, if I were to suggest one thing, especially to a woman -as women are usually a bit more flexible is a bigger shoulder. A bigger shoulder turn can help you hit longer drives in golf. THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO HIT LONGER DRIVES, BUT I SUGGEST YOU FOCUS ON ONE THING AT A TIME. Just keep your eyes on the ball and your head still at impact. When you do this your shots will not only be longer but more accurate!
I am very straight off the tee, but not very long. When I try to give it a rip I usually top it or slice it into the woods. Something bad! Do you have any drills for a newer golfer on how to learn to swing harder and still hit the ball straight. I’m afraid if I don’t learn to swing harder now I’ll never get it and I want to be a good player one day.
Hi Kyle, there is nothing like hitting a solid golf shot! That is for sure! But if golf teaches us one thing, it is patience. You will not improve your golf game by swinging harder in fact you may even slow down your golf swing and top it, and or hit it weaker. I suggest you relax over the ball. Your golf swing will definitely be faster and more accurate. When we tense our bodies up, we have no control. Just relax and take a deep breath before you hit the ball. I promise you will hit it Further and be way more in control. First practice this on the range for a bit, then bring it out to the course. Let me know how it goes. One thing is for sure, you will be a lot less tense after the game, and wont need to stop at the clubhouse for a drink.. :) Enjoy.
I’m 17 and play to a 9 handicap. I try to play almost every day, when I can’t I try to hit balls. Can you give me a good routine to use when hitting practice balls at the range so I get more out of my practice? Thanks so much!
Hi Sandra, a good pre-shot routine, is something that you can repeat every time you hit a shot. So you should create on that feels comfortable for you. What I like to do is pick my shot, as well my target- Practice my swing 2 times. Once I do that, my mind is clear. I then take my stance over the ball and swing freely without to much thinking. My practice swings allow me to free my mind of expectations and they prepare my body and mind for my intended shot.
Try using this pre-shot routine on the driving range and also when you play. It may or may not work at first, but, just like with anything, the more you practice it, it becomes second nature.
This routine is very helpful for me. It allows me to do all of my thinking before I hit the shot,(about the wind, club choice, yardage... etc.) not during. Let me know how it goes. Soon, your practice routine will be second nature. Have fun! And thanks for visiting!
I was wondering what makes a long drive shaft longer than lets say a bang fast 45" that's 45 grams with super low torque at 2.5 for control I would think this would give me extra distance with control due to the weight and torque, but are long drive shafts really better for distance? And if so what shaft would you recommend for maximum distance.
Thank you very much,
Wow that is quite a question, and truly, the best way to answer it is through trial and error as well of ones own personal preference. Although, I do love hitting a shaft that is 45" and I think that 45 grams sounds incredibly light and easy to swing and it would also provide accuracy. So if you are using a club with those specs and that torque, why go longer and sacrifice accuracy.
From my experience, I notice that Long Drive Shafts are created for length not accuracy, and length of shaft, in general, creates speed. The faster the swing the farther the ball flies given there is just the right amount of wind for your ball flight etc. on that given day.
Personally, I have no serious preferences when it comes to shafts as there are so many good ones i have used and have loved equally.
I do have a preference as to what feels good in my hands when striking the ball. And for me that is more significant as I am a feeling player. I know that about myself. I learned that through golf, as it mimics life and teaches us so much about who we are if we let it! Also if a shaft feels right we can tell ourselves that is the right shaft for us. What I life doing is trying out different shafts to see which ones work for me and from there we can choose what is more important for us, length, swing speed, weight of a club, torque, etc.
Thanks for checking in
I hope that helped
I’m 32, do moderate exercise and consider myself fairly fit. I want to increase my swing speed and distance. Do you have any tips, exercise or otherwise that would help me achieve this goal?
Thank you so much,
I have an amazing tip for you! First if all do allot of stretching or even yoga.This will make your muscles more elastic and thus quicker and stronger. Even more importantly look into getting a "trx" or joining a gym that has a TRX. You will love this training tool. They have a golf workout on dvd that is the best I have seen. It increases your core and overall strength and I cant rave enough about this product! It is so great for golf and for the swing speed. In my opinion you should do it at least 3 to 5 days a week for best results.
Check it out at www.fitnessanywhere.com
To what do you attribute your long drives? Do you think it has more to do with your fitness level than just the swing? It would be a coincidence that you are a fitness expert AND happen to hit your drives so far. What recommendations can you make for the avg. golfer to hit longer?
Also, do you swing as hard as you can on most drives?
Look forward to hearing your response. Thank you
Thanks so much for writing in! Sorry it took me a while to write back, but I love this question. I am certain that being fit and flexible is my key to hitting LONG drives. There is no doubt that if our shoulder blades are loose, as well as our lat's strong, and our hip joints and fluid and rotating on our axis, ( our pelvis and spine and so much more) that we will contact that ball more quickly and fluidly. I believe wholeheartedly in my yoga practice which focus's mainly on proper alignment as well as a strong core and healthy low back. In my workouts, I strongly emphasize alignment, and form while building our strength as well as our flexibility. It truly is essential and mandatory for a long and healthy life! A lot of times I see people doing stretches and it appears that they are actually causing themselves more pain as opposed to lubricating their joints. Even in Yoga, so many times people can be hurting themselves as opposed to healing themselves. Even in Golf, its all about our form, grip, stance and posture that allows the basic setup for golf. If we can not get into these positions properly in golf, we must work on our bodies in order to be our best. They great part is, when we take care of ourselves physically, our mind is clearer and our golf games improve with that as well! Thus, exercise is a win win situation. In recommending something to you, I would start our with proper stretches of the low back, hips and upper thoracic spine. You can even use yoga blocks to do this and passively lie on the ground while incorporating a chest opening. Less is more! don't pull on your body and don't be hard on yourself. Relax into your stretches. And by all means, do some planks! Make sure that your joints are stacked (elbows, wrists, and shoulders). Proper Planks will not only get rid of any Beer Bellies, but, it will strengthen your wrists, shoulders and arms which will help you immensely with your golf swing! Do this daily before you hit the links... Make it a Habit like brushing your teeth or washing your face. Taking care of yourself, will take care of your golf game! Get to the next level of your life! Being good to you:) have fun and please let me know how this helps you.
Thanks for taking my question. I've been playing for about 5 years and I've yet to break 100. I don't really have a best part of my game! It all "sucks"! I can hit some good shots from time to time with all my clubs, so I know I have it in me. But much of the time I'm hitting first as I don't hit the ball as far as the women I'm playing with. I've almost given up on hitting my driver, as I usually either pop it up or top it. I haven't given up on it yet because I'm so short off the tee to begin with and I don't hit my 3 wood much better to be honest. Can you give me any tips to use to speed up my swing? In particular any drills I can try at the driving range. I'm not strong, but I'm not a weakling either. I just swing so darn slow! Help! I'd appreciate any help you could offer.
I would recommend a workout and flexibility workout at least 2 to 3 days a week. this will address your strength. Get a trainer. you can hire one at any gym! Its worth the investment for your overall health as well as longevity! secondly, I would work on one thing at a time in your golf game! For example, your short game: Fran, this is 60% of your game! Learn how to get up and down. you do NOT need to be strong to chip it close to the hole and to putt well! Focus on your strengths and work on this for a while! Find a golf pro who can help you with your short game and practice practice practice... if you improve your short game by 50% or even 25% you will indeed be a better player and you will break 100 for sure!
So this is what i would work on if i were you.
As for drills, keep your eye on the very, very back of the ball and allow your eye hand coordination to take over! you will NOT top the ball if you do this Fran and with your workout regimen and a loose grip and loose relaxed body, you will be on your way to a better more full filling game. I assure you of this!
Good luck and please let me know how it goes!
I will hope to hear from you son when you are breaking 100!