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Rippin' Ray Beaufait

Ray Beaufait won the Remax District Championship for PA/DE/MD/and NJ in 2007, making it to the finals of the World Long Drive Competition. In that event Ray smoked the 5th longest drive in his division, at the tender age of 64! Now 65, Ray consistently hits his drive over 320 yards!

Ray is also the Webmaster of "Golf Swings", which has drawn millions of viewers since 1998.

In his columns Ray will give you free Long Drive Tips to hitting it big at any age and keeping your distance (and getting more!) as you get older. (Ray added 50 yards to his tee shots at the age of 61.)

So if you want to hit longer drives, check out all of Ray's free Long Drive tips and secrets here. You should also check out Ray's web site where you'll also get insight from Ray's mentor, Steve Griffith. Steve is the 2005 Remax Long Drive World Champion. He is also 8 time World Long Drive Finalist. He consistently hits his drives, in competition, in the vicinity of 400 yards!

But then again Steve's only 58!

 

Check out Ray's archives of Long drive Tips and Golf Exercises and start Rippin' it like Ray!

LONG DRIVE TIPS BY RIPPIN' RAY

The Simple Push Up

The Body Twist

Isometrics

Setup and Stance

Take away and backswing

Downswing-Release

 

ASK RAY YOUR LONG DRIVE QUESTIONS!

 

PAST QUESTIONS

What Driver and specs do you use?

Slice only on course, not at range!

Not taking a divot, ok? (better contact)

OK to take a divot on your practice swing?

How to get and keep loose?

How hard to swing for maximum distance? (How to hit longer drives)

How high do I tee the ball for maximum distance?

How to increase clubhead speed?

Longer driver for longer drives?

Swing Hard for long drives?

Suddenly Lost My Distance!

Advice for seniors to get and keep loose! (warm-up tips)

Different Stance for Irons and Woods?

Great Tip Ray! (practicing with light club to increase swing speed)

Fix My High Drives!

 

THE BEST LONG DRIVE GOLF TIPS AND VIDEOS FROM AROUND THE NET:

Joe Beck Video "Hit It Long"

"Switch Shoulders" Drill

 

Equipment

Hi Ray,

What kind of driver do you use. Shaft? Flex? Degree of loft? I can hit it close to 300 now, just wanted to try out whatever club you use and see if that might work better. Do you hit it high or low. How much roll do you usually get? I have a 10.5 Stiff shaft. I used to use a 9.5 but that was sometimes hard to control. I’m due for a new driver so I thought I’d ask the pro!

And what kind of swing speed do you generate? Do you know?

Thanks
Jack M

Hi Jack,

I use an Alpha driver head with a accuflex shaft. I have a 7.5 and 8.5 degree head. The length of the shaft is 47".(xx shaft). I usually hit the ball high with an average roll of usually about 10% under normal conditions. The club head weight is 198 grams, 460 cc. Hope that helps!

Thanks for your e-mail,

Ray

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Slice On Golf Course, Not At Range!

Ray,

I am trying desperately to fix a slice that I have.  I am fine at the range but as soon as I hit the course I slice like a mad man and I don't know what I am doing!! Please help.

Dennis P.

 

Dennis,

Without seeing your swing I think you are probably holding the club too tight with you hands. Have a very light grip and make sure you are not swinging from out to in. Try to "drop the club behind you" and not over the top on the downswing.

Ray

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NOT TAKING A DIVOT....Ok?

(Sept 08)

Ray

I tend to pick the ball clean with hardly a divot. I've tried all kinds of ways to make better contact through taking a divot but none work for me. HCP =14. 6'0'' 190 , Age 64, in good shape...

Ray (his name is also Ray!)

 

Many pros don't take a large divot.  Divots many times depend on the fairways you play on.  With an iron you hit down on the ball.  Your divot should be in front of the ball if any divot at all.  Meaning you hit the ball and the club continues after striking the ball into the ground.

Ray Beaufait

(ISAG Bonus Comment! Woo Hoo!) Check out Better Contact Drills. That may help you as well.

 

OK To Take A Divot On Your Practice Swing?

Ray,

I know the rules say not to take any divots during play other than what your actual shot produces but I can only play once a week,  am a 12 index,  and often time need to take practice swings especially when the ball is above or below my feet.  How serious an offense  is it to take a divot during your practice swing? I can easily chunk a shot without this calibrating routine..  Dave  (One of my foursome is giving me s--- for it.) Sorry if this is a dumb question.

Hi Dave,

There are no dumb questions .....I have nothing against practice swings.  Most pros take a practice swing or two.  As long as you don't hold up play or get excessive in your practice swings I see no wrong.  If you take a divot, no problem here also.  Just make sure you repair your divot before moving on. Ignore your friend.

Ray Beaufait

ISAG BONUS ANSWERS! We found this question to be an interesting one, so we forwarded to some of our other pros and experts for their opinions as well....one thing is for sure, it isn't "cut and dry".

ISAG EXPERT/PRO
Ok to take a divot on practice swing? YES/NO
DETAILED ANSWER

LPGA Pro

Diana D'Alessio

NO No, I don't intentionally try and take a divot.  I wouldn't suggest someone intentionally try and take a divot while taking a practice swing.  I believe that a practice swing should be the rehearsal of the shot you intend to play.  So for me I don't stand over the shot and try and take 3 inch divot.  I look at the lie, the stance, and flag location and then try and get myself comfortable with my stance and take a couple of practice swings to truly feel the shot. Plus, most golf courses don't really like it when you take divots with your practice swings - doesn't make you particularly popular with the grounds staff :)
Top Teaching Pro Barry Goldstein YES

If he doesn't he will lose to another player who does.

Pro Golfer Christina Lecuyer NO Don't know what anyone else is saying, but I think you can still take a solid practice swing without actually taking a divot. You can still feel the shot and see what you want to happen without taking a huge pelt!
Long Drive Champ Rippin' Ray Beaufait YES If you take a divot during your practice swing, no problem here also.  Just make sure you repair your divot before moving on.
The Golf Guru, David Fineg YES I would say that it is not the taking of the divot that is important. The important part of this question is what you do to repair the damage after you make it. If you bother to chase the grass plug down and return it to the scar, tamping it down, it will take almost no time to repair.  It is the damage NOT REPAIRED on the course that matters. Especially if you are making two divots per shot and not repairing them.

ISAG writer and all around great guy,

Ken Tonks

NO First off, I'd like to thank the academy for allowing me to respond along side all these great athletes and experts ....I don't think it's ok to purposely take a divot on your practice swing. I'm embarrassed when I do, especially on a well manicured track. Take your practice swing trying to graze the top of the grass, if you take a divot you take a divot, but don't try to duplicate the swing exactly by removing turf. Unnecessary wear and tear on the course. You can't duplicate the situation without a ball to aim at, so why try?
Swing Expert Bill Crowley YES

If Dave tends to take divots with practice swings so be it. Just learn proper replacing techniques and carry around some extra seed mix if down south(Bermuda grass, etc....)

We loved this question! We're still awaiting answers from a few our our pros. Right now it's pretty split. Maybe the rest of our experts can break the tie when they weigh in on this one! Thanks for the question Dave!

 

How To Get and Keep Loose

Hi Ray,

My question is what do you do to keep loose? I know in order to crush your drives you have to be pretty loose, especially as you get older. I’m always tight but especially the first few holes. Any tips on how to loosen up fast just before a round and any tips on stretching at home? Thank you.

Bob P.

Hi Bob,

The older we get the harder it is to stay loose.  Our joints and ligaments are just not as elastic as when we were young.  I usually pop a Advil and stretch before playing or competing.  Especially the legs and shoulders.  Do a few isometrics, such as place your arms across your chest and simulate the turning of the shoulders in the golf swing.  Turn as you would on a normal golf swing.  Turn as far as you can into a back swing position and hold for 10 seconds.  Do three sets.  Than do another 3 sets of turning to the end of the golf swing and holding this position for 10 seconds.

Now, for the legs try and stretch the hamstrings and do some toe raises.  3 sets of each .........after these simple isometrics swing your driver a few times.  Start slow and easy and wipe it faster as you get looser.  Now, go to the tee and bust it.

Ray

 

How Hard To Swing For Maximum Distance?

Ray,


I’ve read a lot about swinging 80 or 90 percent of your full power everywhere….but I watch Tiger and guys like you swing and it sure doesn’t look like 80%. When you’re playing a round of golf and need a big drive do you swing “all out” or do you swing 80%. I don’t seem to have any better control at 80% than I do at 100%. I shoot in the low 80’s and hit the ball about 275 with my driver on avg. I can bust it 285 or better if I really connect and all the planets are aligned right! What would you recommend for the avg., or slightly better than average golfer?

Bill D.

 

Bill,

That's because Tiger and other long drivers are not swinging at 80%. Long drivers don't usually swing at 80%.  I think most are swinging at 95%, but some do give it all at 100%.  Even Ben Hogan, whom I consider one of the best ever, says at times he would swing at 100%.  His theory was your swing would be truer  at higher speeds. On the golf course, of course,  you also want to consider conditions when you can let it all out or not.

From my own experiences there were times when I was swinging 100% and if my timing was good I  hit the golf ball longer and straighter than ever.  Tiger, swings at 95% to 100%.  Most all long drivers swing as fast as they can without losing their balance.  I think a lot of how fast you swing is confidence.  When your hitting it long and straight your confidence goes up and your swing speeds increase with it. 

I hope the helps you.  I go with the theory of "Grip it and Rip it".  Just don't swing so hard that you lose balance and control completely.

Ray

ISAG Bonus "Tip": If you really want to Rip It!, then you should consider ordering one of our RIP IT Tee shirts! Very cool and guaranteed to add 10 yards to your drive.

 

 

How high to tee the ball for maximum distance?

Ray

Thanks for taking my question. Is it better to tee the ball high, low, or in the middle when trying to hit it long? How do you tee it? Does it matter if it’s into the wind or not? About how high on the face should the top of the ball be at address for instance?

 

Kyle.....

My advise is tee it high and let it fly.  Especially, if you have wind behind you.  Of course, if you are hitting into the wind tee it lower.   This will keep your trajectory lower which helps stop wind restriction. 

The trick, I believe is to tee it the same height each time you tee it up for normal conditions.  What I mean by this is to measure the height of the tee each time you put it into the ground.  I measure my tee height with the 2nd knuckle of my index finger. 

I like the ball the a little above center of the club head.  I usually use a 7 degree to 9 degree club head while in competition. 

Thanks for your question.

Ray

 

How to increase clubhead speed?

Ray,

What muscle group do you feel is the most important factor in hitting longer drives? (shoulders, legs, arms?) I’m wondering how some guys can just swing the club harder than others. There must be a way to gain club head speed in less time than just an over-all workout regimen. Have you noticed any one thing that most of the longest hitters have in common? Size, technique, etc. (other than just club head speed!)

Thanks,Sam

 

Thanks for the question Sam:

I believe some are blessed with fast hands and arms.  You can improve on this with body and mind exercises.  It is proven that the arms, shoulder and hands create the most club head speed.  About 85% come from these.  The core muscles support this speed. 

If you want to increase speed fast try this.  Each day swing a light club as fast as you can.  Just whip it with out hitting balls.  With each swing try to make it go faster.  Do at least 50 swings daily.  Close your eyes and think about speed and increasing speed as you swing the club. 

I am not an advocate of swinging a heavy club to build club head speed.  Teach your muscles and mind to build speed. Speed must be increased with muscle memory.  While in my 60's using these techniques I increased my clubhead speed from 94 mph to over 120 and at times getting as high as 135...

Ray

Longer driver for longer drives?

Ray,
I’m a tall man (6’3, 225 pounds) and can hit the ball a long way. Do you have any suggestions as to club length and weight for longer drives? ( I think mine is standard) Is longer better if you can handle it for more distance?

Thanks,

Joe

Go to the max at 48 inches.......you can handle it.......with some practice you will be able to control the added length Joe.

Ray

 

Hit It Long: Joe Beck

(Long Driver Tips from around the net)

 

 

Switch Shoulders Drill

 
Long Drive Champion Steve Griffith giving a really good tip on how to hit it long. I use this one myself, and while I can't hit it like Ray or Steve, I can make it back to the cart before my drive lands!...if the cart is close that is. Posted by Ken, ISAG.

Comment?

Swing harder for long drives?

Ray,

I watched  some videos of long drivers and some guys look like they are coming out of their socks and others just seem to be smoothing it out there. Both seem to get a lot of wrists into it. When I try to get more wrists into my swing I get all messed up. But I feel like I don’t have enough in the swing now. I read you tip on swing a light club and whipping it. Do you have any other’s that specifically help get more wrists into the swing?

Thanks
Larry

Larry......this is a really good question you asked.  The last think you do in the back swing is cock your wrists.  It happens naturally if you allow it to happen with a light grip of the club.  A great golf tip is to pull your right elbow down to your side beginning the down swing of the golf swing.  Straight down.  I add one more swing thought to this.  Try to start your down swing on the same path of your back swing.  Imagine in you mind that the club starts down exactly the same path it came up.  The same line.  Picture in your mind the swing coming down that exact path.  If you do this the wrist will also work naturally going down.  Don't snap the wrists, let it happen naturally by having a light grip on the club.  I have not played for awhile and played yesterday.  Using this thought I hit 3 or 4 drives over 300 yards.  No exaggeration as many golfers do.  I find most amateur golfer think they are hitting 300 yards or more and they are really hitting it 250 yards or less.  Remember now I am 66 years old and still hitting a golf ball over 300 yards with a bad shoulder.  This tip works for me even though I am not hitting golf balls as often as in the past.   Hope this helps.

Ray

Suddenly Lost Distance!

Ray,


I’ve been playing for many years and am in my early 40’s. This season I suddenly lost my distance. I don’t believe it’s age or fitness related, I’m still young and pretty fit. I think my timing is just off but I can’t figure it out. I must be 20 yards shorter off the tee. Any suggestions what I might have done to mess up my swing?


Thank you,
Dale

Hi Dale,


Timing is very important and you need to determine what is throwing your timing off. Are you releasing the club to soon or to late? Keep your grip and wrists very soft and make sure you are releasing the club completely through the ball. Keep your back swing the same pace on all your clubs from the driver to a short irons. Your distance will return. Go back to the basics whenever you start having swing problems.


Ray

Senior Tips To Loosen Up

(especially on cold days or early Tee times.)

Ray,

As a senior golfer I’m plagued with achy muscles and joints, which often loosen up as the day goes on. But it’s really hard for me to be loose for an early round or on a cold day. Do you take any supplements that help this and/or do any type of stretches or yoga?

Thanks,
Bill

Hi Bill,

As a 67 year old senior myself I understand exactly what you are saying and can relate. I stretch all the time especially turning my shoulder left and right as far as I can. While watching TV or just sitting day dreaming about whatever. Before playing I stretch from side to side, turn my shoulder left and right and hold for 8 seconds. Swing a golf club, slowly at first and build speed with continued swings. Just enough to feel loose. I also take 2 Advil also before playing on most occasions..

Ray

 

Different Stance for Irons and Woods?

Hi,

For better or worse I use David Leadbetter as my primary source on instruction. I am a relatively new golfer (less than 5 years) and took up golf when I retired - current age is 65. Per Leadbetter, I have learned about 2 setups - one for driving and one for irons-do you also use 2 setups? (see details to follow) -- my question is what set should be used for irons and 3 wood off a tee for a par 3 hole? - driving set up (weight back, left shoulder up, ball forward, hit the ball on the upswing) or iron set up (weight forward, shoulders square, ball less forward, V swing), I have been practicing both for 3wood and iron off the tee but both are awkward -- any help would be appreciated.

Also do you sell a training guide that can be used on the course- I use a 4x6 card with a matrix for ball position, weight , etc. but would prefer yours if available.

Jim C.

 

Hi Jim,

I would not suggest that I know more about the golf swing than David Leadbetter knows. But, this is my take on the set up. The driver swing set up and the iron swing set up are basically the same. The only difference with the driver is that the ball is teed up and of course your stance is wider. This, of course will give you more of a upswing lift of the ball. With irons and other clubs maintain your same swing but you are hitting down on the ball. I am sure you know that with the shorter clubs your stance also becomes narrower. I always place the ball off my left heel and adjust my stance either narrower or wider based on the club I am swinging.

I suggest you review the ebook my good friend and world long drive Champion Steve Griffith created for golfers of all levels.

http://300yarddrives.com

Ray

ISAG and Jack Nicklaus bonus video/answer: Ray subscribes to Jack's philosophy on the golf swing. Here is a great video of Jack describing what Ray is saying above. (click the little arrow on the bottom of the video player then click the top red icon on the pop up tab to remove the "blue screen in video".

 

 

 

Swinging Light Club In Practice To Gain Clubhead Speed

Hello Ray,

I have been reading your information on your website and I find it very interesting . Question that I would like to ask . Have you ever worked or trained with a Speed Chain , Torso Burner and XLR8R Speedball ? I have been working with those for the past 2 years and have had some success . I'm 66 years young in Great Physical shape . I have a swing speed average of 112 mph and a tempo of .75 … After reading your excellent article on swinging a lighter club 50 times per day some with your eyes closed . I tried it for the past 7 days straight . Then I went to my SSRT Radar unit and Bang 116-118 mph . Great tip Ray .. I'm a real grinder and want to know what else I should be doing in combination with this drill to build club head speed ?

Thank you so much for your time and continued success to you.

Regards

BEN

Hi Ben.

No, I never used the chain. but I have known others who used the chain. My fear was injury so I always used light weights and exercise bands. When I was competing I was 64 years old. I am a firm believer in isometrics and using the bands, I would hold different golf positions for 8 seconds or more. As I advanced I would use stronger or thicker exercise bands. Good Luck and thanks for your comments.

Ray

FOLLOW UP QUESTION:

Thanks Ray! But aren't,t bands more linear vs rotational ? Which will help me gain more speed swinging a lighter club 30-40 times per day or the bands that you mentioned .. I,m stuck at 112 mph and need your help advice to get to the next level

Thanks again

Ben,

Both work in combination. With a light club, close your eyes and swing as fast as you can while at the same time imagining in your mind you are swinging faster and faster. See your swing speed increasing in your mind. It works!

Ray,

FOLLOW UP:

Thanks again Ray!

Where can I purchase your training?

http://golflongdriver.com

 

I just wanted to thank both Ray and Ken for there advice . I have been doing light club swinging drills daily approx 40 reps about 1/2 with my eyes closed and some band resistance about 2-3 times per week doing 3 sets with each hand and 3 sets with both hands . I had my swing speed checked on ssrt radar the average was 118 mph with a high of 122 . Have to say it’s a lot more fun to hit the ball farther . Any other suggestions are welcome . One question for Raymond … Do you ever take a day or two to rest and recover ? .Or how many days per week do you do your drills and more importantly how long does it take for you to complete your entire workout ..

Many Thanks and continued success

Ben

 

Fix My High Drives!

Hi Ray,

My drives are going high into the air causing me to lose a lot of distance. I have all the ingredients to drive the ball 300 yd's. but I'm hitting too high. I use a 10.5 degree driver. what can I do?

Thanks,
Gary

Gary,

You need to go to a 8.5 degree driver. I don't think you will lose any accuracy. Most long drivers under normal conditions use an 8.5 or less degree.

Ray

 

 

ASK RAY YOUR LONG DRIVE QUESTIONS!

Rippin' Ray Beaufait image

Rippin' Ray Beaufait