Swing Time: More Power To You!
What looks like the easiest move in golf is actually one of the most complex. Many players start by simply whacking away at the ball, but the nuances of the swing are fairly complex. To improve and put more power behind it takes thought and practice.
There are five stages of a golf swing:
Address – Stepping up to the target, i.e., the ball, is a time for stability and comfort. Being off balance or having an uneven distribution of weight between the legs and feet can impact the ball strike. Allow the knees to relax and bend slightly, and allow shoulders to drop away from the ears and relax. Hands should rest on the club without tension in the arms or hands – tension is a surefire way to decrease speed.
Backswing – This is the step when you'll draw back the club. Many golfers start by bringing the club straight back, then forward in a chopping motion, but the move is more effective when you employ your hips. Swinging in a circular motion from the ground, to your midsection and ultimately over and behind your back is the move you want to shoot for. Get more power behind it by transferring a little more weight to your back foot. As the club ascends over your back, the lead shoulder should be tucked under your chin.
Downswing – As you bring the club down out of the backswing, it begins the downswing. The shaft of the club should retrace the path it made on the backswing. Your shoulders should rotate to become level with one another, as should your hips and spine.
Impact – It's time to hit the ball! But first, transfer weight to your front leg, and your wrist should power the clubhead into the ball. If your body is aligned with the target, the ball should head toward it.
Follow Through – The swing isn't finished just after the club has hit the ball. Continue following that circular plane around the body. Hips and shoulders should rotate toward the target as the spine rotates away. If your follow through is solid, then you should end with hands near your head.
Add Power HERE!
David Leadbetter, a Golf Digest pro, has noticed three spots in the swing where players can add power.
- Many players lose power when they raise their bodies up during the start of the backswing. Staying grounded provides a more stable base and power to the upper body.
- Keeping arms close to the body while executing the backswing as you keep that grounded feeling can create more power. Be sure not to allow arms to raise and lengthen above the head.
- As the downswing begins, you may notice pros who look like they're about to squat. Their aim is to make the swing plane shallower and increase lag in the clubhead. More power from the ground up is what you want, avoiding leading with the upper body.
Pros agree about the power of the lower body. Concentrate on grounding your feet and leading with your hips to maximize the power of your swing.