In the everlasting pursuit for distance there is one common thread: swing harder to hit it farther. This is not inherently untrue. If you swing out of your shoes all the time you just might tag one and hit it out of the park. Keyword: might!
A preferred approach to speed and distance is to think about where you are losing speed rather than how you can create more speed. Always remember two things:
1) A loose muscle is a fast muscle
2) Many poor technical positions are preceded by a clench or grab with certain muscles at the wrong time
To illustrate this point I want you to think of a baseball pitcher. His effortless wind up. His left leg up in the air. His back nearly facing the hitter. The ball coming up out of his glove. In time, his momentum builds. His plant leg starts to fall back to the mound and his arm and the ball are heading towards the catcher then--BAM! He unleashes the ball at the precise point he wants to with the complete sequence of motion built up to that one point where he exerts his effort. The ball is off.
In golf, we have a similar sequence of motion as we turn behind the ball, cock the wrists, swing the arms, and start the downswing. Give it time. Let the momentum build then unleash your effort about one foot before impact. This fluid motion will increase clubhead speed and decrease stress on your body. To work on this idea try two things:
1) Keep your grip pressure constant until right before impact. See if you can start with the pressure relatively light then keep it that way through your backswing and especially during the transition.
2) Get set up with the ball on the clubface. From this static set up accelerate forward and "toss" the ball down the target line about ten feet in the air. If you can't get the ball in the air you're not accelerating your chest, arms, hands, shaft, and clubhead at the same time.
We're looking for effortless power not powerless effort. Let the momentum of your swing build until we're finally ready to unleash it at the right moment--impact!
It is hard to find something more fundamentally important in golf than the grip. Our hands are the only point of contact with the club—they’d better be on there correctly!
The grip can promote or set the tone for so many things in the golf swing both good and bad. For women, children and beginners it is important to begin with a strong enough grip so that they can create the leverage required to cock the club vertically enough in the backswing. A ten-finger grip is also advisable for this type of player to help them control the unfamiliar weight of the club. A weak grip and a forward ball position are recipes for rolling wrist action instead of proper wrist cock. This rolling of the hands forces the student to use their body aggressively on the way through or roll the hands even more on the way through to square the blade up at impact.
Think of hitting a nail with a hammer. You don't see anyone take a full wind up with their body then try to deliver the hammer with speed. They grip the hammer aggressively and use their wrist to cock the hammer back and tap down with efficient power and contact--sounds like qualities we'd like in the golf swing! However, the only thing that can allow you to begin that process is a correct grip. Try putting your hands on the club and pointing both lines that your index finger and thumb create at your right shoulder.
For the first Insight post I think the topic pretty much chose itself--distance.
Everyone wants to hit it farther. How could you not? Good players know the advantage of being able to hit a high 7 iron from 190 when your opponent has to hit 5. Amateurs live for the feeling of that one drive you connect on right down the middle of the fairway. And my buddies basically play golf in a continual long drive match with the shortest hitter always having to endure the most ridicule (to put it lightly!).
The trick becomes, how do I maximize my effort and hit it farther without trying to swing too hard and actually diminish my returns. We call this the "smash factor"--the idea that we want to get more out of the hit with less overall effort. To be clear, the quickest way to improve distance is to improve contact. If you can hit it more solidly the ball will go farther.
Now to improve contact and hit it more solidly we're going to go back to the basics. Watch the clubface actually make contact with the ball. Using your eyes properly in the golf swing can make all the difference.
The last piece of the puzzle to tie everything together is to find the correct effort level. Many people try to hit it farther by swinging harder. Golf is a unique sport. In many regards you have to try hard not to try hard. We're looking for effortless power rather than powerless effort. Start small and swing easy to feel the improved contact then make a bigger swing but maintain that effort level.
It seems counterintuitive but by swinging at a controlled effort level and working on hitting it more solidly you will actually hit it much farther.
Hope this idea helps! If you want more information and a personalized lesson don't forget to call at 602-315-9555!
This is a new section designed to provide a look at the golf world through my viewpoint. There can be discussions about any topic really. However, I'll mostly be writing about golf, instruction, and things that can help you improve your game. If there is every anything that interests you leave a comment and I'll write a post about it. There are interesting things going on in the world of golf every day and I hope you'll find my take on them interesting, funny, and even useful.
Thanks for reading and leave a comment for the first topic or check back soon to see what's going on!