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Groove your move
by Jonathan Yarwood

After a winter layoff the key to your practice sessions is working on ways to recapture the feel and the rhythm of your golf swing. Three of my favourite drills will get you up and running.

Combination of body & wrist action maximises your timing, speed & ‘swish’

Build on your momentum The great thing about this exercise is that when you turn the club around and grip the head end (1), the lightness of the shaft gives you a tremendous sense of feel and feedback as you then go about making a swing. You then start by moving the grip end a couple of feet into the follow through (2) before letting it fall and using that momentum to continue into the backswing, really cranking your wrists to ‘set’ the club up in a great position at halfway back (3).

(1) Grip lightly to maximise mobility in the hands & wrists.

(2) Move the club forward to initiate the exercise

[Rehearse this in front of a mirror and look for that full angle between your arms and the shaft.] A full turn of the upper body over a solid supporting leg action completes the backswing (4).

(3) Right wrist hinges back on itself to achieve this full ‘set’

(4) Right knee/thigh is braced as you rotate upper body to complete backswing

Now, study frame (5) – the full release of the wrists and the forearms into the follow-through – this is the position you are looking to achieve as you unwind from the top of the backswing. I guarantee that if you can achieve this you will generate fantastic speed (you will hear the air swished by the grip as you accelerate through the hitting area) and the momentum will carry you to a full finish (6). As a warm-up exercise before you move on to hit balls, this is perfect.

(5) Hips rotate and clear to face left of target as the arms/wrists release and re-hinge the club up

(6) Arms ‘soften’ as you complete the follow-through

Try a little fancy footwork to improve your rhythm, transition and release through the ball

After a few minutes rehearsing the swish drill (above), here’s another good exercise to help speed up the process of recapturing rhythm after a layoff. It’s all about footwork and – as you can see in this sequence – the challenge here is to lift your left foot up off the ground as you make your backswing, and then literally step in to the downswing sequence as you replant that left foot through the transition period. It’s almost a dance move and a lot of the players I work with like to do this to a favourite piece of music that reflects the personal ‘beat’ of their swing. After a few minutes you really do get into a repeating rhythm, while at the same time developing a swing with a distinct weight shift as you blend the transition from the top.

Lift your left foot as you swing back and then use the motion of replanting the foot to signal the change in direction

Enjoy the feeling of hitting into a firm and braced left side as you release the club through the ball

Put your foot down for a real sense of shifting into your left side

Use a mid-iron, tee the ball up, and start here, with the toe of your left foot raised up off the ground as far as you can get it

Do your best to keep that left toe up off the ground as you make your backswing...

...then slam it down to signal your change of direction – really feel that shift in weight onto the left side as you shift the gears and unwind through the ball

The left leg plays a key role in shaping the look and quality of your finish – you are now fully rotated to look left of the target, with 90%of your weight supported on the left side

Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine

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