How to put the power back in your game... the secret is speed!
Speed is the magic ingredient to long drives - but knowing how to generate more clubhead speed isn't simply a case of swinging faster - it's all about generating speed through the correct movement in the swing, as leading coaching professional Dan Frost explains.
As we get older our bodies become stiffer and it becomes more difficult for us to rotate fully in the golf swing. As a result many of us lose a lot of power in our game. With strength weakening year-by-year we inevitably lose distance. A drive that once flew 240 yards now struggles to break the 200 yard barrier.
There is, however, one key to distance that can still be improved very easily regardless of your age or rotation mobility - SPEED. The great thing about speed is that you do not require great strength to achieve it; every senior golfer can boost their swing speed simply by improving their technique. There are three areas I want you to focus on improving - better sequence, more momentum and improved wrist function. The following three drills will help you to improve these parts of your technique and help you rediscover those lost yards...
Tip 1: Feet Together Drill
Body interference is one of the most common faults in the golf swing and a real power killer. By that I mean excessive leg and shoulder movement. In an effort to create power most golfers move out of the angles they formed at address and become unbalanced leading to compensatory movements and normally a golf club that is slowing down through impact. A great drill to improve your swing synchronicity is to hit balls with your feet together. Not only does this improve rhythm and timing, it also allows the wrist action to become efficient so that the clubhead travels with more speed through the impact zone.
Step 1: Address the ball in good posture with your feet together.
Step 2: Make what feels like a three-quarter backswing, keeping your left arm nice and wide, with your left hand away from your chest.
Step 3: Take your time to change direction. You should feel a silky, oily action in your wrists as your arms fall a fraction towards the floor.
Step 4: Impact will feel very powerful as the hands lead the clubhead through the hitting area.
Step 5: The re-hinge. Watch all good golfers and you will see the right arm and the club forming a nice L-Shape in the throughswing.
Step 6: Now simply free-flow the club up into a good finish position behind your head.
GT QUICK TIP: A great thought for correctly executing this drill is 'left arm back, right arm through'. Make sure you allow the club to hinge on the way back and re-hinge on the way through. This is the key to speed.
Tip 2: Headcover Training
I'm sure most of you have swung two clubs together to warm up at some stage. This is a good exercise, but often feels very awkward in the hands, as it is quite difficult to grip two clubs at once. A simpler alternative is to keep the headcover on your driver. Adding weight to the clubhead improves awareness, control and sequence, leading to a more synchronised and powerful swing. This drill is not only great for improving sequence in the golf swing; it is also a brilliant way to warm up on the first tee if you arrive short of time to hit a few balls.
Step 1: Tie a rubber band or piece of string around the base of your driver headcover to keep it in place.
Step 2: Take your normal address position hovering the club just off the ground.
Step 3: Sweep the club away and turn your shoulders so that your back faces the target (or as near to as possible) at the top of the swing.
Step 4: Keep your change of direction smooth; allow the arms to fall for a fraction of a second.
Step 5: If you have started the downswing correctly your hands will fractionally lead the club into impact.
Step 6: Allow the momentum of the headcover to release the club so that the right arm and the shaft form a straight line.
Step 7: Finally, allow the hands to re-hinge in the throughswing. Notice how my eyes are still fixed on the point of impact at this time.
Tip 3: Whip Stick
Tension is one of the biggest power killers in the golf swing. Anxiety and fear of wayward tee shots leads to us gripping the club that bit too tight in an attempt to steer the ball straight down the fairway.
This tight, tense swing has no relationship to the whipping action I'm going to teach you in this next drill. Many great golfers over the years, including Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, have described the swing as a 'whipping' motion.
Most golfers have the ability to generate 'whip' we just lose it when we place a golf club in our hands, so here's a drill to reawaken this lost sense.
Step 1: Cut a tiny hole in a tennis ball and place it on top of a stick. You can do this drill by pushing the stick into the ground but for the purpose of this indoor piece I've stood the stick upright inside my Tour bag.
Step 2: Take a second stick and grip it as you would a golf club, then address the tennis ball with the shaft level with your waist height. Focus on feeling balanced through your feet and a little more upright with your posture than you would normally be in your golf address position.
Step 3: Swing the stick back around your body, loading through your torso as you do so.
Step 4: Keep your eyes focused firmly on the tennis ball and allow your natural instinct to take over. Notice how my lower half has initiated the forward movement and my wrists are still stored with energy, with the right elbow close to my rib cage.
Step 5: Now whip the tennis ball with the stick. You should feel immense speed. Then all you have to do is transfer this powerful feel into your golf swing and in no time at all you'll be whipping the club through impact with speed and power.
Remember: The only difference between this drill and hitting a golf ball is the way in which you tilt forward towards the ground. Remember when you transfer the feeling back with a club in your hands to focus on getting good posture with the correct spine tilt forward at address.
GT QUICK TIP: Try to get your belly button pointing at the golf ball at address.
Visit www.frostgolf.com to sign up for a free one hour lesson with Dan Frost at his Golf Performance Studio at Pachesham Golf Centre, Surrey or email Dan at: email@example.com