Tapping Your Power Potential

sp

Every golfer yearns to hit the ball longer and straighter. Every golfer can. Body type, age, golf handicap—none of these disqualify you from driving the ball farther. The key to longer shots is tapping your power potential. To do that, you must improve the way your hands and arms swing and your body rotates. It’s called body sequencing. Improve your sequencing and you’ll find yourself hitting the ball longer, straighter, and more accurately. Use the three golf tips discussed below to improve body sequencing.

Start on Plane
We see it in our golf lessons: Players giving away power potential in the first few feet of their swings. These golfers bend their right arms too much and pull their clubs behind them as they start their backswings. This creates a chain reaction that robs their swings of clubhead speed. The result: a weak, arms-only swing that doesn’t leverage the rest of their bodies. Start your swing on plane—with more extension or width in your arms—and you’ll drive the ball further. Here’s a drill to ingrain this fundamental:

Make a backswing and have a friend stick a shaft with a headcover on top in the ground so your hands just reach the head cover with your left arm fully extended. The shaft should be inline with the shoelaces on your back shoe. Make slow practice backswings. Try to brush the headcover with you’re knuckles as you go back. If you pull the club inside too much, you’ll hit the shaft with your club.

We use this drill a lot in our golf instructions sessions. It trains you to fully extend your arms during takeaway. You can also try touching an imaginary person standing behind you with your clubhead as you go back.

Make An Effective Turn
If you’ve taken golf lessons, you may remember being told to stay behind the ball when you swing. It’s good advice. You must turn behind the ball to generate power. But you have to turn correctly. Unfortunately, golfers mix up this fundamental with another fundamental: keeping your head steady. The mix-up results in a lower body slide, which in turn causes your upper body to become over active, sapping power from your swing. Here’s a drill with a visual cue to help ingrain the feeling of staying behind the ball.

Find a spot on the range where the sun produces a shadow straight in front of you. Angle two reference clubs so they outline the shadow of your legs at address. The grips should be pointing at a ball on a tee in the ground. As you turn your body to the top, keep your lower body shadow within the clubs. Let your head move slightly.

We don’t use this drill too much in our golf instruction sessions. But it’s tried and true. It will teach you to stay behind the ball when you swing.

Plant Your Heel
Golfers rarely think about footwork. But good footwork contributes to power. In the quest to generate more power, golfers often lift their front heels during their backswings. That’s okay. But the heel must come down in the right spot. Otherwise, you lose power. Unfortunately, golfers don’t always do this. Many slide away from the target or lunge forward at the target. Both ruin a good body turn on the downswing, sacrificing clubhead speed and power. To learn good footwork, practice this drill:

Stick a tee in the ground just outside your front heel. Now set up with the driver. When you start your downswing, nudge the tee forward with your heel—re-centering your weight—before you rotate to the finish.

This drill teaches good footwork. Good footwork, in turn, leads to better body sequencing.

These three golf tips—start your swing on plane, stay behind the ball, and plant your heel—all do one thing—encourage proper sequencing. That in turn ignites the power potential in your body. Instead of producing a weak, arms-only swipe at the ball, you generate a power-laden swing. If you’re serious about chopping strokes off your golf handicap, you must develop a more power-laden swing.