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Golf Swing Power Tips-How to improve golf swing keeping lower body still in backswing

Updated on October 21, 2013
ABC of Power
ABC of Power
Arm Swing
Arm Swing

Put simply, Power is a process

It doesn't just magically appear at impact when

you need it. It is made possible by the set-up, stored in the backswing and unleashed through the

ball. That is the process—no shortcuts.

Unfortunately, most amateurs overlook the first two curls of this equation and instead attempt to create power on the downswing. They either try to apply force with the upper body or else throw the club down with the hands and arms. In truth, these effects actually reduce power.

First understand that the golf swing has three power sources: the arm swing, the body coil and the club lever. I call them the ABCs of power. The secret to maximizing distance is getting into a set-up that encases these power sources to work and then activating them on the back- Swing. From there, you have to simply let the downswing undo the backswing, knowing you've done all you could to produce power at impact.

On the following pages, we'll look at how the arms, body and cub lever each contribute power in their own way. Then we'll at how the together into a set-up that allows you to maximize the participation of all three. In no time, you'll be consistently hitting longer, stronger shots.

A wide extension of the going back keeps the clubhead low to the ground and along the target line for as long as possible. If you accomplish that the downswing will tend to take a similar shape, approaching the ball straight-on and at a level angle. The result is a direct, square hit that maximizes energy trans­fer into the back of the ball.

Conversely, folding the arms too quickly creates a steep backswing. Such an abrupt move generally leads to a nar­row downswing, making it difficult to swing the club powerfully down the line.

KEY TIP: Swing wide in the takeaway

Right arm swings drill

A wide backswing is created more by the right arm than the left. If the right arm extends, the left has no choice but to go with it. That said, make some right-arm-only swings, extending the club away from the body going back, then turning the body through, feeling the right elbow drop to the right hip Strive for these motions in your normal swing and you’ll transfer more energy to the ball.

Right arm swings drill
Right arm swings drill
Body coil
Body coil

Body Coil

When the upper body turns against the resistance of the lower body, the torso coils like a spring, setting up a powerful uncoiling through impact. The good news is if you make a wide arm swing you automatically initiate the coil by putting the left shoulder into action. As the arm swing continues to wind the body, your weight shifts into the inside of your right leg.

From this coiled position at the top your first move must be to transfer to your left side. That starts the uncoiling action which pulls the arms back to the ball. Note the role reversal: The arms pulled the body going back, while the body pulls the arms coming down If the lower body leads the clubhead approaches impact on a shallow, inside path, with the body and arms moving together toward the target.

KEY TIP: Coil against lower body.

Left over right drill

Use this drill to ingrain the feeling of a good coil. Cross your arms, hold a club across your shoulders, and get into your golf posture. Then turn back until the club points out in front of your right feet and your left shoulder is over the inside of your right leg. Note the resistance you feel in your midsection and right knee, that's power behind the ball just waiting to be unleashed.

Left over right drill
Left over right drill

Club lever

Finally, we get to the topic most golfers equate with power: clubhead speed. Granted a faster swing is a more power­ful swing—if it produces solid contact. Without the kind of level strike we've been discussing, the speed you create is not effectively transferred to the ball.

But what is the club lever? When your wrists hinge on the backswing, they take the swing from one lever (clubhead to left shoulder) to two levers {clubhead to hands, hands to left shoulder). This hinge at the wrists creates the club lever and allows you to move the clubhead through a much longer arc and with greater accel­eration. If you start with the right grip, the swing's momentum will automatically hinge and unhinge the wrists.

KEY TIP: Leverage starts in the grip.

Club lever
Club lever

Thumbs up drill

For a long arc and extra zip at impact, make sure your wrists are working correctly. Using your 9-iron hit some balls with half-swings,the hands stopping at chest height back and through. Your wrists should hinge the club 90 degrees on both the backswing and the follow- through.

Thumbs up drill
Thumbs up drill

Power set-up

ARM SWING

To promote a wide swing away from the ball, make sure the club’s butt end at address hangs directly below' your shoulder sockets. If it does, your body can support a full arm extension while staying in balance. If it doesn’t, you're already off balance and a wide swing wiII serve to exag­gerate that fact.

Here's a good set-up thought: Imagine you're holding dumbbell instead of a golf club. To support its weight, you'd naturally let the dumbbell hang straight down at address, feel like your arms are doing the same.

BODY COIL

Many golfers think the shoulders should make a level turn back and through. This is simply not true. They should rotate perpendicular to the spine tilt at address. In other words, if the spine is tilted 35 degrees toward the ball, the shoulders should turn at a 35-degree angle to the ground.

How far forward should you tilt? Until your clubhead touches the ground. Take your posture in three steps. Tilt forward to the ball, place your feet, then set your knee flex by simply unlocking your knees. As a final check, make sure the club's butt end hangs directly below your shoulders.

CLUB LEVER

There are two set-up keys to encourage wrist hinge during the swing, a natural grip and light grip pressure. To find your natural grip, pace the handle in your left hand while it hangs at your side. Push down with your left thumb to seat the grip in your finders. Then hinge the club up in front of you and add your right hand, matching your palm to the clubface and setting the grip in your fingers. From there. key on keeping your grip light so the wrists can work naturally.

Arm swing
Arm swing
Body Coil
Body Coil
Club Lever
Club Lever

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    • profile image

      Jimboo 3 months ago

      Seve. No contest.

    • profile image

      william palmer 9 months ago

      Seve Ballesteros hit shots nobody else would even think of.Ask Jack Nicklaus about Seves shot out of the Bunker.Greatest shot he ever seen.Only Seve would have thought and then it this shot.

    • profile image

      Bob Pegram 24 months ago

      I chose Ben Hogan because he was able to play top golf after being severely broken up in a car accident. Woods can't play well any more after less serious injuries. Nicklaus was stronger and bigger than Hogan which gave him an advantage. Of course he still had to hit the shots. Gary Player is also small like Hogan and was one of the best. He reportedly still shoots par at almost 80 years old. He still works out and is in great condition for most anybody, especially somebody his age.