Monday, May 1, 2006
The Secret To Speed
For more clubhead MPH and more yards, turn to your hips
If theres an absolute truth in golf, its that the faster you can move the clubhead, the greater the potential for extra distance. Granted, you still need to make solid contact in the center of the face and with the club moving on the proper plane, but all other things being equal, more speed definitely means more yards. The big question is: Where does speed come from? Your hands can move fairly quickly, and theres no faster part of your body than your fingers. But where the golf swing is concerned, a fast clubhead almost always results from fast hips moving correctly and in the proper direction.
When you establish proper powerful hip movement, the golf club becomes a slingshot—an unimpeded delivery of centrifugal force. With correct hip movement, you need to do very little with your arms and hands since theyll own the space in which to gather speed and create tons of unforced—soft, as I call it—clubhead speed.
The golf swing truly is a series of chain reactions, so let me start by explaining correct hip posture at address. I assume most of you know all that goes into creating a decent posture in your setup. But what you may not be aware of is how firmly the hips must be set in at address, the golfer must strive to produce a sound hip flex/sit, correct spine bend and a light athletic knee bend. This type of stance promotes a sense of strength that will permeate the swing. Watch a linebacker take his stance behind the defensive line. Hes balanced yet able to pounce in every direction at a moments notice. Thats the feeling you need to create.
Unfortunately, many golfers who can establish this strong hip/sit foundation simply dont possess the flexibility to move that foundation efficiently, causing many needed compensations to make decent contact.
You can alleviate this problem by avoiding one of the greatest faults in the history of the game: bending from the waist, not the hips. Golfers who bend (slouch, really) from the waist have almost zero chance of developing a successful long game. But if you bend from the hips, youll discover a new, natural freedom in your rotation that can achieve near-perfect levels with consistent stretching.
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