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Hit It Big And Hit The Fairway

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Power comes from the hips rotating less than the upper body on the backswing. If they both turn 90 degrees, there’s no torque strength!

TO HIT THE BALL FAR, you need to maintain a coil in your backswing and a good extension.

Take a look at the photo bottom right and above. Notice two things:
1. My left arm has collapsed into a 90° angle.
2. I’ve lost all my coil, rotating my lower and upper bodies the same amount.

When I combine both of these power leaks, there’s no chance that I’ll hit the ball very far at all.
Instead, keep your left arm straight (but not stiff). Doing so widens your arc and moves the clubhead that much farther away from the ball, making it easier to generate speed. Also, rotate your upper body so that your back is to the target, but your hips are about half as far.

A good drill or exercise to ingrain that feeling is to pause at the top of your swing and feel the brace in your back leg. Keep your leg flexed. Swinging like this may be a challenge for some of you, so don’t push it if it isn’t comfortable.

BETTER PLAYERS’ front arms often get away from their chest at impact and beyond. This separation causes inconsistent contact.

To remedy this situation, place a headcover or towel under your arms and make a swing. If the headcover falls out anywhere during your swing, your arms are separating from your body. (Notice how it falls out in the above photo. Notice also that, in the followthrough, my arms are far apart. I really blocked that shot.)

Practice this drill a few times, then remove the headcover and make some swings, remembering the feeling.

Known as “Golf’s Mental Coach,” Rick Sessinghaus, PGA, teaches swing technique and golf psychology at Chevy Chase Country Club in Glendale, Calif. For more information on Rick, visit

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