Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Hitting longer and straighter drives can be easy as long as you have the right fundamentals
Labels: Instruction, Faults And Fixes, Quick Tips, Ballstriking, Driving, Drivers, Techniques, Full Swing, Drills, Pro Tips
Most golf instructors agree that the best way to become a better golfer is to start from the ground up. It's not something most golfers think about, but in reality, the ground is critical to helping create more power. To illustrate, think of a car. What makes it go? Here's a hint. It's not the engine or the tires. It's the ground. If you take a car off the ground, the wheels have nothing to push against as they rotate forward.
Same goes for the golf swing. If we don't have stable footing on the ground, any chance at hitting a shot with power and control is vanquished. You need the ground to press against as you whip the club through impact.
To get a better feeling for the ground beneath your feet, do what I'm doing here. Hop off the ground and come to a squat. Do this repeatedly until you start to feel your body pushing into the ground and your legs and trunk flex as you land back on the ground. This sensation will help you get connected with the ground and get ready to make a powerful swing.
Seriously, we make a point in virtually every issue of Golf Tips and in our Golf Instruction Annual to reinforce the importance of wearing good golf shoes. Why? First, you need traction to leverage your body effectively against the turf. According to some of our instructors, many of their students ignore the importance of good footwear, and their feet move, slip and slide all over the place during the golf swing. When this happens, power leaks like a sieve, and so does any chance at hitting consistent, repeatable golf shots. So find a pair of golf shoes that have ample traction, and look for models with dual-pod soles. Dual-pod soles have two halves: the toe section and the heel section. By separating the two, weight can be transferred from heel to toe more effectively during the golf swing.
And finally, don't neglect comfort. You want a comfortable pair of golf shoes, but that doesn't always mean you need the softest, thickest layers of cushioning. In some cases, lower-profile, firmer soles with ample arch support are more comfortable than soft, mushy shoes with less stability. Shop around and see what works best for you. And don't dismiss the newer, spikeless golf-shoe trends. They too have great traction, stability and comfort.
Let's start at the beginning, okay? Too often I see some of my short-hitting students swing with an inefficient backswing. They tend to do one of two things incorrectly. First, they sway off the ball, as illustrated by the small photo to the lower left. This not only makes hitting consistent shots more difficult, but also offers a false sense of power, since the body doesn't really coil very much. On the other hand, some golfers have tried to adopt a popular trend that some Tour players are doing, which is to rotate back and place most of their weight on their forward (left) side. And while this can be effective for a Tour player, many amateurs exaggerate it and, as a result, prime themselves to make the dreaded reverse pivot on the forward swing.
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