Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Get Mega Long!
Bust your drives with tips from the L.D.A
Let's face it, golfers who hit the ball farther have a huge advantage over those who don’t. Not only do longer tee shots make your approach shots easier, the effect trickles all the way onto the green. If you hit longer drives, you’ll have shorter approach shots. And if you have shorter approach shots, you’ll hit the ball closer to the pin. Hit it closer to the pin, and you have shorter putts.
But how do you add power to your golf swing? Is there really a secret to more power? In most cases, no. Most long hitters, despite having different golf swings, tend to share at least a few swing characteristics that help them hit the ball a long way.
As we do every year, we spent some time with a handful of some of the longest hitters in the world as they prepared for the most recent RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship out in Mesquite, Nev. We asked them what key element of their swing helps them produce their awe-inspiring power. And by the way, if you’ve never watched these guys compete in person, you don’t know what you’re missing. The length they can hit the ball is staggering. Wanna see some 400-yard bombs? No big deal. They happen all the time.
Read on and heed the advice of these power players. Odds are you’ll add some distance to your drives.
One of the more common traits of a long driver is a big coiled backswing. In the case of Zac Adams, a longer backswing doesn’t just mean cocking the wrists at the top of the swing so the shaft droops down to the ground. A big backswing also means making a big, powerful rotation of the upper body. Notice in the photo how much more his arms and shoulder have rotated back, when compared to his lower body? This separation is what produces a lot of torque in the golf swing. (You’ll see “separation” show up for a few more players as you read on.) Torque, in case you’re wondering, is a fancy word for tension. And the more tension you build, the faster the body will release that tension through the impact zone. As for the hands, the extra wrist cock adds more lag and hand torque, again to build massive amounts of driving power. So try a big backswing. See if it translates into big hits.
FIRE YOUR LEGS
No matter how much you can try to bulk up your upper-body strength, you won’t match the power that can be delivered from your lower body. That is, if you know how to do it. In Mike Dobbyn’s case, retaining flex in the legs at the top of the swing helps to make a faster, more powerful rotation and weight shift toward the left side on the downswing.
In the photo above, check out that insane right knee action. Dobbyn is literally firing his knee into the ball, transferring the energy from his lower body into his arms. He’s like a sprinter pushing off the blocks at the start of a race. A split-second before impact, his left leg is still flexed, and his upper body has all the room it needs to swing.
Kaboom! Eventually, that left leg straightens, and the clubhead swings through the impact zone. Again in Dobbyn’s case, his rotation is so huge that practically his entire body is facing the target after impact. By firing his legs, he delivers unprecedented power into the back of the golf ball. Try it. You’ll see—it works.
Use What You Know
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