Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Hit It Big
Crush your drives with these fifteen tips
Think of your golf swing as two circles: an “inner circle” represented by the path taken by the handle and your hands; and the “outer circle” represented by the arc created by the clubhead. Through impact, in order to speed the outer circle, you must actually slow down the inner circle. A great way to feel this is to emulate some baseball swings where you start slow and gradually try to add some whip. Be mindful of the relationship between the head and the handle, and soon you’ll understand the feeling you’re looking for.
A good transition starts with creating pressure into the turf or what I call, “loading” the left leg. This is represented by feeling some flex in your left quad as your left foot pushes into the turf. Once you’ve got energy loaded into your left leg, it’s time to release that energy into impact with what I call the “snap!” Make some half swings trying to feel the “load-then-snap” sequence, where the leg goes from flexed to straight. The leg straightening facilitates your body’s rotation into the followthrough, keeping your circle intact with a ton of centrifugal force, adding yards to your hit. If done properly, your left leg should reach a straightened position simultaneously with the club’s impact into the ball.
| GOLF SWING
In baseball, power hitters are “pull hitters,” meaning that most home runs tend to be out toward left field (if they’re right-handed). To put a baseball player’s mentality into your golf swing, try to point your chest into the left-field stands as you unwind into a full finish. Many golfers think that a good finish is made when they finish facing the target, but that’s not the case. After impact, the best golfers’ bodies point well to the left of their target. Let this be your goal, too.
In 1983, when TaylorMade
introduced the Tour Burner driver, it had a clubhead
volume of 140cc. Today’s
Tour Burner measures 450cc
Science shows that there’s a perfect kinetic chain of movement that will allow the body to produce maximum velocity. This chain can be dissected in the basic throwing motion. Notice how, in the two pictures above, I start from the ground up, adding pressure with my front foot as I unwind. This is followed by an unwinding of my hips and subsequent rotation of my torso, which is then followed by the throw itself with my hands and wrist supplying the final snap and “zip.”
To practice this, play catch with a friend, starting off close together with short, easy throws. Gradually spread apart adding some heat to your throws. Finally, throw a long one as if you were trying to hit home plate from the outfield, and you’ll experience what it feels like to “never break the chain.”
Think back ten years. If your physical makeup and swing have not changed all that much, I bet you’re driving the ball at least 10 to 20 yards farther. That’s good news. You’ve noticed a gain from equipment upgrades. I’ve got even better news for you: With a few more upgrades, you can hit it even farther.
Buying modern golf equipment off the rack may add yards to your game, but if you want to add more, you have to get fitted. Find the right shaft-and-clubhead combo and the right ball and get your lie angles adjusted. You’ll see your contact and consistency improve and you can tack on another 10 yards.
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