Power Tips & Drills

Learn to hit it big with my 10 simple drills and tips

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3. Right Pocket Back. When I watch golf on TV, I frequently hear the commentators remark about how much the players coil in their backswings. “Look how far his shoulders turn, with very little hip turn!” they say. While it’s fun to watch the game’s best players “torque up,” most golfers just don’t have the flexibility to swing like the pros do. “Weekend Warriors” don’t have the time to flex and stretch, and when they try to swing with a pro’s typical coil, virtually nothing turns because they’re so tight.

Unless you have the flexibility, time and talent, don’t try to swing and coil like a pro. Rather, get loaded in your backswing. Think, as you swing the club back, of what Greg Norman used to say: “R.P.B.,” or “right pocket back.” Thinking of moving your right pocket back will allow your right hip to turn back and stay level. Norman was one of the game’s longest drivers. If that swing thought worked for him, I bet it’ll work for you. Remember, if you allow your hips to turn freely, your shoulders will turn with them.


4. From The Inside. One of the driver swing’s most difficult parts is the transition and downswing. Since the driver is the lightest club and we’re trying to hit it the farthest, folks tend to try and power the ball with their body instead of using speed. But when you try to power the ball you tend to overuse your body, especially your shoulders. In the above photos, I’ve placed an alignment stick just outside the tee, pointing it directly down the target line. Now here’s where many of my students get things wrong. The goal isn’t to swing along the target line. Instead, you actually want to make contact with the ball via swinging from inside the target line. Because we swing in a circle that’s on a tilt, swinging directly along the target line will require far too much manipulation of the hands and body, resulting in all sorts of bad positioning (above, right photo). So what to do? Swing every club from inside the target line. You’ll see it’s much easier than swinging down the target line.

5. Gate Drill. As I mentioned earlier, swinging from outside the target line to inside it produces a glancing slice blow and a major power loss. If you slice it a lot and don’t get enough power, try my gate drill.

Take either four golf balls or four tees and arrange them like you see in the photo. Put two balls on the far side of the ball you’re addressing (so one is even with your ball and one is about two inches behind it) and two on its near side (so one is even with the ball and the other is two inches in front of it).

With an obstacle on the near side, the club must travel from the inside of the target line and outside it through the shot. Many times, people try to “cheat” doing this drill by pulling the club in closer at impact to avoid the outside golf balls. If you try to cheat, you’ll hit the inside balls. Having all four golf balls gets you to swing on the proper path. After you’re able to successfully complete the gate drill with some practice swings, hit some shots. The great thing about this drill is that it gives you instant feedback. Hit the gate and you know you’re off track.

Another way to check your progress is to make a slow swing and stop at impact. If your clubface is square at impact, the toe and heel of the club should be even with the two balls in the middle.

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