Learn how to increase your clubhead speed from one of the game’s longest drivers
4) WRIST HINGE:
Hinging your wrists during the backswing has the same effect as turning your hips: It increases the length of your backswing, which, in turn, increases your opportunity to create speed (potential energy). It’s no accident that most long hitters have long backswings, achieved in part by ample wrist hinge (note Quiros’ full shoulder turn and parallel shaft). And it’s rare to see a short hitter with a long backswing. So, to increase your clubhead speed, go ahead and hinge your wrists. And don’t worry about hinging your wrists at a specific point in your backswing; try to hinge them gradually and in synchronization with the rotation of your shoulders and hips.
5) BEGINNING DOWNSWING:
You’ve set yourself up on the backswing to maximize your clubhead speed. Now your downswing will determine whether that speed is realized or not. There’s a real and definable sequence to the downswing that’s best for all golfers, and that sequence is: hips, shoulders, arms and clubhead. In starting the downswing, the hips should move laterally toward the target and begin to turn while the knees remain flexed. When the hips get slightly past their original position at address, they stop moving laterally, but continue to rotate. At this point, the front leg also begins to straighten. It’s this action that allows you to maintain your wrist hinge long into your downswing and release the club with maximum force at impact, resulting in greater driver distance.
Impact is the moment of truth, the culmination of events that occurred up to that point. Arriving at a powerful impact means that you’ve shifted your weight onto your front foot while unwinding your hips. Notice how Quiros’ weight is toward the front of his left foot, and his belt buckle is pointing in front of the ball—a clear sign he has combined his weight shift and hip rotation. There’s no spinning off the back foot as is common with slicers and shorter hitters. Another thing to notice in Quiros’ incredibly powerful impact position is how his hands are slightly ahead of the ball and both arms are fully extended—you can’t release the stored-up energy any better than that!
Randy Peterson, PGA, is the director of fitting and instruction at the Ely Callaway Performance Center, where he oversees all Tour professionals' club fittings and development of club-fitting protocols.
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