Every good golfer knows that power comes from the body, not the arms. To learn to power the club with your body instead of your arms and hands, put the club behind the ball at address, with your body in a dead-stop position. Without taking a backswing, try to drag the ball into the air. execute.
When I watch a golfer hit a 7-iron, then a driver, he or she invariably amps up the swing speed with the longer club. Surely, the clubhead of the driver moves faster because it’s longer, but it’s because of the principles of physics, not because the golfer is swinging the club with a faster tempo.
If you practice your backswing at a gas pump while talking on your cell
phone, the station will explode. It’s myths like this—though hardly as
ludicrous—that can send golfers who need the right answers into a
tailspin. The trouble with myths is that most sound reasonable, and
usually are passed from one golfer to the next with only good
intentions. Nevertheless, the common tip shared across grill room
tables and on tee boxes nationwide tends to do more harm than good if
only because the true reasoning behind the suggestion is misunderstood.
Let’s clear the air, shall we?
Set up with your spine perpendicular to the slope and shoulders
parallel to the ground so you can swing up the slope on the backswing
and down the slope on the forwardswing. The arrangement of your body
will favor the creation of an upright swing and make it more difficult
to square the face through the hitting area—that’s why a shot from a
downhill lie tends to curve a little to the right. To help shallow the
plane and encourage a swing that’s a little more around your body, drop
your right foot back to close your stance slightly and match up the
ball position to your stance by putting it about two inches back of
There’s little doubt that proper swing fundamentals and short-game techniques are important parts of a consistent golf game. Good golf, however, isn’t purely about perfect mechanics; it’s also largely about strategy. Fortunately, there are several key strategies anyone can easily utilize to produce lower scores. Better yet, using your smarts is a lot easier than trying to create a fundamentally perfect backswing or impact position. In this regard, the title of this story holds true–you can score better without changing your swing.
Good days and not-so-good days on the course are part of golf, creating the personal challenge avid players crave. For most golfers, good rounds are those defined by solid ballstriking with ideal direction, distance and trajectory. It’s these special red-letter days–the days when golf seems effortless–that every golfer wants more often.
The one constant in the game of golf is that each round is different. Weather conditions, course conditions, course layout and even a golfer’s physical and mental state on a given day create a unique set of challenges. That means that to play well you have to learn to adapt. Golfers who maximize their scoring potential know how to do things like shape the ball around the corner of a dogleg, handle uneven lies on a hilly course, and hit the ball back in play from under low-hanging branches.
You’re in the middle of the fairway, 150 yards from the flagstick. Perfect 7-iron, you say to yourself, after which you promptly sail the ball over the pin–and over the green. What happened? Likely, you only gave yourself a fraction of the data you needed to select the right club for the shot at hand.