There’s at least one basic certainty in golf and that is that good, solid contact produces quality shots. Every player, even those who compete on the PGA Tour, knows this and strives to perfect the moment of impact. Unfortunately, many recreational golfers don’t make high-quality contact as often as they should, in part because they simply don’t know the key elements necessary to do so.
Sweden’s golf program has produced a number of world-class players in recent years, including Annika Sorenstam, Henrik Stenson and Jesper Parnevik. One of the players you might be less familiar with, Fredrik Jacobson, is well on his way to completing his fourth consecutive year on the PGA Tour after spending six successful years on the European PGA Tour.
Like all members of the PGA Tour, I play a lot of rounds with recreational golfers in various pro-ams and charity tournaments. If there’s one thing I notice during these rounds, it’s how inconsistent most weekend players are off the tee. Obviously, the driver is the most difficult club in the bag to hit consistently, due to its long length (most off-the-rack drivers measure about 45 inches) and low degree of loft.
You can’t fire a gun unless you pull the trigger, right? A similar concept also applies to the golf swing, which also usually requires a trigger move to get the body moving. Now, not everyone has a trigger, some manage to swing well from a static position to a dynamic position. But for the rest of us who often find confusion when it comes to where to start the golf swing, a trigger move can help you start swinging in a fluid and consistent manner.
So you think you’re a big hitter? Well, consider this. Today’s top long drivers don’t bunt the ball a measly 250 yards off the tee. Heck, a mediocre wallop drops somewhere around the 320-yard range. Frankly, these guys aren’t satisfied with anything under 400 yards when it comes time to winning a paycheck. Now that’s long!
I can’t tell you how many people come to my lesson tee and say, If I could just get rid of my baseball swing, then all my problems would be solved! My initial thought is always: I wish you had a baseball swing, because it would help you play better golf.
When you want to get some extra distance out of your drives, it’s natural to think that your right or dominant hand (for right-handed golfers) should supply the power. In reality, however, maximum power is a result of a left-hand lead.
At my power clinics and exhibitions, I often recommend to audiences that they try to develop the feeling of holding a golf club long enough at the top of their backswing for someone to hang a shirt on it–the Clothesline Effect, if you will.
Like anyone else, I have days when I’m not hitting the ball as crisply as I’d like. If I’m blocking my golf shots or hitting weak pushes, I always go back to basics and make sure I’m releasing the clubhead. Once I start releasing the clubhead properly again, I’ll regain my distance–and my accuracy.
Golfers often talk about the importance of keeping a straight left arm during the backswing. Equally important, but seldom discussed, is the value of keeping the right arm straight during the first two feet of the takeaway. I see many amateurs bend their right elbow too much at address–which causes incorrect posture–and fold their right elbow too quickly as they take the club back. These right elbow flaws create a lifting action and produce a too-narrow swing arc, robbing players of their power potential.