The three components for proper hip movement–a critical component of a fundamentally solid downswing–are weight shift, a slight lateral slide and hip whip (the explosive rotation just before impact that generates power). Good players know how to mix these components in the proper proportion to achieve both maximum power and outstanding accuracy.
Like a high-performance engine that stalls when it leaks oil, water or fuel, a golf swing comes to an idling stop when the potential energy created in the backswing is emptied well before impact. Here are three tips to help keep power from leaking out of your game and also add horsepower to your motion.
If your driving suffers from inconsistency and a lack of distance, you may be tied up with too many thoughts about swing mechanics. Free your mind at address and focus on a specific target in the fairway where you want the ball to land. Then let your natural instincts take over. Swing the clubhead to that target, making an athletic move through the ball. _Ê
Golfers who possess the ability to hammer 300-yard drives like clockwork often talk about the importance of firing the right side through impact. That’s all well and good, but it’s also somewhat misleading. The right side doesn’t serve as an initiator in the downswing; it’s a reactor. The right side of the body doesn’t fire as such; it responds to a proper sequence of motion initiated by the left side.
Davis Love III is that rare breed of golfer who enters every tournament with a great chance to win. One of the reasons for this is his prowess with the driver. Last year, Love averaged 299 yards off the tee and notched a Total Driving ranking (accuracy plus distance) of 26, which fueled four wins and paychecks totaling $6 million. With such length off the tee, hitting greens in regulation–the most important scoring indicator–becomes a less daunting task.
Skilled golfers know that true power results from the upper body coiling over the resistance of the lower body, and that the key to this is establishing good footwork. Typical modern-day pros are flexible enough to get the upper body behind the ball without having to lift the left foot off the ground. Instead, they shift their weight to the inside of the right foot as the left foot rolls slightly inward, allowing the left knee to rotate behind the ball. From this position, they shift weight laterally on the downswing, pushing off the ground with the right foot.
My standard response to a question I frequently field at clinics and exhibitions about the proper feeling at address is: It’s like cement and spaghetti. That strange combination of metaphors raises a few eyebrows until I explain what I mean.