Ways to Develop More Power in your Golf Swing
There is a misconception in golf where some believe that power equals muscle. This is not exactly true. The true source of power in your golf swing is clubhead speed. The faster you can swing the club while keeping your swing pure, the more energy you will deliver to the ball. And that added energy equals increased power.
How can golfers increase clubhead speed?
Flexibility equals torque, and torque is how you gain that extra speed during your downswing. Here are a couple of quick tips to help you get the clubhead speed you need to increase your power shots.
Increase Speed: Head Position
Head position at address is important. Your head should be positioned just slightly to the right of the ball (as you look down on it). Poor positioning of the head restricts the shoulders from taking a smooth, full turn during the backswing.
The second thing to remember about head position is to keep the chin off the chest. You want your shoulders to be able to turn under your chin. If the chin is on the chest, this cannot happen.
Increase Speed: Reduce Arm Tension
Many golfers, especially those new to the game, will grip the club so tightly that the muscles in their forearms bulge. This happens more often with the driver than any other club, but it is not exclusive to the driver.
It is impossible to tell every golfer how tightly he or she should hold the club. One common analogy is to hold the club as you would a tube of toothpaste without squeezing any out. For those who truly want to add power to their game, added flexibility is the key.
Keep in mind that while the backswing is important it sets up the downswing the speed of the clubhead during the downswing is what truly matters. You can find a variety of flexibility exercises online to help you work out the kinks, release tension and loosen up your core muscles.
This should be your first step.
The type of exercises you do and the level of difficulty you choose must be dependent on your current health. If you are already somewhat limber and are not overweight, probably opt for the more intense programs. However, if you are older, have less range of motion or are overweight, then opting for the less-intense flexibility programs should be your goal. You can always move up as you become more limber.
Another Way to Increase Power:
Aside from your physical ability, one other way to add a bit more power to your shots is to use heavier clubheads. For most golfers, this means using a bigger driver. It is also possible to buy slightly heavier irons today.
The increase in power you get with heavier clubs is due to the added mass of the clubhead. More mass at contact equals more energy onto the ball. However, heavier clubs, especially heavier drivers, will require some getting used to. You should not expect to simply buy a set or new driver and be able to use it
without some practice.
Professional golfers who are looking for the maximum amount of power in their golf swing will take advantage of both of these tips. So work on your flexibility and master the modern driver, and you will benefit as well.
As you probably already know, one of the fastest ways to add 20 yards (or more) to your drives is to move up to the bigger 460 cc drivers. Over the last several years, driver heads and weights have been increasing. Currently, the USPGA has put a limit on drivers of 460 cc. So, for the time being, this is the largest driver you can use legally.
While these monster drivers can certainly result in longer drives, they have some unique characteristics that must be learned. To get the maximum effect, you have to spend significant time practicing with them and perhaps even change your thinking about ball flight in general.
When a ball is hit correctly with a bigger driver, the golf ball spins less, causing it to go higher than usual. The combination of high launch along with less spin causes the ball to travel farther. The trick is to get enough ball spin to create lift, while at the same time eliminating as much drag as possible.
Here are four very useful tips for using that new driver:
The Ball Must Be Teed Higher:
Older drivers normally required the ball to be teed up, putting the top of the driver about midway up the golf ball. For these bigger drivers, you need to tee the ball so the top of the driver is about 1/3 up the ball.
As you know, the standard tee is only 2 1/8-inches long. When you buy a 460 cc driver, make sure to buy some longer tees as well. You’ll need at least 3 inches, or a little longer if you can find them.
Change Your Stance:
A common mistake is trying to keep your old stance at address. For the bigger drivers, it is important to move the ball forward in your address stance. For right-handed golfers, this means moving it more towards your left foot.
With the smaller drivers, we were all taught to play the ball off the left heel, which is appropriate for those driver heads. But for the bigger ones, we need to hit the ball on the upswing, and the best way to do that is to move the stance forward a bit.
In addition to increasing the launch angle, hitting the ball on the upswing also decreases the ball’s spin rate. For some players, moving the ball forward might mean playing the ball off the big toe, and for other players it might mean moving the ball outside the left foot altogether. The only way you will determine your ideal ball position is to get to the range and experiment.
Train Yourself to Hit the Center of the Driver Face:
Here is a quick test to see if you need to retrain yourself.
Tee up a ball and take your address position. Stretch your arms out, noticing where the face of the driver is in relation to the golf ball. This is most likely where the face will strike the ball.
With the new drivers, you may find that your strike one the hosel or the heel of the club – bad news on both counts. If so, take a slight step back and repeat the test. Keep moving back until you have the proper ball-to-face alignment.
Hit the Golf Ball on the Upswing:
Learning to hit on the upswing is crucial to getting those added yards with your new driver.
For many of us, this is easier said than done. If you are still hitting your new driver on the apex of the downswing, you won’t get the boost in yardage. When you learn to hit on the upswing, you will get a higher launch angle and lower spin rate, the equation for longer distance. After you buy your new driver, give yourself 30 days to fine-tune its use. Once you get comfortable with it, your drives will improve and you will potentially produce more power in your golf swing.
Purepoint Golf Team