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
One Plane / Two Plane Golf Swing Explained
The differences between a one plane and a two plane are quite obvious… when you know what to look for. So let’s start this discussion off with a look at the one plane golf swing.
Two of the most famous one plane golfers were Ben Hogan and Moe Norman.
Moe Norman is more extreme than Ben Hogan, so we’ll look at him first.
When you see Moe Norman setup it looks very odd. Here is a picture of his setup and I have drawn a line through the shaft, which is going through the middle of his back (that’s important, so keep this in mind as we move through this):
As you’ll notice… Moe’s hands are very high and his club is set back a foot or so from the ball.
Now the key to the one plane, is to keep the club shaft parallel to the line that is created at setup. Then the goal is to get the club shaft back onto the same plane line that was created at setup once you reach impact. I will show you some images from a video of Moe Norman doing this.
At crucial parts Moe’s club shaft is parallel with the shaft line that he started with at setup. Moe has a pretty unusual looking swing though. I don’t know who came up with the term ‘Natural Golf’ but that doesn’t look too natural to me!
So let’s look at the more “normal” setup of golf legend, Ben Hogan.
So that’s a look at a couple of famous one plane golfers. There is a measurement you can use to help determine if a golfer has a one plane or two plane golf swing.
But before we move onto the two plane approach, I just want to make a very important point about one plane swings.
As well as Ben Hogan and Moe Norman hit the ball with their one plane swings… they hit an awful lot of balls (i.e. MILLIONS)! And that leads nicely into my next point, which may explain why they needed to do that…
Pretty much every golfer who starts playing the game of golf, plays with a two plane swing. Jack Nicklaus has a classic two so let’s look at his set up…
Now here is an extreme opposite of Moe Norman. Jim Furyk and his two plane golf swing.
Wow… Jim’s got a lot going on! But he’s a great golfer who proves you can play great golf with a two plane swing, just like you can with a one plane swing.
My personal opinion, based on the golfers that are great with the one plane swing, is you need to hit a lot of balls for it to work. If you don’t want to be a range rat, then a two plane swing or hybrid swing plane is what you should be looking to do.
Before I leave you however, I just want to point out an easy way to measure whether a swing is a one plane swing or a two plane swing. Because at the half way point in the backswing and downswing, a person can have what looks like a one plane swing and yet be a two plane.
You can measure this yourself (for your own swing) if you have a video and some video analysis software.
What you do is get to the top of the golfer’s swing and measure the angle of the left arm and the angle of the shoulders. If the angle difference is less than 12 degrees then it’s a one plane swing. If it’s more than 12 degrees then it’s a two plane swing. Here’s some examples:
Ben Hogan – 2 Degrees Difference
Moe Norman – 0 Degrees Difference
Zac Johnson – 7 Degrees Difference
Matt Kucher – 1 Degree Difference
Let’s look at the differences between some famous two plane swingers:
Jack Nicklaus – 28 Degrees Difference
Jim Furyk – 48 Degrees Difference
David Toms – 35 Degrees Difference
Fred Couples – 39 Degrees Difference
So hopefully now you have a clear understanding of the main differences between a one plane swing and a two plane swing. As I’ve already said, I don’t think any extreme version is right.
I would never teach a person to swing like Moe Norman. Equally, I would never teach a person to swing like Jim Furyk.
I like the middle ground and both swing plane theories have their good points that I think can be molded into one.
By Jeff Richmond, Director of Instruction, ConsistentGolf
How Each Iron can Affect your Golf Swing
For most golfers, the irons are the true workhorses of the game. Learning to master the irons, however, can be a daunting task. The good news is, while successful iron play can be challenging, it is certainly not impossible.
All the best equipment in the world won’t help you one iota if your swing technique isn’t up to scratch. The Golf Swing Speed Challenge has all the secrets you need to see serious improvement in your scores:
To master your irons, you need to know how each one demands a change in your swing and what those changes are.
The Long Irons
The long irons are the 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-irons. You almost never see the 1-iron anymore. It had about as much loft to its face as the common putter does, and it was (and still is) one of the most difficult clubs to master.
The 2-iron is almost as extinct as the 1, having been replaced by the hybrid woods now available.
When playing long irons, it is best to avoid taking too wide a stance at address. A stance that is too wide can result in your playing the ball too far back. Instead, your feet should be a bit wider than shoulder-width with the ball played toward the forward foot.
A good long iron shot demands that your body stay behind the ball and that your hands and arms are pulling your body through the impact zone.
The Mid-Irons (5-, 6-, 7-irons)
There are no set rules for playing your mid-irons other than doing what is needed to make the shot. Mid-irons are incredibly flexible clubs, and any one club can perform the job of many other clubs if used properly for the occasion.
For me, mid-iron play is dominated by my shoulders. As my shoulders turn away for the backswing, my arms and hands follow. This allows for the club head to take a swing plane inside the line.
Somewhere around hip-height, my wrists cock upwards, thus putting the shaft on its vertical plane. The right elbow stays in close, and the weight shift begins.
At the top of the backswing, about 85 percent of your weight should be on your right side. It is important to remember to keep your weight centered on the inside of your right foot and leg, not on the outside.
While your shoulders are at a 90-degree turn, your hips should only be at 45 degrees. This gives your body the tension it needs to coil as it begins the downswing.
The Short Irons (8-, 9-iron)
These two clubs can be a godsend for those who have trouble playing their wedges. Both the 8- and the 9-iron have plenty of lofts to get the ball up in the air, when needed, yet not so much that they cannot be used for low-chipping and pitching.
The manner in which you change your golf swing when playing these clubs depends on the lay and the shot you are trying to make.
For example, if you need to get some elevation on the ball, but only have a few yards before you need the ball to come down, try weakening your grip. For right- handed golfers, this means rotating the hands slightly to the left.
One of the most common mistakes made with these clubs, however, has everything to do with your swing: Don’t ask your irons to do more than they should when it comes to distance.
Many golfers will often try to get 125 percent out of their 8- or 9-iron (in distance, that is) when they would do better if they tried 80 percent with a 7-iron.
The short irons require that you swing down on the ball while keeping club head speed. Positioning the ball properly in your stance is the key to performing this trick.
Improve your swing dramatically and add solid yards to your drives with The Golf Swing Speed Challenge:
Remember, your short-iron swing does not always have to be a full swing and it does not always have to be 100 percent (or more)!
Golf Swing Fundamentals
Nothing beats going back to basics. In fact, all of the quick tips and band-aids you hear are just clever ways of teaching these time-tested moves. My goal here is to remind you of the key positions at every point in the golf swing. But you don’t want to get too position-conscious, so I’ve also included some sports images to help you feel the motion. If you’re a technical thinker, focus on the positions; if you’re a feel player, stick to the sports images. Either way, you’ll fix your fundamentals, and that’s the quickest way to improve.
SETUP: PUSH BACK, ANGLE DOWN
TAKEAWAY: START CLUBHEAD FIRST
The Golf Short Game
There is such a diversity of golf wedges available these days to help develop a fine golf short game, its simply a matter of choosing the right for you and practice. They all have different names, purposes and they perform in your own way.
What the average golfer has to understand with golf’s short game is that these can be used in a mixture of ways if you have the imagination. These clubs can get you that birdie or that scrambling par you need to keep up your impetus.
Wedges in general are designed to send the ball high in the air from short distances. There are a number of universal wedges on the market, the pitching wedge being the most common. The pitching wedge normally comes with your set of golf irons. The distinctive loft of a pitching wedge is 48 degrees. The sand wedge is 56 degrees and the lob wedge is typically from 60 degrees to 64 degrees. Other wedges also exist like the gap wedge which is usually around 52 degrees. It is named the gap wedge because it fills the gap from the PW-SW (48-56 degrees).
Now with diverse golf club manufacturers comes rivalry. Not all these companies design golf clubs the same. They are all designed to perform differently. The sand wedge with a large sole and/or a large bounce angle normally works well in thick, soft, deep sand and long grass, but usually does not work well from the fairway, off of hard pan, or in tightly packed sand. On the other hand, a club with a fairly thin blade and or little bounce works well from the fairway but not from heavy sand or deep rough. To review – wedges are designed in different ways to be effective in a variety of situations. The head size, weight, sole and edge shape etc can all be different from club to club.
There are two universal set ups for you golf short game when it comes to wedges. The three wedge system and the four wedge system. Most popular among expert players is a 3 wedge system. This includes the 52 degree, 56 degree and 60 degree lob wedges.
You should always find what suits your game the best. Perhaps you are a long hitter and always find yourself in-between clubs? Through experience the sort of wedges that suits your game will change. But with this set up as suggested you may find the confidence you need in your golf short game to cover a large number of short distances from the green.