MY FIVE MOVES FOR POWER!
1 NAIL THE BASICS Getting the basic set-up right is fundamental to giving yourself the best chance of hitting good shots. I play with a lot of amateurs who seem tense, which can really restrict how far they swing. I probably grip the club tighter than most, but I make sure I soften my elbows and let my hands hang naturally underneath my chest. If you feel like you’re reaching for the ball you’re probably standing too far from it, which can cause separation between the body and arms and throw the swing o -plane.
2 TURN FROM YOUR SHOULDERS The worst thing you can do in the takeaway is to let your hands manipulate the face by rolling your wrists. If you do that and either close or open the face, somewhere down the line you are going to have to compensate to get the swing back on plane. Instead, try to get the arms, hands and upper body working together by rotating your shoulders.
3 UNLEASH THE SPRING During the backswing I try to feel like I’m coiling up into my right side and ‘pushing’ pressure into my legs so I can maximise the power. I liken it to a spring. You need to load it up to be able to unload it. And the more stable you are as you do this, the better chance you have of doing that.
4 USE WHAT YOU HAVE The most important thing is to get the maximum out of your range of movement. If you’re not getting the club to a 90° angle in the backswing, there is no point trying to force it. Of course, you can do more stretches, or gym work to improve your flexibility.
But even if you are at 100%, loaded and ready to go, you need to start down by getting the right shoulder and right hip working down at the same time. If your timing is o, you will really struggle to save the shot.
5 UNLOCK HIDDEN POWER A lot of amateurs don’t make use of their bigger muscle groups to transfer energy eectively. You need to use the power in the legs during the downswing and let the natural forces take over for a proper release. Amateurs seem to be reluctant to do that and finish with a hold o position. The clubhead needs to fully accelerate and reach its peak speed at the point of impact.
Keep your distance... Feel poised and ready...
Standing too far away can flatten the swing plane too much and promote an out-to-in path. Whereas, standing too close produces a more upright swing plane and promotes an in-to-out path. The worst thing you can do is have the weight on your heels. You need to be dynamic and ready to go – just like a goalkeeper – so bend from the hips and stand a little wider than shoulder-width apart to allow for a bigger rotation.
plane check... To check you’re swinging on plane, stop the backswing when the shaft is pointing parallel to the ground. If you have rotated correctly, the shaft should be parallel to the target line with the toe pointing to the sky. Sync arms and body... I see a lot of amateurs getting stuck behind the ball because their body outpaces their arms. To get the arms and body working in sync, get in the gym and practise doing some cable wood chops. Power overload… I go pretty hard at it most times with my driver. Some players like to take something off it, but I go all out with a full swing. I don’t see the need to chip one down there. If I need to hit it shorter, I use a 3-wood!