SNAP YOUR SWING FOR DIS­TANCE

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - By Mike Ben­der

Get a power boost at im­pact – like the pros do.

MOST GOLFERS think power comes from turn­ing the body hard on the down­swing so it drags the arms and club through im­pact. Truth is, that’s the weak­est way to hit the ball. The most pow­er­ful way is to start your arms down and let your body ac­tu­ally stop to cre­ate a sling­ing ac­tion at im­pact. I call it snap speed. This is not a new con­cept. The fastest moves you make in every­day life use the speed of your hands and arms. Your body is pow­er­ful, but it doesn’t ac­cel­er­ate quickly. Dis­tance in golf comes from speed, not force. A tour player’s body ro­tates 10 to 20 kilo­me­tres per hour in the down­swing. If you rely on your body turn to make the club move fast, you’ll never hit the ball any­where. Your body has to brake on the down­swing so the en­ergy you’re cre­at­ing moves out to the club.

Con­sider a few ex­am­ples of ac­cel­er­a­tion. Snap­ping a towel comes from your hand stop­ping, even pulling back­ward, which sends the speed out to the tip of the towel. To throw a Fris­bee, you swing your arm to a dead stop and snap your wrist. Pic­ture a test car run­ning into a ce­ment wall and the crash dum­mies go­ing through the wind­shield. In all th­ese ac­tions, there’s a brak­ing. That’s what puts the en­ergy into the ob­ject. If ev­ery­thing kept go­ing for­ward, there’d be no trans­fer of speed, no snap. And that’s how so many golfers swing. Zach John­son, whom I’ve worked with since 2000, is a great ex­am­ple of snap speed. He’s not a long hit­ter, but he’s in the top 10 on tour in a stat called to­tal dis­tance ef­fi­ciency, which means he op­ti­mises his speed at im­pact. If you want more dis­tance, you’ve got to snap it like Zach.

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