LOAD & EX­PLODE 2 MOVES TO RIP YOUR DRIVER

HOW TO BUILD POWER AND DE­LIVER IT TO THE BALL BY TODD AN­DER­SON

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Front Page -

To rip driver off the tee, you have to load your body on the back­swing and un­load it on the down­swing. Most golfers think of load­ing as sim­ply mak­ing a big shoul­der turn, but the lower body is just as im­por­tant – and it doesn’t get much love. I see two faults on the back­swing that pre­vent the lower body from load­ing and stor­ing power ef­fec­tively. One is com­mon among higher hand­i­caps, and the other tends to be a bet­ter player’s fault. If you have one of th­ese, you won’t hit the ball con­sis­tently solid, and you won’t come close to driv­ing it as far as you can. Let’s take a look. – WITH PETER MORRICE

1. TURN INTO YOUR RIGHT LEG

If you start from a good setup, with your spine tilted slightly away from the tar­get, and swing your arms back, you’ll feel pres­sure build­ing on the in­side of your back leg. You need to main­tain that pres­sure as you turn your up­per body over your back foot ( left). Think of a base­ball pitcher: He loads into his back foot so he can ex­plode for­ward. The high-hand­i­cap mis­take is to slide the hips away from the tar­get so the lower part of the spine shifts back. This causes the up­per spine to tip to­wards the tar­get ( top inset). There’s not much turn in that back­swing.

The bet­ter player tends to over-ro­tate the right hip on the back­swing, which causes the right leg to straighten and the up­per body to tilt away from the tar­get too much ( bot­tom

inset). Both faults pre­vent a pow­er­ful coil­ing ac­tion against a sta­ble lower body, lead­ing to weak down­swings.

2. LET YOUR LEFT SIDE LEAD

Think of the pitcher again: It’s the step with the front leg that drives the for­ward mo­tion and lit­er­ally pulls him off the mound. Same with the golf swing: The left knee pulls away from the right knee, and the left hip turns to­wards the tar­get ( left). That move ini­ti­ates a pow­er­ful down­swing, and it’s pos­si­ble only if the body has coiled into the in­side of the right leg on the back­swing.

Back to our two faults. Play­ers who are tipped to­wards the tar­get typ­i­cally make a steep down­swing and cut across the ball from out to in, hit­ting pop­ups or slices. Play­ers who over-ro­tate the hips go­ing back tend to fire their hips ag­gres­sively com­ing down, which causes the club to drop be­hind the body and makes the swing too in­side-out. Re­sult: drop-kicks, blocks or hooks.

Turn­ing into the right leg on the back­swing al­lows you to re­lease your left side to­wards the tar­get as you start back to the ball. That keeps the club track­ing on a good path to im­pact, with the left side pulling the right side. That’s how you max­imise power.

Todd An­der­son is the direc­tor of in­struc­tion at Sea Is­land Golf Club in St Simons Is­land, Ge­or­gia.

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