In this article, we look at the 7 simple faults that are killing your power from the way you transfer your weight in the swing to your extension through the ball
Struggling with a lack of distance off the tee? Here are the 7 simple faults that are killing your power:
Have you ever wondered why many of the world’s best players seem able to generate power without exerting too much effort? Your wrists are the key element here in creating, storing and then unleashing speed at the key moment. Your wrists will naturally hinge in the backswing and then you need to hold this angle for as long as possible in the downswing. When you get it right, this is called ‘lag’ and it can make a huge difference to your clubhead speed. Conversely, ‘casting’ is when you lose the angle in your wrists too early – releasing it at the start of the downswing. This simple fault will throw away speed before the most important part of the swing.
2 Reverse pivot
The way in which you shift your weight during the golf swing has a huge impact on both power and accuracy. Just like you would if you were hitting a tennis shot, your weight should be moving towards the target through impact. However, for many golfers, their desire to help the ball into the air with their driver means their weight falls onto the back foot through the downswing. This is called a reverse pivot and will kill your power and often causes a slice. If this is a problem for you, try a practice drill that involves stepping towards the target through impact. This forces your weight to work in the right direction through the swing.
When it comes to body rotation in the golf swing the simple principle is that your upper body should turn by around 90˚ while your hips only rotate by around 45˚. The difference between these two angles creates torque which then adds speed to your downswing. A great way to tell whether you are creating power is to swing to the top and hold this position for a few seconds. If you are doing it correctly, this should feel uncomfortable and you will notice how much effort is required to hold this position.
We have already mentioned the need for retaining the angle in your wrists for as long as possible in the downswing. However, just before impact you should release the angle in your wrists and let your arms fully extend through the ball, as Tiger Woods is doing here. For many amateurs, power is lost as they retain the bend in their left elbow. This is often called a ‘chicken wing.’
5 Spin Rates
Every golfer delivers the club to the ball in a slightly different way. This is why custom fitting has become such a big part of the driver buying process. If your driver either spins too much or too little, you will be throwing away potential performance needlessly. From getting the right shaft to setting up the head in a way to optimise your launch and spin rates, a modern driver fitting is bound to unlock extra performance, especially if you are using older equipment.
How close to the centre of the face is your strike pattern? If you are consistently catching drives out of the heel or toe you will be throwing away easy yards. A great tip is to spray some athlete’s foot spray on the face of your driver before you practice. This will highlight your strike pattern and help you identify how to find more centred strikes.
If there is one thing all great sports stars have in common, it is balance. As your weight shifts (firstly onto your back foot and then towards the target) during the golf swing, it is imperative you retain your poise. If you often find yourself needing to take a step to steady yourself as you finish the swing, your timing will often be out. Why not take inspiration from Rory McIlroy? The Northern Irishman always holds his finish, no matter how good the drive is, usually until the ball lands. Try this for yourself. If your finish position is technically strong and balanced, the chances are the swing that came before it will be too!
If you are guilty of any of these 7 simple faults that are killing your power some smart practice might transform your distance stats in 2019!