For many of those who are members of clubs, this month marks the start of the golfing season. At St. George’s Golf & Country Club we have an Opening Day Tournament which starts with a ceremonial drive in. This year is extra special as it marks our 100-year anniversary. So, this month’s tip will help with you getting off the tee.
Driving can set the tone for the entire round
1) Start Your Swing in Slow Motion
A golf swing consists of a backswing and a downswing, and both are very different. The first one is about creating energy (loading), and the second is about expending it (firing). During the swing, we want to transition smoothly so that the backswing can flow into the downswing, however we must create enough separation between them to avoid blurring them together. Many top drivers of the golf ball make a backswing, pause, and then start down. You can’t do this if you swing the club back at 100mph. The backswing is a way to load up energy to use on the downswing so why rush?
To get a difference between the two, try starting the club back with your arms and hands together in near slow-motion during the initial part of the backswing, and then slowly add your shoulder and hip turn so that everything gets to the top of the swing at the same time. This leads to everything starting at the same time on the way back down so that the body doesn’t get too far in front or lag too far behind the clubhead.
2) Load Your Right Thigh
A good backswing will allow a loading of energy at the top in your right thigh. A slow-motion backswing will help emphasize the tightening of the right thigh so that you could literally push off from right foot and jump to the target. The more intense the feeling in your right thigh the better, as this translates into swing power! I like to use balance plates to promote this feeling. This exercise has similarities to yoga, as it can also help promote balance at the same time
3) “How Do I Start The Downswing?”
A downswing should be started from a good backswing. The previous two steps will help you start the downswing in a better position. We now need to create a trigger. A trigger is a swing cue, in this case a good trigger to initiate your downswing is to try and turn your right shoulder down instead of across. This creates a tilt of the shoulders and increases your ability to turn whilst maintaining posture.
4) Posture Leads to Power
The shoulders tilt both during the backswing and the downswing resulting from your position of your spin angle at address. If you stay in posture your right shoulder should be higher than the left during the backswing to the top. Then as you transition your right shoulder should try and get lower than the left during the downswing and at impact.
Along with good posture your weight should initial start with a small percentage more on the right foot. For good weight shift to happen ensure the weight is on the balls of your feet (athletic). As you start your slow-motion backswing the weight should load up on your right side. As the club starts to transition feel the energy go through the ball and onto the left side where it stays. A good reminder would be to shift the weight where the clubs goes.
5) Practice in Slow-Mo and Hold Your Finish
When you are next on the practice tee start with hitting balls using a very slow driver swing to start your warmup. This can accentuate every part of your backswing and downswing, making sure everything is moving correctly. It also allows a finished golf swing in perfect balance. Balance as we mentioned earlier can affect backswing, downswing and impact and is something missing from many golfers.
Practice this method and we will have you driving off the tee in style!