You Need More Power

Yes! Don't we all? As with all things in life some things are easier said than done and this is no different, but it IS possible. Have you heard about using the ground to generate more power? This is what I'll be addressing in this article - pushing off the ground in order to generate greater club speeds and longer shots. Take a look...

So here's what we're looking for just prior to starting the downswing:

  • The trail knee maintains its position as the golfer starts the downswing. Just for a little while...
  • The lead side separates as the player glides into their front side. This creates some leg separation.
  • There should be a definite lowering or unweighting in the early downswing.
  • The late downswing should be characterized by an upward thrust away from the ground.

Notice in the image below how in the early downswing my belt buckle is significantly lower than it is half way through the follow through...

Image 11.JPG

This is something that all long drivers take full advantage of - that ability to really thrust up from the ground and in most cases actually push both feet off the ground. It's that push that will help to really get the clubhead moving. 

Thanks for reading/watching and if you have a friend who would really benefit from this information please share it.

Get Faster Off the Tee

Here is an exercise to help you gain a few miles per hour of clubhead speed over time and allow you to pick up that much needed yardage off the tee. The objective is to slowly introduce your body to the increased speed, efficiency and agility necessary to generate additional clubhead speed.

Here is what is required:

  • It is important to get loose prior to starting your speed sets
  • Using your driver you want to hit two sets of five golf balls with a recovery period in between each set
  • There should be little concern for accuracy or even quality of shot - the sole objective is speed
  • The first shot in each set should be at your normal driver speed
  • Each shot builds on the speed of the previous shot
  • The final shot in each set should be the absolute fastest you can possibly swing

If you can do two speed sets as mapped out above 3 times a week for a month I would be surprised if you had not gained 4 mph of clubhead speed when making a normal feeling golf swing. That's enough for 10 more yards off every tee box!

Additional resources for more distance off the tee:

Getting More Out of Your Driver | Andrew Rice Golf

Hitting Up or Down? Here's How to Set Up | Andrew Rice Golf

Hit Up On the Driver: Here's a Great Drill - YouTube

What I Learned in 2011

Around this time of the year I like to look back at the year and contemplate what I have learned as a teacher and coach that will make me better in the future. After much thought here is my list:

  • Golfers too often lose sight of the fact that the game is all about scoring. It's not about style, or aesthetics, or form - it's about function. And scoring is function. If any golfer can go out and hit the ball the same as they always have and shoot five strokes lower they are very happy. No, this is not something new to me, but as I get older and hopefully wiser, I see way too many golfers who miss this point. They are searching for a swing, a technique, a "holy grail" that will upgrade their game. The answer lies in driving, wedging, putting and a hefty dose of hard work - period!
  • Anybody can get better in twenty minutes. With the help of Trackman I have seen this time and time again. The challenge is taking "ownership" of the changes as this can only be done through practice. Through practice you get comfortable, you then begin to trust the changes, which in turn channel into confidence - the magic elixir of all sport.

  • The driver works much better when it strikes the ball with an upward hit. If a golfer swings at 100mph and strikes the ball with a 5 degree downward hit, they will be 28 yards shorter than a golfer who hits the ball with the same swing, but a 5 degree upward hit! The launch angle goes up, the spin goes down and boom, you're not even swinging any harder.
  • With an on plane swing, when the clubhead moves towards the ground the club path travels in to out and when it moves away from the ground it travels out to in. I know you're more than likely scratching your head over this one - watch the video and read the article and it'll make a ton more sense. This has been a game changer for me and I so wish I had knowledge of this information thirty years ago.
  • Modern golf technology can do wonders for your game. From the latest drivers to launch monitors to pressure plates - there is new technology that can help you make real changes to almost any part of your game. Seek it out and take advantage...
  • It is possible for every golfer to get longer - yes, I said every golfer. Even you! Most of the gains can be made simply by learning how to deliver the driver to the ball more efficiently. If you could learn what it takes to hit the ball 15 yards further (which is about my average for male golfers after a TrackMan session!) you have now made the golf course you play 200 yards shorter. Where do I sign up for that....?
  • The weight transfer in the backswing is due to the swinging motion of the arms. There should be no conscious shift or lateral motion with the body. See the 84 degree secret...

Thanks for reading - I hope you have all learned at least something from my musings during 2011. If you remember one thing remember this: Nothing will ever take the place of hard work and heart - not talent, not finances, and certainly not coaching.

Oh, and if you haven't wrapped up your holiday shopping yet I have a smokin' deal for you. Buy one copy of It's All About Impact and I'll send you four - one for each member of your foursome.

I have big plans for upgrading the information and look of the site in 2012 so stick around and watch this space...

How to Hit it Longer Than Ever

Here are a few clues - do not swing harder or get a new driver or change your shafts!  Although all of those ideas might help, the best, and simplest, way to hit longer shots is to strike the ball better.  Plain and simple!

Here is the heads up from Trackman, the premier radar technology for swing and ball flight analysis:
Generally speaking, to maximize ball speed (which translates directly into distance) it is more important to improve centerdness of impact than to increase club speed.  An off-center impact is less efficient in transferring energy from the club to the ball, thus some of the power of the club speed is lost, resulting in a lower initial ball speed and consequently less carry distance.
While increasing the velocity of the clubhead would increase distance, I'm sure we are all well aware what happens when we swing harder - perhaps increased speed, but far less control and very often a less centered hit.  This is where smash factor comes in.  Smash factor is a measurement where the ball speed is divided by the clubhead speed and essentially is the efficiency of the hit - how well was the energy of the swing transferred into the golf ball to make it go.  The more centered, or solid, the hit, the further it will go.  And, being aware that most of us do not have the ability to measure the smash factor of our shots it is important to be aware that if you want to hit it longer (and I've only ever met one person who didn't!) the direction one should take should be in search of a better hit and not necessarily a faster clubhead.
A few good drills and articles to improve the quality of your ball striking:

Impact Drill: How to Stop Scooping | Andrew Rice Golf

Hip SlideGood or Bad? | Andrew Rice Golf

Hands Forward at Impact | Andrew Rice Golf

The moral of the story - focus on hitting it better and you'll hit it longer.  Now get to work.......