Creating Resistance and a Foundation
Ever wondered why some golfers appear to hit the ball with almighty force, yet it doesn’t travel anywhere near as far as another golfer who appears to hit it with ease?
It’s all a matter of physics.
Distance = Mass X Acceleration
The speed and direction of a golf ball depends upon the forces applied to it during the transfer of energy resulting from the impact of the golf club head to the golf ball.
We all know that energy cannot be created; nor can it be destroyed. Energy can only be transferred from one state to another. Now how do we achieve that energy?
In the golf swing, power comes from good rotation, but how is this rotation achieved?
The most important part to having a powerful rotation is generating torque. You need ‘resistance’, or a foundation from which the rotation happens. This foundation is your hips. The hips should only rotate back slightly into the backswing. If they turn back too much then you are only relieving tension and reducing the swing power that you can generate.
As you make your backswing, you have to create the correct ratio between the shoulders, hips, knees and feet. This correct ratio is what is going to allow you the greatest amount of torque which translates into power. At the top of the backswing you should have achieved your personal 100% shoulder turn, your hips should turn 1/2 as much as your shoulders, your knees should turn about 1/2 as much as your hips or a 1/4 of your shoulders and your feet should not turn at all.
Notice how I don’t give degrees as each individual has a different range of motion as well as different degrees of flexibility. But with keeping everything in 1/2’s then you have created a great deal of torque.
Most people when starting their golf swing take everything back all in one motion. The hands, arms, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet all move back in the same time.
What moves the most and the greatest distance in the golf swing? What moves the most in the backswing is the hands, followed then by the arms, shoulders, hips, knees, and then feet. If you start everything at the same time they will typically move the same distance.
What should happen is everything should move back into position because everything is being pulled. The hands pull the arms, the arms pull the shoulders, the shoulders pull the hips, the hips pull the knees, and the knees move the weight on the feet.
So if a body part only moves half as much as the previous then why start everything at the same time?
Drill to feel torque
Take your set up position and place your golf club across the back of your shoulders. Turn your shoulders back and only your shoulders. As you do this you will find that the club will only make it to approximately 45 degrees rotation with absolutely NO hip rotation. This means that you cannot get the club to your personal 100% without allowing the hips to move. It is only after this 45 degree turn that the hips start to be pulled, then followed by the knees.
The key to doing this drill is keeping the back knee in the flexed position and not moving it while doing this drill. Even with the golf swing if you take a look the players on tour their back knees stays constant and never moves.
When performing this drill I want you to think of a spring. As you hold onto the bottom of the spring you are going to twist the top. The more you twist the top with holding onto the bottom the more torque or stored power you are creating. When you let the top of the spring go it releases with power. Now think about this…what would happen if you did the same thing with the spring but right before you let it go you undid the lower part. You just lost all of the stored energy.
To show you how that feels with the body, turn your shoulders back your personal 100% with keeping the lower part of the body a quiet as possible. You should feel the stretch and tension at this time, now I what you to let the lower part of your body follow the shoulders a couple of degrees. You will feel how you just lost all that stored energy. Major loss of power!
When you look at the pros do you see them with an overactive lower body or do you see them with their lower body fairly still? Pro after pro has a quiet lower body while their shoulders are fully turned. This gives them the coiled up position that I described above. To see what I mean, flip to any golf magazine and take a look at any pro at the top of the backswing. As you do, you will see their shirt has creases in it indicating this coiled up position (look for them). This is the tell-tale sign that they are using torque in the backswing. If their hips were to turn along with their shoulders, there is no way those creases would appear as they do.
When you incorporate this feeling of torque or stored energy in your golf swing you will be set up to release the bulk of that torque at just the right moment, the moment of impact and tearing up the golf course with your powerful swing.
By: Todd Keirstead
For anyone interested in contacting Todd for private golf lessons or corporate outings email him at email@example.com