By Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk
To add distance to your game this season, focus on making a good shoulder turn. You want to create coil and torque in your swing to generate power. That means you need to rotate your torso. I like to think of getting my back to the target in my back swing for all of my clubs. Even if you don’t have the flexibility to do that, the swing thought makes you turn more.
A big power leak in the turn for many players is that they tend to lift the club with their hands in their take away. The club comes straight up and it is very difficult to get it back on path. Women often lift the club versus turn because they are typically more flexible. It is why many ladies cannot hit it over 200 yards.
Instead, you want to initiate your backswing with your shoulders. Think of using your big muscles to turn, not your hands. This will automatically bring the club on an inside path and allow you a greater ability to turn.
Let your body Load and Unload Properly
Make sure to be patient and allow your turn to finish and allow your body to load. Often players are so anxious to hit the shot they start their down swing before they have fully loaded up and maximized their turn.
Don’t forget to start the downswing with the lower body. If you start your down swing form the top you will lose all of the coil and torque you built up before you reach impact. Also ensure you keep swinging through impact. Your club head should be moving fastest 3 feet past the ball. This will automatically take you to your front side.
ALL of your weight should be over the front foot. You should be able to lift your back foot up as you hold your finish. If you can’t you did not swing through the ball and transfer your weight.
Many players swing too fast in their take away which throws off their tempo. If you swing too fast in your take away you often rush your transition to your down swing. I have one of two swing thoughts when I feel I am rushing. One is “Low and Slow” on my back swing which reminds me not to pick my club in my take away and instead keep the club head low to the ground and to be patient.
The other swing thought is “Ernie Els”. Not only is the gentle giant PGA Tour player a perfect role model for smooth tempo, his name also lends well as a swing aid. Often I will say “Ernie” in my back swing so it is two beats (syllables) long and I’ll say “Els” in my downswing which is only one beat and alows me to think speed.
Good luck for a great season!
Lisa is a 7-Time Canadian Long Drive Champion for women and is currently ranked top 5 in the World. Lisa is a Golf Entertainer at corporate and charity events and Keynote Speaker at conferences and meetings. Lisa can be reached through her website at www.lisalongball.com.