Build a better backswing
These three drills add power and keep your backswing on plane
1. Throw your weight around
Setup: Hug a 25-pound weight against your chest as shown.
Action: Make a mock backswing at halfspeed. The reason you’re holding the weight is to emphasize staying in your address posture. Focus on these three keys as you turn back with the weight:
1. Turn your shoulders first, then your hips. There should be a three-inch delay between the start of your shoulder turn and the onset of your hip turn.
2. Keep your back knee straight and make sure you’re loading up your weight over your right foot.
3. Your abs should feel tight. Once you’ve done the above, turn forward into a mock finish. This time, lead your shoulders with your hips.
Benefit: Do 25 repetitions daily over several days. You’ll naturally begin to build the proper backswing sequence and a stronger coil.
—Top 100 Teacher David F. Wright, Ph.D.
2. Create a power line
Setup: Take your stance, remove your right hand from the club and extend your left arm straight out in front of you so your club stands straight up and down. Pull your right arm across your belly and brace your right hand against your torso.
Action: Push the grip end of the club as far away from the target as you can without lifting the clubhead off the ground. As you do this, use your right arm to keep your left shoulder from turning past your belt buckle. This drill teaches you to:
1. Keep your chest pointed at the ground.
2. Correctly turn your left shoulder.
3. Load up behind the ball for power.
Look for a line that runs from the outside of your left foot to the top of your spine.
Benefit: The “power line” from your left foot to your spine indicates a full turn without loss of posture, and is the hallmark trait of any big hitter.
—Top 100 Teacher Bruce Hamilton
3. Blend your body and arms
Setup: Stand in your address posture with a club and place your left hand on your sternum.
Action: With your right hand only, take the club back to the top of your swing. There are three things to check as you do this:
1. Your left hand should move over your right foot.
2. Your right arm should fold a full 90 degrees.
3. The middle of your right forearm should end up even with your right ear
Benefit: Moving your swing’s center (your left hand in this drill) over your right foot shows you’ve made a solid turn behind the ball, and your right-arm position sets your hands and club in a solid position at the top. Once you can perform this drill correctly, complete it by turning through into a balanced finish with your swing center over your left foot.
—Top 100 Teacher Kip Puterbaugh