These 2 simple drills will help you gain power and distance
Using the ground properly to increase power and distance on shots has been a hot topic in the golf industry. With the advent of new technology, such as BodiTrack, instructors can now measure how much pressure a golfer exerts into the ground in order to maximize their distance efforts. Ground force reaction (GFR) has been discussed, debated, and taught to students who wish to use their legs better in the golf swing. I’ve come up with an easy explanation to help students understand this concept quicker so their golf games improve.
The load, squat, jump sequence is an easy way to describe the proper use of the legs to help students incorporate the ground more effectively to increase power and speed, which ultimately translates into more distance. Players who lack distance and control often over-use their upper body (hands and arms) and unfortunately, this creates more variance in their golf shots. Using larger muscle groups, such as the core, legs, and hips, helps create more reliable sources of motion.
There are two simple drills I prescribe that students can use in order to feel how much leg motion can be utilized in the swing.
Single-leg swing drill
Line up the golf ball with your lead leg, and pull back your trail leg so the toe is on the ground (see photo sequence above). Next, make some swings utilizing your legs and upper body. Most players will start this drill only swinging their upper body. What will happen naturally is the lead knee will flex in the downswing in order to maintain stability and balance. Then, it will begin to straighten, or “post” right before impact so you’re able to swivel and rotate through. Practicing this drill will help you pick up clubhead speed immediately, which will solidify the benefits and impact of using the ground quickly.
Jump rope drill
An easy way to understand the flexing and pushing into the ground that is required to create force in the golf swing is through the use of a jump rope. Lay one on the ground and jump over it. Notice the flex in your knees right before you jump over the rope. As you leap into the air, the legs extend. The movement of knee flexion to extension is what creates the force and energy to propel your body into the air. Golfers use this same extension action to create energy and power in the golf swing.
This idea will certainly challenge those who believe you should “keep your head down” throughout the swing. Over the years we have seen many examples of tour players who squat lower in the downswing, then extend and “jump” through impact and into the finish position. This creates massive gains in power. Look at some of the game’s longest hitters: Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Lexi Thompson, and Brittney Lincicome. It works!
Practicing these two drills will help you solidify the idea of ground reaction forces in your own game, and simplify how to use your legs in the swing to maximize power.
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