For more swing power, feel like you’re throwing an uppercut punch
Welcome to Play Smart, a regular GOLF.com game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.
No matter what level of golfer you are, everyone seems to be seeking more power. But how can you achieve it without sacrificing accuracy? Players who figure that out might feel like they have the golden ticket — because it can be difficult.
One of the hardest moves in golf is the start of the downswing. Even Sam Snead said it was the most difficult move in the swing, and many average golfers struggle with it.
Unfortunately, things haven’t changed much since 1975.
The right shoulder of most players rotates out toward the ball at the top of the swing, looking like they’re throwing a hook punch. This will bring the hand path more over the plane and lead to coming over the top.
I remember reading an article in which Tiger Woods said he feels “like I throw an uppercut punch” when talking about his swing. Tom Watson referred to this movement as the “secret” to golf, how the player stays in his posture throughout the backswing and downswing.
The drill below is designed to help duplicate this very move, and it’s something you can do at home to work on this magic swing power move.
This uppercut drill can lead to more swing power
In this drill, we will be using one of your irons. Place the club across your shoulders with the iron head on your trail shoulder and the toe of the club pointing up. Make an ‘X’ across your chest with your arms to hold the club in place. I like to place a ball on the ground as a point of reference when doing this drill.
Next, take your golf posture by hinging from your waist and not squatting into your knees. You should feel balance, which will help your mobility in the golf swing.
Now, rotate your upper body back, making sure that the grip on your lead shoulder points downward towards the ball on the ground. Also remember to make sure your shoulders don’t turn level in the backswing.
The next move is the most important.
You need to replace your left shoulder position with your right shoulder. This keeps you in your posture, helping the arms and hands from coming out over the plane. When rotating down and forward, the clubhead will appear as though it would strike the ball that’s on the ground.
Work up into your follow through, with the clubhead over your left foot. Repeat this slowly, trying to feel where your balance is and how your entire body is working.
By working on this swing power drill, you’ll begin to see an improvement on both your balance and ball striking. It’s important to maintain your posture and using that trail shoulder to deliver the power — which should look like an uppercut punch.
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