4 tour moves to up your consistency and boost your power

If you want to get more S.P.A.C.E. in your swing, check out these four tips from Top 100 Teacher Dave Phillips.

Stephen Denton

Since its inception in 2004, the Titleist Performance Institute has collected thousands of physical assessments from golfers at every level, along with 3D motion-capture data of elite-level and Tour players from all over the world. 

I’ve spent hours upon hours studying this intel alongside my TPI cofounder Dr. Greg Rose. We’ve found that the best players consistently create space for themselves to swing freely during both their backswings and downswings. This discovery has become such a central part of my teaching that I even developed an acronym for it: SPACE, which stands for Speed, Power, Accuracy, Consistency and Efficiency. 

Here’s how to get more of each.

1. Set up like an athlete 

Instead of “slumping” at address… Stephen Denton
…push your hips away from the ball. Stephen Denton

Creating space for your swing starts at setup. Most recreational golfers sit at a desk all day, which isn’t conducive to good golf posture. These golfers tend to slump their upper body and bend too much at their knees, which removes space before the swing has even started and shuts off key muscles in their core. 

The best players hinge from their hips and push their belt buckle back. This natural, athletic setup switches on the muscles that power a good swing and creates space for your arms to hang down freely in front of your chest.

2. Load your trail hip 

Instead of “straightening” at the top… Stephen Denton
…“load” into your trail hip and heel. Stephen Denton

Check out the photo abovet. Look familiar? It’s a common fault among average golfers: straightening your body while simultaneously lifting your arms. This automatically shifts you closer to the ball. You’ve now run out of space and your swing has just begun. 

The fix: As you turn to the top of your backswing, move your right glute back (as in away from the ball), so that you feel your weight shift into your right hip and into the heel of your trail foot. The picture to the right of the error, by the way, is what a powerful, loaded backswing looks like. 

3. Keep your chest down 

Instead of “thrusting” toward the ball… Stephen Denton
…keep your chest down and rotate. Stephen Denton

When you fail to load your trail hip, you’ll extend early or drive your hips toward the ball. Not good. Doing this doesn’t just reduce the space between you and your Titleist, it results in the club getting stuck behind you and prevents you from turning through the shot like you should. 

The easy fix is to simply keep your chest pointed toward the ground as you start down from the top, with your lower body working down and back. That’s what the best players do, as it creates space for the club and your arms and hands to swing through the impact zone unimpeded.

4. Turn, don’t flip 

Instead of “flipping” your wrists… Stephen Denton
…rotate and straighten your front leg. Stephen Denton

Without space for your body to rotate or the club to move through the ball, your only option is to “release” your wrists and flip the club at impact. Goodbye, power and consistency. 

Focus on continuing your body turn (both shoulder and hips) as you move through the ball. Strive to keep your chest down (or at least feel like it is) and let your legs straighten. Elite players do this effortlessly, and it allows them to retain their wrist angles. The result? Maximum energy transfer to the ball. 

Dave Phillips is a GOLF Top 100 Teacher who coaches U.S. Open champ Jon Rahm. He is also the cofounder of the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, Calif.

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