Steal Kevin Chappell’s efficient downswing for maximum power

kevin chappell swings

The secret to Kevin Chappell's power is in the pressure he creates under his front foot.

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These days, everybody’s looking for more power and speed. How else are you going to keep up with your buddies — not to mention the guys and gals on TV? The game is getting faster. Learn from Kevin Chappell to keep pace.

mark blackburn demonstrates
Downswing sway (toward the target) is a big-time accuracy and speed killer. Audra Melton

The Common Mistake

Previously, Kevin tended to “slide” on his downswing, shifting his weight too far forward (as in toward the target; photo right). What’s wrong with that? Basically, it meant that at times Kevin, and the millions of recreational golfers who make this move, was missing out on maximizing his downswing rotation, which we know through research is critical for consistent power creation. By sliding, you’ll struggle to get enough power out of your downswing. Who wants that?

What Kevin Does

Some of your downswing speed comes from rotating your hips and your torso. It also generates from forces applied by your feet, too. You’ve heard golfers increasingly “using the ground” for power. What that means is that by pushing your lead foot forward across the surface of the ground (i.e., sliding it “frictionally” along the grass), you can generate more torque.

What You Should Do

mark blackburn demonstrates
Take the club back, then push the board forward. Audra Melton

Oddly enough, your kid’s skateboard can help. Place it under your front foot (1). As you move into your downswing, slide the skateboard forward toward the ball (2). It’ll give you the sensation of correctly pushing forward with that foot. That force (anterior frictional push) is what helps you use the ground to rotate your front hip “around the corner.” Your rotation will improve — and your speed will, too. If you don’t have a skateboard at the ready, use the next best thing: an imaginary skateboard! That sensation of sliding four imaginary wheels toward the ball as you begin your downswing will help generate the forceful feeling you need to max out your turn.

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