Power Drills

Published 06/10/2010 07:47:00

There are a number of technical adjustments you can make to add a few yards here and there to your game. But what if you dream of making a big step in distance, enough to allow you to reach the longer holes in regulation, say, 20 yards with the driver and 15 yards with your approaches. Impossible?


No. Significantly lengthening your game requires work to strengthen specific "golf muscles" that will help you become "stronger through the ball." That doesn't mean weightlifting in the gym: With diligent effort and equipment you probably own, two simple drills will add power to your ball-striking.


The Lead-Hand Drill

Have you ever hit a golf ball with only your lead hand? (Left hand for right-handed players, right hand for lefties.) If not, you might be surprised at how tough it is to make clean contact and get the ball airborne. This exercise is designed to build the "pulling'' muscles of your left arm and shoulder -- the triceps, deltoid and trapezius muscles in particular, which pull the club down through impact.


Start the lead-hand drill slowly and progress gradually. Use a pitching wedge and swing easily with your left hand before hitting the ball. The one-handed backswing will go no more than three-quarters of its normal distance.


When you're loose and ready to hit the ball, tee it up, even with the wedge. The clubhead speed with the one-handed swing is much slower than normal. You'll feel some shock at impact. Teeing the ball avoids more jarring contact with the ground. Don't try to do too much at one session. Hitting 25 balls with one hand is a good workout for most golfers. Keep hitting the wedge until you can hit it consistently well, then drop down to, say, an 8-iron. Be sure to use a tee.

After a few practice sessions you'll see a new verve -- and more yards -- in your shots


Weight and See

Swinging a weighted club is a good off-season drill to do in the garage or outside if the weather's not too cold. Use a special heavyweight practice club or a regular club with a weighted cover or a practice "donut" that fits around the neck.


Swing the club slowly and easily for 5-10 minutes; 50 swings a day is about right. The extra weight on the end of the club is effective in stretching the back muscles, which leads to a fuller turn. After a month or two of relaxed swinging, most golfers will make a larger arc without loss of control. And a few extra inches of clubhead windup yields more than a few extra yards off the tee.


Once again, don't overdo it. Be regular in your sessions, working until you reach the point of slight fatigue rather than pain.


1.  I do struggle with power - as I'm only 5 ft - so these tips should help, thanks!

comment by Jane cragg - 06/10/2010 08:30

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