Every golfer wants to get more distance on their drives. An extra 10-15 yards off the drive makes the next shot that much easier and leads to lower scores. We know that the golf swing and the body are connected. The body swing connection so important that if body is not able to move well, you will not be able fully execute the swing. This will lead you to compensate creatingw more inconsistencies and higher scores.
Here are 3 tips to make your body swing the club better and get more distance off the tee:
1. Alignment - Functional and Structural alignment
a) Having a functional or structural alignment issue can prevent you from swinging the club correctly. Good alignment keeps your club on plane and maintains the correct spinal angle to hit the ball properly. For example, if you have a leg length discrepancy on your lead leg (left leg for right handed golfer), this can lead to reduced rotation, decreased power and can create a push shot off the tee.
b) TIP #1: See your physiotherapist to determine what if you have an alignment issue and if it is structural or functional. Your physiotherapist can fix you alignment and teach you how to stay straight.
2. Rotation - Thoracic spine mobility
a) The better you can rotate your shoulders around your hips the greater your club head speed which leads to longer shots. This is done by increasing the arc of the swing. The majority of that rotation is done through the thoracic spine which is responsible for that rotation
b) This picture shows Rory McIlroy’s impressive shoulder rotation which contributes to his power off the tee despite his small frame at 5’9” and 160lbs.
TIP #2: SEATED THORACIC SPINE STRETCH.
To do this stretch you can sit on a chair or bench. Turn as far as you comfortably can and hold that position for 60 seconds.
3. Stop the sway - Maximize Energy Transfer
a) A stable rear leg allows energy in the backswing to be stored to be released in the downswing. The inability to do this creates a power gap leading to less distance.
Example below: At the top of the backswing tension in the rear leg is lost and the hip sways over the rear leg. This results in a loss of power and takes the club path off the ideal swing plane. With a club off plane, the golfer now needs to make a correction to get the club back on plane. This increases the golfer’s margin of error to hit an errand shot.
In the picture below the golfer keeps the tension in his rear leg keeping the weight on his right instep. His hip stays over the inside of the right foot as loading the right leg, ready to be released in the downswing.
TIP #3: BANDED LEG POST UP
a) In this drill use a heavy resistance band and secure it to something heavy like an exercise machine. Take the other end and loop it around the inside of the rear leg of your swing. Make sure you step away to stretch the band and provide enough resistance so that you have push your knee towards your left side.
b)Take your backswing and notice what you feel in your back leg as you try to keep the tension in your back leg and the band. Remember that feel as you will incorporate it into your backswing when you hit the golf ball.
Try these tips out to get more power in your golf swing and drive the ball further!
Joseph Trambulo, PT is a Registered Physiotherapist at our Markham location. He is our local biomechanics and swing expert. He is Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certified expert in fitness and medical and is an avid golfer.