BACK TO BASICS: SET UP FOR POWER
A big mistake that I see when players are trying to get a few extra yards is hitting the ball from the top; using arms and hands to gain speed. We're going to upgrade your power pack today! Big power starts in the set up and comes through the ground.
Good speed starts from the ground up. Having a solid connection to the ground gives you the opportunity to use your power in a way that optimizes your muscle groups. Quick question, what is a stronger set of muscles? Your arms and hands, or your legs and torso? Let’s unpack this, I don’t want to downplay the use of arms/hands in the swing, since they’re connected to the club BUT your legs are what gives you the stable base to swing with speed while the torso gives the rotational speed in the swing. Let’s take a look and see what we find:
Red Lines: What would happen if the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids with the base part at the top and the pointy part on the ground? It would fall over! The same thing happens with a golfer, notice TW’s legs. He’s created a stable base, with (I should add) balance, so he can swing aggressively THROUGH THE BALL (we’ll talk about swinging through at a later date). Ends up creating the shape of a pyramid, hmmm… he won’t fall over so easily!
White Arrows: I’ve heard big hitters talking about pressing their feet into the ground at address to feel more connected. Should our legs be super bent? Nope; but we should feel like if someone were to try and lift your foot from the ground, they would be unsuccessful. We use this feeling to press into the ground in the downswing, which makes lots of power.
Blue lines: Shaft lean is an interesting topic when talking driver. Some would say that forward shaft lean is good. I would say perhaps but big hitters do one thing in common which is loading behind the golf ball. The last thing we want to do in a driver swing is hit down on the ball. Loading to your trail side allows you to strike upward on the golf ball. Notice TW’s head is tilted behind the golf ball along with his slight tilt of the spine, LOADED.
Set up for power and you’ll be hitting longer drives in no time!