Today's tip comes from a question that Mike O'Shay, of County Limerick in beautiful Ireland, posed to me a few weeks ago.
I have totally bought into the Surge Swing and am getting into the Catcher's Mitt, Up The Tree, Bump, into the Forwards Mitt, and Up The Tree. I am hitting my 5 iron 120 Yards, HELP! HELP!. My 8 iron is going about 100 Yards. Its killing me in distance, what can I do to get my distance back, I am only 42 and am getting out hit and out driven by seniors. HELP!
Mike, you didn't give me much else to go on, so I am going to hazard an educated guess on what your problem is. I say "educated" because, after teaching golf for over 35 years, these symptoms are ones that I've seen fairly often. In a nutshell, I think you may be over focused on the individual steps in the swing and thus you aren't really letting yourself swing with controlled power and explosiveness. I've mentioned this before in past blogs, where people are swinging with arms that look like cooked spaghetti, all noodly and soft. People with this mindset often think about "placing the sweet spot on the ball" in the mistaken belief that if they can do that they will hit a solid shot.
Think about it--what do you do when you "place" something on a table, for example? Is it a fast, explosive movement? No, it's usually a slow, smooth and very deliberate move. Does a cricket batsman, who is trying to hit for six, think about "placing" his bat on the ball? I think not! Almost without thinking, he's swinging really hard in order to take the bowler's pitch and drive it over the boundary. That's the way you need to approach your golf swing.
When you put too much focus on the process steps your arms and muscles tighten up and that will rob you of power. To get the feel of how much power you should be generating, here's a drill I often use with people who are merely waving their club at the ball. I ask them to place a ball on the ground and then reverse the club so that they are gripping the shaft just forward of the club head. Next, I ask them to set up just as they normally would, with the reversed grip-end of the club pointing at the ball. I want them to swing fast enough so that they can hear the club swoosh through the air at, or just before, the grip points at the ball. If they can do that, then they will be swinging at their maximum swing speed while maintaining their balance and control.
Keep it vertical!
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