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BY BRIAN SCHORSTEN
To hit the ball far you must learn how to properly use your body to create power. Most amateurs don’t learn how to use their body early in their golf career because of their lack of clubface control. Swinging the club with an open clubface position could be the easiest way to not only hit body. That being said, if you don’t have a square clubface position master that first before trying this.
The first thing you need is a good setup. A good setup includes aligning your body with your target and getting your body is in a position in which it can move properly to execute the swing. Since I am addressing power let’s talk about your driver setup. You’ll need a wide stance to start.
Next, make sure that your upper body is tilted away from the target and that your head is behind the ball. The upper body tilt is key here since it puts your head behind the ball and it sets up the angle of your body in which you need to rotate around.
Now that you know how your body must be setup we need to discuss how to move your body for power.
Power and energy must be created in the backswing.
Try to get your shoulders rotated so they are turned and pointing behind the ball.
Along with your rotation you also need some weight shift on to your back leg. Most amateurs try and shift all of their weight to the back leg. That’s too much. I recommend about 70% at most.
As soon as you feel the slight majority of weight on your back foot pushing into the ground that’s it. You won’t need more than that. Maintaining the flex in your back leg is vital to supporting the weight you shifted back and stabilizing your body as you’ve rotated back.
The phrase that I use is that you need to get behind the ball on your backswing. To do this it’s a combination of both your weight shift and rotation.
Since you are getting behind the ball there is some movement of your head as well. Your head is positioned behind the ball at setup and it moves slightly back more during the backswing.
Notice my head and chest behind the ball, almost over my right leg.
Most amateurs have the idea that their head must stay still and over the ball.
Although you may still be able to rotate your body with your head still and above the ball, you will lack power in your swing due to the absence of your weight shift.
In any hitting sport you must hit the ball while it is in front of you. This requires you to get your body behind the ball, not on top of it.
Here my weight is on my front leg and my head is in front of the ball.
Learning how to effectively use your body in the backswing to create power is not as hard as it may seem. If you can spend some time working on getting your body behind the ball as I mentioned here, you’ll be able to hit it out of your shadow!
I use the Shadow Drill with my students to show them how to get behind the ball properly. Here’s how to do it.
You’ll need a nice sunny day to find your shadow on the ground. Place a ball on the ground and stand facing the ball so your shadow of your head is on the ball. The ball should be right in the middle of your ears.
At the top of your backswing your shadow should have moved so your head is behind the ball.
Watch your shadow and how it moves as you make practice backswings. If you get your shadow behind the ball you’ve done it correctly. This drill is great because you will be able to feel what you need to do to get your head and body behind the ball, but also get the visual feedback to know that you moved correctly.
Brian Schorsten is a Senior Instruction Writer for Golf Infuzion Magazine.