6 Drills To Help Women Play Better Golf

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Katie Dawkins shares some drills she uses with her female pupils to help them level up

PGA pro Katie Dawkins demonstrating some golf drills
(Image credit: Andy Dow (@adpy_sports))

Some drills come along and you wonder where they’ve been all your golfing life. I use a number to fix some of the biggest mistakes female golfers make and it really depends on which one fits the player best.

There are multiple ways to improve but I found most success with drills that help a player really feel the difference… or indeed see it. Most women I coach would love to see more power in their golf swings. We aren’t as naturally strong in the upper body as men but often it’s what you do with what you’ve got that makes the difference. 

Many women I coach struggle to utilise their wrists correctly and create torque in their backswings. The arms swing too far back and take over, so the golfer never benefits from the powerful moves created when the upper body rotates against the lower.

Here are a few drills that I love and all of them result in effortless power. The focus is without the hit, because by taking the ball out of the equation we often move more effectively.

Throw some energy into the mix

PGA pro Katie Dawkins throwing a bag into a car boot

(Image credit: Andy Dow (@adpy_sports))

This one is a simple warm-up drill to activate your muscles correctly. Open the boot of your car, stand as if the boot is your target and you’re going to hit a ball at it, and take a hold of your shoe or kit bag and throw it into the boot. Do this multiple times feeling like you really drive from the ground up a bit like you’re passing a rugby ball.

Stretch for width

This drill doubles up as a really great stretch to do once you’ve warmed your muscles up. Take the club and hold it along the shaft, arms apart. Adopt your golf posture and simply turn your back to your target, keeping the club in front of your chest. 

The feeling this gives is that the body is more in the driving seat. It increases torque a bit like pulling an elastic band back, delivering that sought-after width we want to see in the golf swing. The downswing will react to this winding up and unwind from the ground up, delivering some well-earned power through the ball. 

Folded elbow drill

PGA pro Katie Dawkins demonstrating a drill to help golfers improve

(Image credit: Andy Dow (@adpy_sports))

Many golfers wonder how long your backswing should be and find their swing has a little bit of extra length that doesn’t need to be there. To help feel a shorter swing I love the elbow-fold backswing drill for more power, as it also keeps the swing on plane for longer and hones a connected sensation. When you swing the club and your elbow flies at the top you really feel it.

L-to-L

Wrist hinge in the golf swing is a big talking point in many of my lessons with women. A lack of it is often the reason for missing power and a collapsed lead arm. To waken up your hinge hit shots on the range that are simply L-to-L, like a pitch shot. You can do this with most clubs and when you see how far the ball goes with just this miniaturised swing you’ll be amazed. 

PGA pro Katie Dawkins hitting a pitch shot on a golf course

(Image credit: Andy Dow (@adpy_sports))

This is the road to a more efficient move. An indoor version of this drill sees you gripping right down the club providing you with a mini iron with a lot of excess. Have this excess shaft poking out in front of your line of play. Make mini swings with this and you’ll see yourself make a T shape. There’s your wrist hinge. 

Your iron shots will improve and you’ll achieve more distance with less effort. Sounds good to me. 

Grip it and whip it

Turning your driver upside down and holding it with just your trail hand, stand and make one armed swings above the ground, really whipping the club through to a finish. You will hear the noise is POWER. This should be happening through the area of impact where the ball would normally be.

PGA pro Katie Dawkins swinging a golf club

(Image credit: Andy Dow (@adpy_sports))

If you are guilty of casting in the golf swing, your whipping sound will happen nearer your ears rather than down at the ball. So it’s a really simple drill and you’ll HEAR if you’re doing it right. Once you’ve mastered it with one hand, which will feel a bit like skimming a stone, add the other hand, gripping very lightly in the fingers and really giving it a good old whoosh.

When you go back to holding the club the right way round, you should have a better feeling of where both hands should be releasing for maximum power. 

Get physical

The golf swing is all about physical movement and getting that movement in the right sequence. Kill two birds with one stone and work with a PT who is a golf biomechanic or TPI instructor and who can teach you how to move properly and fire up. Some speed will do your golf swing the world of good without you having to even think about it. 

There are so many drills that will help your game. Every golfer is different. Everyone has different physical limitations and abilities so it’s definitely worth visiting your PGA professional for a lesson and a bit of an MOT on the swing, before the season really gets going. 

Katie Dawkins
Advanced PGA Professional and freelance contributor

Katie is an Advanced PGA professional with over 20 years of coaching experience. She helps golfers of every age and ability to be the best versions of themselves. In January 2022 she was named as one of Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches.


Katie coaches the individual and uses her vast experience in technique, psychology and golf fitness to fix problems in a logical manner that is effective - she makes golf simple. Katie is now based on the edge of the New Forest. An experienced club coach, she developed GardenGOLF during lockdown and as well as coaching at Hamptworth Golf Club she freelances, operating via pop-up clinics and travelling to clients homes to help them use their space to improve. 


She has coached tour pros on both LET tour and the Challenge Tour as well as introduced many a beginner to the game. 


Katie has been writing instructional content for magazines for 20 years. Her creative approach to writing is fuelled by her sideline as an artist.