How to use your body for power

how to use your body for power

In this exclusive video, PGA Professional Rick Shiels explains how to use your body for power in the golf swing for longer straighter drives

How to use your body for power

One of the great things about golf is that you don’t have to be hugely strong in your arms to hit the ball a long way. What is far more important is how efficiently you work your body. Start by setting a stance that is wider than you would have for any other shot. It needs to be wide enough to support your frame and this will help you when it comes to rotating your body.

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As you take the club back, try to make a big upper body turn and allow your hips to rotate to about 45˚. When you get to the top of the backswing, if you have made a good rotation, this position should be very hard to hold. This is because, through a powerful coil, you have created separation between your upper and lower body. This is effectively power that’s stored, to be used in the downswing. Get into the right position at the top and you can then rotate your hips back through and create the power at impact that will send your ball both long and straight.

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1 Too many hinge points

Some players are able to create a full but incredibly weak backswing by allowing their elbows to hinge. If you are also hinging your wrists too much you’ll be missing out on energy that can be stored in the backswing, ready to fire through the ball.

2 Over-rotation

Another position that will rob you of power is if you let your hips turn too much, causing your right leg to lock straight at the top of the backswing. In this instance there is no separation between lower and upper body.

3 No hip turn

The other extreme is when the player fails to turn the hips at all. The right and left leg stay parallel to each other during the backswing. This helps you create ‘resistance’ as you reach the top and it looks strong but it is very difficult to rotate your body back through from here.

Neil Tappin
Neil Tappin

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."


Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X