By Tom Clarke
Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach Keith Williams has some golf swing speed tips to increase your power to help you reach more par 5's in two.
Golf swing speed tips video
Impressive power requires good technique and there are a few important elements to a powerful golf swing but for me the most important is a sound body movement. If you’re lacking distance, this is the first place to look as your body is the engine of the swing. I would always encourage any golfer to think about how their core muscles are working in the golf swing to generate power - this will get your hands moving faster without you having to hit the ball any harder. The result? More distance without a loss of accuracy.
A great drill to test whether you’re getting the most from the engine of your swing is to place the shaft of your driver behind your back.
Set an alignment stick on the ground marking the middle of your stance (you can use another club for this).
The aim is simply to rotate your upper body until the shaft behind your back is parallel to the alignment stick on the ground.
You might not have the flexibility to make this happen, but don’t worry, make as big a turn as you can.
Your lower body provides the resistance against which your upper body turns. Hold your top of backswing position and feel the coil – this is stored power, ready to be unleashed.
Using your levers
Your wrists and elbows are the levers in the swing that will deliver crucial clubhead speed through impact.
However, many amateurs waste potential power because they aren’t using their levers properly – here’s an effective drill.
Hold your driver parallel to the ground with a split grip as I’m doing here. Now start your backswing.
You should notice that your left arm remains fully extended as your right arm folds. The angle in your right elbow is released through impact adding power just when you need it most. Use this drill to check that you’re using your right elbow to deliver genuine power
To hit the ball a good distance you need the strength in your core and arms to control the clubhead. For a lot of amateurs it’s this, as opposed to the technique, that’s holding them back.
If you fall into this category, try this drill. Tape three £1 coins to the bottom of a mid iron and then make a series of swings. The more swings you make, the more you’ll develop the important muscles behind long hitting.
Find the lag
The next time you’re watching tournament golf, take a moment to look at Spanish star Sergio Garcia.
He has the most wonderful lag in the downswing, which delivers fantastic clubhead speed. From the top of the backswing your arms should drop down, but, crucially, real power hitters increase the angle between the shaft and left forearm by allowing their wrists to hinge a little more on the way down. This is lag and creating lag is something all powerful hitters do.
As this extra angle is released through impact, it generates huge clubhead speed. Take the time to familiarise yourself with this movement, and then hit shots on the range with this in mind – it’s well worth the effort to get it right.
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