The Science Of Smash

tee offfA feel-good Friday HELLO to all out there!

So this is my second installment thus far…Its either that I’m definitely taking the process of perfecting my golf game seriously or the blogging bug has bitten me, ha ha.

Last week was an epic game of 18 holes at Sunvalley golf course. There was a slight drizzle but that didn’t affect or slow down the game. I was hesitant approaching the tee for my first swing and thought I was going to wildly slice my first attempt (the kind of thing you see in movies where the ball whacks someones head). Now with confidence I say that didn’t happen. LOL. My direction was quite good and decided I would play it safe for the rest of the course. Through the course I discovered numerous areas where i needed and can improve. Firstly I have to go back to the drawing board on my stances and swing types. With this I will be able to improve on my shot power which I am definitely going to have to rely on for getting a great positioning to the green. My wedging, especially in my short game will also be one of my main focal points going forward. That being said it was awesome being out there. The course is well kept, not too busy, has beautiful scenery and the course its self hosts brilliant competitive play. As an amateur I most enjoyed the fairway areas for each hole, allowing for multiple club shots going to the green. We saw Trevashen “The Sandman” coming out on top. Through his frustration and passion he conquered. Starting off with quite a few slices he concentrated and played par. WELL DONE Gents!

That said, cant wait for the next game!

In this blog post I would like to focus on tips to Amp Up Your Down Swing.

Here are 3 MOVES TO SMASH IT.

downswing-power

To get that seemingly effortless power, professional players aren’t just relying on centrifugal force to sling the club through impact on a single plane. They’re actively torquing—or twisting—the club in three specific ways during the downswing to help produce those high speeds.

To produce peak repeatable speed in a swing, the player needs to use the three torques (or twisting motions) in the correct order and degree. In swing-geek shorthand, we call the torques Alpha, Beta and Gamma, but it might help you to think of them as “Out,” “Over” and “Around,” because that’s how each torque moves the club on the downswing.

These twisting movements are what make a great swing take on its characteristic look. Alpha torque changes the relationship between the club and arms from an L shape at the top of the back-swing to more of an I shape near impact. Beta torque sets the club in the right position in relation to the body during the downswing. Gamma torque helps square the club face. In short, to get from the top to impact powerfully, the club has to move out, over and around—and the three torques make that happen.

Relax—it isn’t as complicated as it might sound. The swing issues you have will dictate the torque (or torques) you need to improve. Start with the simple drill that corresponds to the appropriate torque for your issue, and you’ll be able to add speed to your swing and start consistently smashing the ball.

MAINTAIN YOUR LEVERAGEdownswing-power2

The first torque (Alpha) happens after you move the club down from the top of the backswing to where your left arm is parallel to the ground. It’s the unhinging of your wrists in line with the direction the clubhead is moving, in combination with the extending of your right arm. If you’re a short hitter who struggles to produce good clubhead speed, this torque is where you want to start. Most players either add Alpha torque too early, throwing the clubhead away from the body, or delay the torque too long in a misguided effort to lag the clubhead behind the hands to store more power for the hit.

DRILL: To feel this torque, get in your stance with your right foot about six inches from a wall. From a top of the back-swing position, make a slow downswing until the club head gets to the wall (right). The key to doing it correctly is shifting your lower body to the left while keeping your back turned toward the target enough so you still have leverage to push hard against the wall when the club reaches it. If you hang back on your right side or turn your upper body forward too soon—two common high-handicapper mistakes—you won’t have the leverage to push very hard.

PITCH THE CLUB FLATTERdownswing-power3

The second torque (Beta) is the movement of the club into a flatter position as you get halfway through the downswing. If you tend to get too steep or over the top, here’s where you want to focus. In a good downswing, the lower body shifts left and then the upper body turns and pushes into the left arm, which pitches the club into a slightly flatter, more horizontal position. From there, you can turn hard and use the right side of your body to produce extra speed. As your hands move closer to your body near impact, the club whips in line with your left arm—the bit of turbocharging at the bottom that tour players use to get extra distance.

DRILL: Set up with a mirror behind you, on the target line, and make a chest-high back-swing. Your right elbow should be higher than your left, the butt of the club pointing just inside the ball, and your weight shifted to the right (right, top). From there, flow into the beginning of a downswing by pushing off your right foot, hovering your hands in place. Feel the turning of your chest causing your right arm to work under your left arm, the shaft laying down and the butt of the club pointing outside the ball (right, bottom).

TWIST THE FACE SQUAREdownswing-power4

Of the three torques, the third (Gamma) is the simplest. It’s the twisting of the grip to open and close the club face. If you hit a slice, you need to twist the club more coming down. Most players don’t know they’re supposed to do this—or, if they do, they’ve turned the club so far open on the back-swing that they can’t get it back to square at impact.

DRILL: To get a visual cue that shows how this torque works, tape a drinking straw along the bottom groove on the club face of a middle iron so half the straw sticks out past the toe. With a mirror behind you, on the target line, swing down until you see the shaft covering your right forearm. At that point, the straw should be pointing straight up (right, top). Move back and forth from this position down to where impact would be, twisting the shaft so the straw points at 45 degrees when your hands get to thigh high (right, bottom) and straight away from you at impact. A club’s loft can make the face look more open than it is, but the straw shows whether you’ve squared it.

Now get out there and try this – TILL THE NEXT TIME AMIGOS 🙂

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