How to Generate Power in a Golf Swing

By Brian Hill

Golfers seek to increase swing power for the practical reason that hitting the ball farther can help lower your score. Instead of having a difficult 3-iron shot to a green, you could have a shorter and more manageable 8-iron shot. Power also has a psychological benefit in golf. If you consistently hit the ball past your opponent, he may begin to swing harder in an effort to keep up – and therefore lose accuracy on his shots.

Use practice drills to increase clubhead speed. The instruction book "Private Lessons" suggests swinging a golf club shaft without a clubhead attached. This lighter "club" will speed up your muscles' reaction time and help you learn how to maximize swing speed at the bottom of the swing – right at impact.

Experiment with your feet alignment. In his book, "My Golden Lessons," golf legend Jack Nicklaus writes that small adjustments in how you position your feet can help you get more body coil on the backswing, generating additional power for the downswing. Try turning your right foot out more at address. Nicklaus also recommends a stance with the left foot turned out to a 45-degree angle and the right foot slightly forward to create an open stance. He believes these adjustments helped him uncoil his hips faster.

Brace the right knee. Flex your right knee at address and apply pressure to the ground on the inside of the right foot during the backswing. This creates resistance that is released on the downswing. Swaying to the outside of the right foot is a major cause of power loss.

Create a wider swing arc. Nicklaus recommends full extension of the club away from the body on the backswing – not merely picking the club up with the hands. He accomplishes this by starting the clubhead, hands, arms and shoulders moving back in one piece, slowly, for the first few feet of the swing. To achieve full extension, he moves his arms as far away from his body as he can without moving his head. He also strives to extend fully through the ball after impact.

Lead with your feet on the downswing. Start the downswing by replanting the left heel, then rolling the right and left ankles toward the target line. This will pull the knees in the same direction and facilitate a powerful hip rotation. Nicklaus discovered that foot action is key to creating the leverage needed to get the clubhead moving at maximum speed at contact.

Develop a stronger release. Two components of a powerful downswing are the rotation of the right forearm over the left, and the unhinging of the wrists – which were hinged during the backswing. Maintain the cocked position of the wrists as long as you can, until the club is almost at impact.

About the Author

Brian Hill is the author of four popular business and finance books: "The Making of a Bestseller," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital," "Attracting Capital from Angels" and his latest book, published in 2013, "The Pocket Small Business Owner's Guide to Business Plans."

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