A Guide To Power In Your Golf Swing (With 7 Ways To Add It)

by Steve | Last Updated: 8 January 2021
power in the golf swing

Driving the golf ball further is something almost all golfers aspire to improve.

As long as your aim is on point, it’s time to add some power to your golf swing, and we’ve got several ways you can do that by identifying where the power is in the golf swing and taking advantage of it.

The power in a golf swing comes from a) the centrifugal force of the clubhead, b) the speed of the clubhead building momentum, c) the rotating force of the torso and arms pulling the club through an elliptical path.

But the overall power comes from the relative momentum and speed of the club head upon impact with the golf ball.

Building good smooth momentum throughout a golf swing while aligning the club-face to intended target at impact at just the right angle is why golf is one of the most challenging sports to play.

But fear not, we’re going to talk today about where that power comes from and how we can improve it in our game.

So, stay with me, and let’s jump onto our metaphorical course, shall we?

How Golf Swing Power Works

Many golf professionals have varying opinions on the origin of power within the golf swing.

  • Some say that it comes from your upper body’s rotation.
  • Some say that it comes from the snap of your wrists just before the ball impact.
  • Some even say that power comes from the strength you swing the club.

But the truth is that power comes from a combination of factors, all working together to create the overall golf swing.

There are several elements to the golf swing that play a role in determining the overall golf swing’s power.

Let’s look at seven tips to improve your golf swing power, relating to the swing elements that affect the overall outcome.

golf ball placement grid in relation to the stance

Ensure ball placement is correct for your shot

When you’re setting yourself up for the shot, it’s critical to ensure the ball placement is correct. If we’re talking about a driver, then the ball should be out far enough to satisfy the club’s lie angle and your swing posture comfort.

The ball should line up with your leading foot’s inside edge for a long drive (more or less). This sort of ball placement ensures that the clubface will have an excellent forward and upward angle when it hits the ball.

If you place the ball too close to your rear foot on a drive, the club head won’t be facing up enough when you hit the ball. It will cause the ball to stay too low to get any real distance.

Although this tip doesn’t directly affect the actual power, it positively affects whether your power is wasted all together or not.

For more information about correct golf ball placement, please read our article Mastering Golf Ball Placement In Stance (A Coaching Guide).

Why A Shallow Golf Swing

Keep the swing shallow, not steep

A lot of golfers have a problem with not keeping their trailing elbow tucked in. If you tuck in your trailing elbow on the downswing, it will help your swing maintain a shallow orbit.

If you swing too steep, there will again be problems with the club head’s angle when it strikes the ball. It again would waste the power of the shot, so although not directly affecting power, it directly affects the outcome of a powerful shot.

For more info read our article Why A Shallow Golf Swing

Posture In The Putting Stroke

Watch Your Posture

Posture is a leading contender for adding power to your swing. Correct posture allows you to take advantage of the momentum and fluid motion (we’ll get to that below).

Posture isn’t just how you stand or rotate your body, as many golfers assume. When relating to a golf swing, posture can mean anything from how you hold your upper body in the downswing to whether or not you lift your head early.

Lifting your head too soon will cause you to lift your club also; it can mean you hit the top of the ball instead of making good contact behind it.

Rotate Hips First, Shoulders Second

Speaking of posture, many golfers rotate their entire body at once. It is not the best way to increase power or to have a good swing.

Some of the world’s best golfers show that the golf swing starts with a rotation of the hips and follows with the shoulders and upper body’s rotation.

The sequential rotation of the body aids in speeding up the club during the downswing and increases power to it.

The hips’ initial twist while the arms are pulling the club down and around begins supercharging the clubhead with momentum. The following shoulder and upper body rotation, pour gas on the fire of your swing like a booster rocket on a spaceship.

Become More Consistent

Here is Rich with a couple of tips that will help you become more consistent as you search for more power

Complete your swing

If you are one of those golfers that halts your swing early, then you need to try to stop doing that as soon as possible.

To gain the most power from your golf swing, a proper and complete follow through on the downswing must be a part of the golf swing.

Without a proper and complete follow-through, you’ll tend to slow the club’s momentum, and this can wreak havoc on your swing’s power

Whip The Club With A Hinged Wrist

Much of the golf swing’s power comes in the last few feet of the golf club head path just before striking the ball.

The moment in the swing is when the body has twisted around and is starting to twist toward the target as your arms pull the club through its final stage before impact.

In the downswing, we pull the club down and through its rotational path. But just before the impact, try hinging the wrist and using that hinge to drive an extra snap into the final few feet before impact.

I like to think of this as a whip. The cracking of a whip is the fastest and most powerful point of the path of the whip of travel.

If we treat the golf club in the same fashion, then using our wrists to crack the whip (so to speak) in the final stage before striking the ball can dramatically increase club speed and thus swing power.

Stay Fluid

I love to share this little video because it holds to golf just as it does to martial arts. Here is the famous Bruce Lee talking about fluid motion of the body.

The lesson here is that a rigid, cramped body will produce a rigid and cramped swing. Bruce Lee was one of the greatest martial artists of all time, and he was able to master his craft with years of practice and philosophy of motion that allowed him to do feats that us mere mortals would watch in awe.

A master golfer will produce the same sort of awe when you watch their golf swing. The best golfers in the world make it look so easy, so natural, and so fluid that you would think that it’s just about the easiest thing in the world.

Maintaining a fluid motion to your golf swing is one of the critical elements of adding power.

True, you need to maintain a certain level of strength in your swing, but you should never try to kill the ball.

If your swing flows with a natural fluidity, your power will naturally increase with the golf swing’s faster and more fluid motion.

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WANT TO HIT THE BALL FURTHER OFF THE TEE

Could your leading arm be the key to greater distance and creating that all important soft draw to help get more yardage?

I believe this simple piece of advice could help get you on the way to realizing your true potential when hitting your woods from the tee box.

The advice is simple but the implementation of it could prove to give you a whole new feeling to your motion.  This is a good thing as it ensures you are doing something different and implementing a change for the good. 

Pulling the Driver out the bag often instantly affects the way in which we swing the club. Mentally you know you are trying to hit the ball a long distance and your body starts to prepare for this power hit. This engagement into the act of hitting it big will often cause problems. 

One problem is the amount of body tension you start to build up and possible shallow breathing which is high into the chest.

With this kind of red mist syndrome, just becoming intent on smashing the ball out of sight and you immediately create an opposite effect and actually start to lose power even before you have attempted to hit the ball. 

The body tension will cause a tighter grip pressure and tighter fore-arms. 

The high chest will restrict upper body rotation.

Let’s look at these in more detail.

Firstly breathing high into the chest, as opposed to belly breathing, restricts the amount of rotation your torso can make during the back swing. 

Minimising this rotation reduces power that is derived from the body turn as its speed is also much slower. As the top half of your body is so tense its synchronicity with the lower half (the legs) diminishes.

Its very easy for the lower half to get ahead and power through the shot well before the upper body. Often resulting in wild shots to the left and right as the upper body gets left behind.

Secondly the tight grip and forearm muscles will allow the leading arm to rest well against the wall of your chest on the back swing and as you start the down swing this will only get worse.

The club and arms lag well behind the chest and accentuates the wild shots even more.  In essence too much grip and body tension is a sure power and accuracy killer.

So how do you fix this.

Well its quite simple really. 

Try to breath deep into your belly whilst on the tee box preparing for your shot. This will help to keep your torso relaxed. 

Keep your grip pressure firm enough to keep hold of the club but at the same time relaxed enough to freely move the wrists.

Finally keep the leading arm relaxed as you make your swing. 

Golfers are generally very aware for the need to keep their front arm straight throughout the first half of their swing to maintain radius.

Unfortunately this is often overdone and the arm becomes locked out and completely poker straight. Which only adds extra tension! 

This arm should only remain comfortably straight with in fact a very small bend to it, almost forming a slight crescent shape.

This position will still maintain the swings radius, reduce arm tension and help to synchronize the arm and torso movement. 

An added benefit of having relaxed arms will be that the forearms are free to naturally rotate on the downswing promoting a draw shape to the shot, adding yardage to your drive!

Happy Golfing

Rich and Steve Signature Image
Steve King, the founder of Fore King Golf, started playing golf at the tender age of 29, after years spent playing many other sports and getting dodgy knees. Although late to the game, Steve soon fell in love with the sport and found himself, like many others, addicted to the pursuit of improvement and playing better. He is currently a member of The Kendleshire Golf Club & Hercules Golf Society, as well as running several competitions for Fore King Golf