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 ofter cause problems. One 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.
Lets 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. Minimizing 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