Hey, Team Titleist!
We've had our first snowfall here in Fairhaven, MA and it got me thinking about winter training. For those of you who, like me, are about to be snow-bound, I have a great drill that you can do both indoors and outdoors to help you develop proper weight shift, lag on the downswing and a better release through impact. I first learned about this drill from Chuck Quentin, the founder of Rotary Swing Golf, an instructional site that's helped me immensely.
You've probably heard at some point that the body motion in the golf swing is a lot like skipping a stone or like the submarine throwing motion of a shortstop turning a double play in baseball. It is. You shift your weight from your back foot to your lead foot as you pivot. The hips turn to initiate a chain of sequencing, followed by your shoulders, arms and finally, the hands.
The problem is, trying to hit a golf ball using your dominant, trailing arm to lead the action can cause lots of problems (coming over the top and casting to name a few). Most of us play right handed with our non-dominant left arm as the leading arm. And that's the arm that needs to be trained for most of us.
The Frisbee drill does just that.
Make a few tosses with a flying disc using your dominant hand, just like you'd normally play catch. Get a sense of how your body naturally moves - how your weight shifts as you make a little step towards your target, the smooth unwinding of your hips, the looseness in your arm and the easy release of your wrist as you flick the disc toward the target.
Now make a few throws using your non-dominant hand. It'll be awkward at first, but try to feel the same sensations.
After a few tosses, get into your golf posture and throw the Frisbee into the ground. Look at the spot where the golf ball would be at address (you can even put a ball down if it helps), but focus on throwing the Frisbee on or just beyond the ball, skipping it off the ground on your target line.
As you get more comfortable with the drill, notice how your chest is facing the "ball" at impact. Notice how "on-top of the ball" your body feels, how soft your left wrist feels and how easily your left arm accelerates past the ball after you let go of the Frisbee. Your shoulders and the right side of your body should feel very passive. If your shoulders get out of sequence and spin out (like you would in an over-the-top move) the Frisbee will fly way out beyond your target line.
As a final step, set up the same way but now hold a golf club in your left hand only. Make some practice swings and try to replicate the feel you had throwing the Frisbee into the ground. You'll experience great lag and an effortless, powerful release if you shift your weight and let the smooth unwinding of your hips (not your shoulders and arms) lead the action. You're on your way to a better downswing.
Good luck! Hope you enjoy the drill and please share any drills you know of that we can work on this winter.
And as always, please let us know if there are any other areas of your game that you're struggling with. We have a great network of experts throughout the TT community who can help get your game back on track!
Some other tips you might enjoy:
The Mental Mulligan
Chip Like You Putt
Practice Under Pressure with “21”