December 12, 2018 at 02:05 PM
By Rick V., Team Titleist Staff
Rick V., Team Titleist StaffDuxbury, MA
Hey Team Titleist, It looks like our recent cold snap here in the Northeast is here to stay, so I’ve started to think about off-season training. A quick review of my play in 2018 revealed a few trouble areas, but there was one shortcoming that I’d like to reverse right away - I’ve lost a foot or two off my fastball. Normally, I’m not one to worry about distance, but this year I noticed that this slight drop-off was causing me to over-swing. And you can guess what pearls that produced. Yep, wild offline shots that were somehow even shorter. So, my goal this winter is to regain enough strength, flexibility, form and speed so that swinging within myself feels okay again and produces acceptable results. To reach this goal I’ll focus on four areas: technique, speed training, pliability and strength training. I also just upgraded to a TS driver and fairway metal, so I know I'll have technology on my side, too.For technique, I’ll rely on the guidance of Skip Guss, a great PGA instructor here in Massachusetts (and a frequent contributor on Team Titleist) to help me build a more efficient and better-sequenced swing. For speed, pliability and strength training I’ll be tackling a number of exercises and drills that can all be done indoors, including one speed drill that I’d like to share below.
Light = Fast One of the first training aids ever used by golfers was a weighted golf club. The extra weight builds strength and teaches you how to recruit bigger muscles to power your swing. Certainly a great tool, but there’s some new thinking that to build speed it helps to train with speed, so an alternative or complimentary approach is to swing something very light. I’ll be using a spare driver shaft without a club head, but you can use an alignment stick or even turn a club upside down and swing the grip end.I like to swing the shaft a foot or so above the ground, but it’s good to make some horizontal, baseball swings, too. Start slowly and focus on the “whoosh” sound. You want the whoosh to be loudest just after the point where the ball would be relative to your stance. Swing repeatedly, building up speed each time, until you make the whoosh as loud as possible past “impact”. In order to reach your maximum speed you should feel your legs and hips starting the downswing. Your arms and hands should stay passive, following the lower body and releasing the shaft at the last moment.Now repeat the same sequence with a golf club, listening for the sound of the club head past impact and trying to make your loudest whoosh just after the ball. Build up speed gradually from swing to swing, replicating the feel you had with the light shaft. If you have a hitting net or can get outside, a great bonus step is to hit a golf shot, focusing on reproducing the same feel you created in the practice swings. We’d like to hear about your winter training plans, too. Do you have any drills that you’ll be working on this off-season? Please share your favorites in the comments section below. Thanks!
Hari S.Medicine Hat,
My instructors gave me some things to work on to help and understand my swing path. Drop 3 coins, one close to you, one in the middle and one outside of the other 2. Set up with your stance and place your club behind the middle coin. Swing and hit the inside first. Set up with club behind the middle coin again. Swing and now hit the outside coin. Set up again with club behind the middle and hit the middle coin. It's interesting and odd but it does help with my inside to out. Of course i'm hitting this soft coins up against my curtain when the wife isn't home ;) Also, a lot of stretching to work on my hip mobility and putting. Always putting.... Thanks for the tip Rick! I like it and will look into that as well.
Lary HPittsburg, KS
Darryl MWichita, KS
Chuck ZMt Pleasant, SC
Don OMadison, WI
Steve NChapin, SC
Jim GWilsonville, OR
Kirk EMurfreesboro, TN
Pete K-KPhoenix, AZ
Wade WRoanoke, VA
Barry BLake St Louis, MO
David HCovington, LA
December 17, 2018 at 11:39 PM
I have left shoulder rotator cuff early January. I have had this surgery twice on right shoulder.
I hope to be back hitting balls in May. However, my greatest concern & scariest part of the process is the nerve block. The last time I wound up with something called long thoracic nerve palsy.
Signed scared to death but ROM is very limited - why my short game improved greatly last summer.
N Anthony SPortland, OR
Donald KRockford, IL
Mark GBloomington, IN
Kemp EChapel Hill, NC
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