Hello Golfers! This week we have a question from Kelly in Edmonds. She states that she hits the ball fairly straight but it doesn’t go very far and doesn’t get very high off the ground. This is a very common problem among golfers. Height and distance are products of clubhead speed and load. The faster the clubhead, the farther the ball will go.
To increase speed without losing control, the swing needs to be wider and longer. Do not swing harder. Swinging harder will actually make the swing narrow and almost guarantee a mishit. Load is the amount of potential energy that is created when you hinge your wrists on the backswing. The more hinge, the more load that is created and transferred to the ball at impact.
The most important thing to remember about load is that you cannot release that hinge too early. If you do, then all the potential energy is gone by the time you get to impact. This is what is known as casting.
To help with load there are two items to work on. The first is to make a correct hinge on the backswing. Try this when you are addressing the ball. Hinge the club upward so that the shaft is parallel to the ground using just your wrists. This is your hinge. The amount of hinge will depend on the flexibility in your wrists. Do this several times before every swing to build muscle memory. On the backswing when your hands are about hip high, hinge the club just like you did at address. Continue to turn your shoulders until you have completed your backswing. The second item to work on is to not release the club early. Swing the club up to the top of your backswing and stop. From this point start to uncoil your body to start your downswing. As you start the downswing feel the end of the club handle drop to the ball not the club head.
If you can keep the hinge for the first foot of the downswing, the momentum of the swing will help you keep it until impact. Not only will this help with height but it will help with speed. The fastest part of your swing is when you release the club. If the release of the club is early, then all your speed is gone and there is not much left to hit the ball with.
This will be the last installment of this article for the season and I just wanted to thank everyone for their interest and questions. I hope the articles have helped improve your game. By all means continue to e-mail your questions over the winter and I will do what I can to help.
Tyrone Hardy is the co-owner and director of golf at Ballinger Lake Golf Course in Mountlake Terrace. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.