If I had a nickel for every time someone asked us how to get more leverage (and thus distance) in their swing, I’d be RICH!!!!
Thought I’d write this month’s etip about a few drills to help gain and/or check leverage in your golf swing. Also, if interested, please see Volume #2 of our 7 Principles of Golf Improvement Series for more detailed information on this topic.
1. As stated many, many times before, you can not start discussing leverage angles without first discussing the proper grip. I am not going to go into detail about the grip in this etip (as we have discussed for the past few months), but be assured, if you do not have a good grip, you will struggle trying to acquire and maintain leverage angles in your swing. Advanced Grip Instruction
2. Next, you must also check your set up position. If you set up is not correct, it will lead to an improper start and back swing and thus you will be “fighting” getting the club on plane which will hinder leverage angles. Setup Instruction
Now let’s focus on a few drills that will help with your leverage angles:
Leverage Bag Drill: (The “oldie” but “goodie”). This is still the best way to work on leverage in your golf swing.
- Use a leverage bag, pillow, old tire (as Ben Hogan did) and set in the position where the edge of the bag is where the ball would be in your stance.
- Take the club back to parallel to the ground (about waist high).
- Take slow, easy backswings to the parallel position, and hit the bag from that position.
- When hitting the bag, keep the lower body VERY still, head over the back knee and both knees flexed.
- Work from the parallel position and try to hit the bag with a louder “pop” each time. The louder the “pop” the more leverage in your swing.
- You will see as your leverage angles increase, so will increase in “pop” (impact) of the bag. You will quickly see as your hands lead the swing and thus your leverage angles increase, so will your distance of your shots.
- First – paint a straight line on the ground (recommend using a yard stick for a guide) a couple feet long, perpendicular to your target line.
- Stand perpendicular to the painted line and set up to the line with a golf club.
- Take a few swings trying to take a divot just in front of the line. Try not to hit the line, but taking a divot as close to the line as possible.
- Now, after you are able to take divots just in front of the line, place a few golf balls on the painted line.
- Hit the balls. With proper leverage angles through impact, you should be able to hit the balls taking divots just in front of the line.
- Remember, a proper divot starts just in front of the golf ball. You make impact with ball, pinching it into the ground, thus causing spin and lift on the ball.
- See Volume #2 of the 7 Principles Series for a more detailed explanation of this drill.
Line Drill in Bunker:
- This is the same drill as described above, except draw a line in the bunker (no need for paint).
- For all those who have a hard time getting the ball out of the bunker with consistency, this is usually the problem – poor leverage angles.
- Place the ball about 1/4 inch in front of the line in the sand if you want to practice hitting balls out of the sand.
- See Volume #3 of the 7 Principles Series for a more detailed explanation of this drill.
Pump Drill: (Another “oldie” but “goodie”).
- Most everyone has heard about the pump drill, but we have seen, if done wrong it can do more damage than good….
- Set up to a ball (or no ball).
- Take the club to the top of the swing, slow and easy.
- Bring the club down (down swing), slow and easy until the club is parallel to the ground.
- Push the hands as far forward as you can, NOT allowing the club to drop below parallel.
- For some, your hands will get to body center or even more forward, for others, a little short of this position.
- Keep working this drill as it stretches your wrists, etc. and will get you the feeling of a good leveraged position just prior to impact.
- VERY IMPORTANT!!!! When setting up, check the location of your hands. When performing the leverage drill, DO NOT pump your hands higher than this set up position. Either pump to the original set up position or inside. If you pump above the set up position of your hands, you will be promoting an “outside /in” shaft path prior to impact (or a cut).
- This is a good drill, if done properly, do slow and check hand positions often.
It is good to work on leverage angles, but very difficult to think about these during the full swing. As the swing occurs so fast, it is basically impossible to “hold these angles” longer. To gain more leverage, work on the drills slow and easy until they become a “natural” part of your swing. Please see our next Etip Update for more detailed information on leverage angles.