By Ron Kaspriske
Last week, athletic performance advisor Tom House introduced the concept that in order to swing the golf club faster, you first have to learn how to stop it at faster speeds. You can read what he said here.
This week, House introduces the second key to swinging faster. You have to be able to not only move your lower body independently of your trunk, and vice versa, but coordinate these moves. If you look at the swing sequence article that starts the Lesson Tee of Golf Digest each month--Billy Horschel's swing is examined in the October issue--you'll see that as the trunk is still turning away from the target at the top of the backswing when the lower body starts moving toward it. You need strength, flexibility and athletic coordination to pattern this change of direction, but it's absolutely essential to generating the "whip-like action" that increases clubhead speed.
"There's a term that describes the order of the downswing and it's called the kinematic sequence," House says. "While you don't need to know that, you do need to know that your lower body should start moving toward the target first, followed by the trunk, then the arms and then the club. If you get this order right, you'll be able to generate a lot of power."
Why the lower body first? It's because of something House calls "ground-force production." When your lower body starts toward the target, it's pushing into the ground. Since the ground is solid, that force transfers back into the body and moves through it in the kinematic sequence until it finally disperses into the hit.
In the October issue of Golf Digest, House gives you one of the best drills to not only to train the lower and upper body to rotate independently and in opposite directions, but also how to use the ground as leverage. Try the karaoke drill explained here and see if it helps you generate more clubhead speed.
FLEXIBILITY AND COORDINATION
1. Do karaoke drills. Stand tall with your arms in a goal-post position. Cross your right foot behind your left, and step to the side with your left foot. Cross your right foot in front of your left, and step again to the side with your left foot. Continue this alternating pattern as you move laterally to the left for 10 to 20 yards. Then reverse the footwork and move laterally to the right. Your upper body should stay facing forward as much as possible. Start slow, but eventually you'll want to do this drill at a brisk pace. This improves your ability to rotate your torsos and sequence a golf swing properly.
Next week, House will explain the third and final step to hitting the ball farther.
Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor for Golf Digest.
Follow @Ron Kaspriske
(Illustration by Thomas Fuchs, exercises by Kagan McLeod)