GOLF DIGEST SCHOOLS

The Science of Speed

1  of  5

Lesson 1: Break Your Misconceptions

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

As the game of golf evolves, more teachers are embracing the effect that science can have on game improvement, particularly when it comes to adding distance. In this video, Golf Digest 50 Best Teacher Michael Jacobs introduces the science of swing speed and discusses how a few myths have created a generation of golfers that tries to produce power in the wrong ways.

SWING THOUGHTS

Picture the club in three links—grip, shaft and head. Transfer speed from grip to head
To store power, move your hands in a straight line away from the target to start the downswing
To apply speed to the ball, swing down so the butt of the grip points between your arms before impact
For a powerful downswing, feel like you're turning your belt buckle into your left thigh

DRILLS

The Lag Drill

  • Take a club in your right hand, and pretend it’s the bow of a violin.
  • Turn to the top of your backswing and rest the shaft on your right shoulder. Slide the shaft toward and away from the target as you would a bow on a violin.
  • This feel of the hands moving in a straight line away from the target at the start of an actual downswing creates clubhead lag, which stores energy. Once you’re comfortable with this hand action, add some hip rotation toward the target. Get used to blending these two moves into your real downswing.
Lesson 2: How to Bomb Your Driver
2 Lesson 2: How to Bomb Your Driver
  • 4 ways to gain distance
  • Training your body to boost speed
  • How to pre-set perfect impact
  • Secrets of the tour release

The Science of Speed

2  of  5

Lesson 2: How to Bomb Your Driver

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Everyone wants to rip the driver down the fairway like the pros do, but what’s the best way to go about it? Swing harder? Swing longer? Lift more weights? The best players in the world have great timing, which is exactly what you need to get longer off the tee. In this video, Michael Jacobs shows you four ways you can hit your driver farther.

SWING THOUGHTS

Pick a pro to emulate. Someone similar to you in height, weight and build
To set up for power, keep your spine in basically a straight line
With the driver, play the ball in line with your front shoulder with your head behind it
Engage your midsection so you can feel the power generated by your legs course through your torso and down the club
A powerful release is two parts: the swing out and the grip twist. At halfway down, start swinging out to the ball and rotating the grip counterclockwise

DRILLS

The Driver Half-Shot

  • Set up as if you were going to hit a normal drive.
  • Swing back and down, stopping just as the club gets to the ball.
  • See what the club would look like and how your body would feel at impact.
  • Hit balls with half-swings and try to repeat those impact keys.
Lesson 3: Hit Your Irons One Club Farther
3 Lesson 3: Hit Your Irons One Club Farther
  • How to swing irons different than driver
  • Squaring the face for a powerful flight
  • Learning to hit down—the right amount
  • Beating that weak shot to the right

The Science of Speed

3  of  5

Lesson 3: Hit Your Irons One Club Farther

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OVERVIEW

How many times have you hit an iron shot, stared it down as it climbed to its apex, only to see it fade off to the right 10 yards short? This can be frustrating, and only makes you less confident with your irons, which are already hard enough to strike purely. In this video, Michael Jacobs shares his tips on how to get the most out of your iron game.

SWING THOUGHTS

Set the grip diagonally across your left hand. When you close your hand on the club, make sure your left thumb is just right of center on the grip
Add your right hand and make sure it’s slightly palm up, then close the hand on the club, covering your left thumb
On an iron backswing, the clubhead stays more in front of your body than the driver
On an iron downswing, the clubface should be slightly turned down toward the ball and the clubhead pitched out in front of your hands

DRILLS

Angle of Attack

  • Get into your iron setup, and move the club into its impact position.
  • From there, take a few small practice swings and just brush the grass, feeling the smooth angle of attack.
  • Then, hit a few balls that way, getting used to feeling a slight brush at impact.
Lesson 4: Effortless Power
4 Lesson 4: Effortless Power
  • Turning effort into clubhead speed
  • How to time everything for impact
  • When slowing down means more distance
  • One drill to check your power positions

The Science of Speed

4  of  5

Lesson 4: Effortless Power

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OVERVIEW

We’ve all watched Ernie Els or Louis Oosthuizen crush a 300-yard drive and thought, “How do they swing so easy and hit it so far?” Most golfers overswing and create a lot of tension when they try for more distance. In this video, Michael Jacobs explains why that is, and how you can fix the sequence of your swing and gain some of that effortless speed.

SWING THOUGHTS

For a powerful downswing, the body slows down as the club speeds up
The downswing power sequence: hips, then upper body, then arms and wrists
For power, turn the body, then use the arms to transfer speed to the club

DRILLS

The Backhand Drill

  • Take your address position without a club.
  • Extend your left hand out as if you’re going to backhand the target.
  • Swing your left arm back, and groove the feel of moving your body into the downswing, then transferring the energy to your arm and hand. Backhand the target.
Lesson 5: Using Research to Swing Faster
5 Lesson 5: Using Research to Swing Faster
  • The secret power skill of tour players
  • How to load up for impact
  • Plugging the worst power leak
  • The power hitter’s move from the top

The Science of Speed

5  of  5

Lesson 5: Using Research to Swing Faster

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In this final video, Michael Jacobs reveals some of the discoveries he and Dr. Steven Nesbit have made doing research on the golf swing. You’ll see where everyday golfers fall short, and why power can be an elusive thing. Here are three of their most interesting findings and the ways in which they can add speed to all of your swings.

SWING THOUGHTS

For power, slow your hands through impact to whip speed out to the club
Shift your body into a deadlift position on the downswing. Your body needs to support the heavy dynamic weight of the club
From the top, push the grip up and away rather than down at the ball

DRILLS

The Javelin Throw

  • Swing to the top, and drop your left hand off the club.
  • With your right arm, feel like you’re throwing a javelin to your right as you start your downswing.
  • Groove this “up and away” feel as you start down in your normal swings.

The Science of Speed

Lesson
1 / 5
Lesson 1: Break Your Misconceptions
2 / 5
Lesson 2: How to Bomb Your Driver
3 / 5
Lesson 3: Hit Your Irons One Club Farther
4 / 5
Lesson 4: Effortless Power
5 / 5
Lesson 5: Using Research to Swing Faster
The Science of Speed INDEX
Lesson 1: Break Your Misconceptions
1/5
Lesson 1: Break Your Misconceptions
  • Learn to increase the speed that matters
  • The right way to start down
  • Common instincts that kill power
  • The keys for center-face strikes
  • Learn to increase the speed that matters
  • The right way to start down
  • Common instincts that kill power
  • The keys for center-face strikes
Lesson 2: How to Bomb Your Driver
2/5
Lesson 2: How to Bomb Your Driver
  • 4 ways to gain distance
  • Training your body to boost speed
  • How to pre-set perfect impact
  • Secrets of the tour release
  • 4 ways to gain distance
  • Training your body to boost speed
  • How to pre-set perfect impact
  • Secrets of the tour release
Lesson 3: Hit Your Irons One Club Farther
3/5
Lesson 3: Hit Your Irons One Club Farther
  • How to swing irons different than driver
  • Squaring the face for a powerful flight
  • Learning to hit down—the right amount
  • Beating that weak shot to the right
  • How to swing irons different than driver
  • Squaring the face for a powerful flight
  • Learning to hit down—the right amount
  • Beating that weak shot to the right
Lesson 4: Effortless Power
4/5
Lesson 4: Effortless Power
  • Turning effort into clubhead speed
  • How to time everything for impact
  • When slowing down means more distance
  • One drill to check your power positions
  • Turning effort into clubhead speed
  • How to time everything for impact
  • When slowing down means more distance
  • One drill to check your power positions
Lesson 5: Using Research to Swing Faster
5/5
Lesson 5: Using Research to Swing Faster
  • The secret power skill of tour players
  • How to load up for impact
  • Plugging the worst power leak
  • The power hitter’s move from the top
  • The secret power skill of tour players
  • How to load up for impact
  • Plugging the worst power leak
  • The power hitter’s move from the top