Power From The Start

December 15, 2013

More distance is what every golfer wants. But many of you make a move at the very beginning of the swing that guarantees you won't hit it very far. Starting the club back quickly to the inside causes you to run out of room, so you have to lift it to complete the backswing. That sets up a reverse weight shift, where your weight goes to your front foot on the backswing and your back foot on the downswing. Falling away from the ball is no way to hit it hard. The fix is easy: Swing the clubhead back straighter. Your weight will naturally shift to your back foot, so you can drive forward and smash it.



Picture your arms and chest forming a triangle at address. Your goal for the first few feet of the swing should be to maintain that triangle. Any quick move to the inside or lifting of the club disrupts it. I hear people talking about making a big shoulder turn or weight shift to create power. It's amazing that if you get the club moving back in a one-piece takeaway, you'll set up all you need for power.



The golf swing is not a right-handed action or a left-handed action. The hands must work together, and it starts with the grip. For righties, with your left arm hanging by your side, grip the club with your left hand. That side position will get the grip down in the fingers. Then add your right hand so your palms are parallel to each other. You should see two knuckles on your left hand when you look down. Now your hands can work as a team.

Butch Harmon, a Golf Digest Teaching Professional, runs the Butch Harmon School of Golf, at Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nev.