124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

Approach Shots

Compress Your Irons

February 07, 2017

Photo by Nathaniel Welch

You might be surprised to learn that your swing has something in common with mine. Just like you, I sometimes struggle to complete my backswing before starting my downswing.

I know a lot of amateurs make a short-and-quick backswing, never really loading up, and that causes the downswing to be out of sync and powerless. Believe me, I work on loading on the way back quite a bit and have played my best in the past year or so because of it. So my advice is, spend some time working on powering up your swing. Learn how to create and store energy, so when it's time to hit the shot, you can go hard and really attack the ball. Let me show you how. —with Ron Kaspriske

As I take the club back, I feel weight shifting into the inside portion of my right foot, by the heel (see above left). Also, and this is the key, I can feel the glute muscles on the right side of my butt contracting. If you lift weights, it kind of feels like a deadlift. I keep turning until those glutes are fully loaded. Doesn't matter how much the torso rotates or where the clubhead is. Don't worry about that. Your backswing ends when the glutes are fully loaded. Now you're ready to go.


Get the transition into the downswing right, and you can go as hard as you want at the ball. As your backswing ends, make a lateral shift with your lower body toward the target. Feel your weight move into the heel of your left foot. Footwork is important. Without lurching out of your posture, push into the ground. Feel planted and then just let the club fire through the ball. Simple, right? A great cadence to remember is "load and go." Now go hit 'em flush.

Kevin Chappell, 30, is in his seventh season on the PGA Tour. He had four runner-up finishes during the 2016 season.