From the Magazine
Try this drill to hit more bombs, and crank up your backswing
IAIN HIGHFIELD, a Golf Digest Best Young Teacher, is director of the KOHR Golf Academy in Natick, Mass.
Hitting ball after ball on the range, working on something specific, is not going to help you retain that skill over time. Several top motor-learning specialists believe the best way to practice and improve on a skill is to lose the feeling of the desired swing change you’re trying to make—and then recalling it.
Here is a drill for swing speed I learned from leading golf-biomechanics researcher Sasho MacKenzie. After you get loose, make five driver swings taking the club back as fast as you can. Really crank it back. Then hit a drive using that super-fast backswing. I bet you generate a lot more speed than you usually do.
This technique works because the faster you swing the club back, the harder you have to work to start the downswing. You have to apply a high amount of force to the grip of the club as you transition down, which transfers more energy into the shaft and the clubhead, creating more speed.
For this drill to really take hold, go tackle another task, like practice putting, after just one round, then come back and do another round of the drill. If you train like this, you’ll find your brain has to work harder to recall what you need to do, and this type of varied practice makes it more likely you will retain this speed over time—and transfer it to the golf course. —With Dave Allen