When it comes to power, there's an epidemic of misapplied force that is ruining thousands of swings every day. I'm talking about the concept of pushing the handle ahead of the clubhead through impact. It's a basic piece of instruction you've probably heard a lot—usually as a seemingly innocent part of correcting a wristy, flippy motion in a swing. But the problem with that advice is, it ruins your ability to produce good swing speed.
Try this exercise: Hold your driver in front of you with your right arm only and, from a standstill, push the handle as quickly as you can toward the target (below, left). When you do that, what happens to the head? It stays behind. Do this during a swing, and you're essentially trying to force the club to swing backward, and it will take a dramatic adjustment by your hands, arms or body to force the head into a decent striking position.
Instead of obsessing about getting your hands forward at impact, concentrate on pulling the handle instead of pushing it. As you swing through impact, feel like you're pulling up toward the middle of your chest (below, right). That will make the club rotate and pick up the exponential speed at the head end—the signature of the biggest hitters.
“PULLING THE GRIP UP WHIPS THE CLUBHEAD INTO THE BALL.”
Mike Jacobs is one of Golf Digest's 50 Best Teachers in America. His X Golf School is in Manorville, N.Y.
MORE ON POWER & SAVING SHOTS
You've played enough golf to know that you don't have the same issues as the guy hitting balls next to you. But there are two things you both want: longer drives and lower scores. This month in our video-instruction hub, aka the Golf Digest Schools, we launch two series: "The Science of Speed" and "Scoring 101: The 5 Requirements." Here are two Golf Digest Best Young Teachers—Mike Jacobs and Adam Kolloff—at the top of their games. Jacobs teaches you the essential truths about distance, and Kolloff presents the quickest ways to bring down your scores. Each series ($9.99) contains five extended video lessons, with tips, fixes and drills you can access anywhere and everywhere you want. For more on these new programs, go to golfdigest.com/golf-digest-schools.