We all want to hit the ball with extra oomph, but the way some golfers try to generate more power leads to mis-hits—with the ball usually being weakly struck off the toe of the club. So what’s going on?
In golfspeak, you’re getting ahead of the ball. When you start the downswing, you lunge toward the target with your upper body. By the time the club reaches the ground, your torso is leaning closer to the target than the golf ball—it’s like the Tower of Pisa. The best you can hope for is a glancing blow.
Don’t get me wrong, a good weight shift toward the target is crucial to ball-striking. But it’s the lower body that needs to shift forward. When you keep your upper body back, you can apply its mass to the hit—that’s power. To get a feeling for how to swing without lunging, find a slightly elevated tee box and stand on the upslope making practice swings. The hill will help keep you from lunging.
If you’re still struggling, here’s the one thing to remember: Early in the downswing, put as much pressure as you can into the heel of your lead foot, and keep it there. That will put the brakes on your torso, and you’ll make a better swing.