Three Drills to Improve Your Golf Performance
By Vinnie Manginelli, PGA
In golf or any other sport, drills help bridge the gap between learning and doing. The concepts presented by your coach or fitness trainer might be verbal or demonstrable, but how do you apply these changes in movement and position to your actual golf swing?
PGA Professional Brian Newman of Orange Whip Golf Fitness X, shares three very beneficial drills below that will have a huge impact on your golf swing — not through intense repetition on the range, but through a focus on your body.
Drill 1: Feet Together — L to L Swings (5-10 reps)
What to do:
- With the feet together, make a three-quarter backswing and follow-through, continuously swinging back and forth without stopping.
- On the backswing, get the lead arm and the club’s shaft to create the letter “L” when the lead arm is parallel to the ground.
- On the forward swing, create an “L” with the trail arm and the club’s shaft when the trail arm is parallel to the ground.
- When creating the “L” position on both sides of the swing, attempt to get the butt of the club to point toward the ground on an extended line of the ball.
- Hit the ground at the same spot during the forward swing as you do when returning to the backswing.
- Be sure to shift your weight from your back foot to your front foot (downswing) and vice versa during the backswing.
- Creates a consistent low point of the swing and keeps the player balanced
- Syncs the arms and body and trains the proper levers and wrist hinge
- Enhances rhythm, tempo and balance
- Can be done with or without a golf ball
- Great progression to teach rotation and weight shift
- Improves core, hip and leg strength, as well as stability, flexibility and mobility
- Suitable for all skill levels
Drill 2: Elbow Block Drill (5-10 reps)
What to do:
- Block the trail elbow by reaching the lead arm across the body and position the back of the lead hand behind the elbow.
- On the backswing, maintain the lead hand’s “blocked” position behind your trail elbow.
- Rotate the trail arm externally through the shoulder to point the elbow toward the ground at the top of your swing.
- Begin the downswing and, while still blocking the trail elbow, allow the trail elbow to lead the downswing, pointing toward the ground as the body begins to rotate.
- Swing to a full finish, maintaining the elbow block.
- Repeat this for the lead arm, blocking the elbow with the back of the trail hand.
- Helps create and maintain space between the arms and body
- Fixes arm, hand and swing path and trains a powerful release
- Forces proper trail arm and lead arm delivery of the club
- Ensures the body is practicing efficient posture, rotation and weight shift
- Creates immediate feedback when hitting balls
- Increases leg, arm and hand speed
- Can be performed with or without a ball
- Improves mobility of the trail and lead arm
- Trains arms independently
Drill 3: Rev-Up Swings (3-5 reps)
What to do:
- Assume your set-up.
- Extend the arms and club towards the target, keeping the trail shoulder pointing towards the ground, the hips and chest open to the target, with air under the trail heel.
- Initiate a backswing with the lower body and allow the arms and club to follow, giving the lower body a head start.
- As the club is swinging back during the backswing, allow for the hips to initiate the downswing’s weight shift and turn, creating separation between the lower and upper body segments with body and club shaft lag.
- Note: Do not pause at the top of the swing. Allow the hips to fire while the upper body and club are approaching the top, creating the “Rev-Up” feel.
- Increases swing speed and power instantly
- Improves weight during both the backswing and forward swing
- Trains a proper and powerful transition
- Can be done with or without the ball
- Creates natural feel of the takeaway and creates momentum into the downswing
- Assists with hand and arm positioning
- Teaches upper body and lower body separation
- Stabilizes and strengthens the legs, ankles, knees and hips
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