In this lesson, we’ll talk about 3 major culprits that zap distance off the tee:
Culprit No. 1 Unstable Base
Culprit No. 2 No Hinge
Culprit No. 3 Two Backswing NO-NOs:
Fake Turn and Overswing
Culprit No. 1 An unstable base refers to your lower body.
A common tendency for many is the lateral slide – commonly referred to as swaying off the ball. A lateral slide begins at set up. If your feet pressure points favor the outside of your feet, you’re done. On the backswing, it will be a real challenge to load into a braced back leg. Instead, the weight will transfer to the outside of your back foot, resulting in a sway off the ball.
Instead, we need to set up with our feet pressure points favoring the insides of our feet. I like to press my back knee in toward the target to promote a stable base. And as I turn, I feel my center of gravity is low. In fact, I feel like I am creating more knee flex, not less. This helps me coil and rotate into my backswing.
Culprit No. 2 Another power zapper is a lack of wrist hinge.
NO HINGE = NO POWER! Hinge can only happen if your hands, arms, and shoulders are loose as a goose. A death grip or rigid arms will kill any chance for good hinge. I like to waggle my club at address to ensure my wrists are loose. As I turn into my backswing, I allow the weight of the club to hinge naturally. At the top, visualize holding a waiter’s tray where your palm faces the sky.
And the last culprit we will discuss:
Culprit No. 3
Backswing NO-NO: The fake turn is a result of your arms doing all the work.
A fake turn will barely get me behind the ball. Instead, allow your big muscles to do the work, like your chest and back. My instructor tells me to pivot my chest to initiate the turn. This helps me get behind the ball.
Your goal is get your back to fully face the target where your left shoulder sits under your chin.
Backswing NO-NO: Overswing
The opposite of a fake turn is overswinging where the club extends well past parallel. This position makes it a real challenge to get back to the ball. Overswinging can occur when your takeaway is fast and jerky or if your legs are lazy and not grounding into the turf. I like to feel my feet gripping the turf, and I turn over this stable lower body.
By using my big muscles while gripping the turf with my feet, overswinging is nearly impossible. Instead, I have a launching pad for power!
If I was to throw in one last tip: Keep your knees wide and both of your feet planted as you turn. Your swing will feel incredibly short, but go with it. Once you get used to this feeling and seeing that ball pop off the face, you’ll never go back to overswinging.