For our northern New Jersey golfers, winter means the end of the golf season but it doesn’t have to mean the end of training and improving. Today George Heslin, our golf pro at Bowling Green Golf Club, is sharing a few helpful tips and drills for students and experienced golfers who wish to stay sharp during the off-season.
Tip # 1
The more time you spend with the club in your hands correctly, the better your grip will become. It’s easy for this fundamental to be overlooked while playing during golf season so let’s use some down time during the off season. This weekend, while you’re couch bound, take a neutral grip and hold your club relaxed in the fingers. Your index finger and thumb should form the letter V. (C1) Keep the V pointed between your chin and right shoulder for the right-handed golfer. That’s the left shoulder for us lefties. Once you have the club positioned in your hands hold it there for a bit. See how the club can hinge up and down. Now rest it on your shoulder and watch some golf on TV or YouTube
This second drill will help you hit the ball with some power right out of the gate when Spring rolls around. Take your stance and posture, hold the club with your proper grip, (C1) and swing the club back until it is at hip height and parallel to the ground.(C2) Complete this movement without letting your hips move. The upper body is the what drives the back swing so the less your lower body moves, the longer the club can stay on the correct path, the easier it is to hinge upward and the more power will be generated… At first, you may find this movement very difficult but after a few days of practicing, you will have a complete understanding of how power is generated. As your upper body turns back with the club and your lower body stays resistant you will be forced to stretch a bit. That feeling of stretching is exactly the feeling the touring pros have before they hit the ball 300 yards.
This third drill will help you to unleash the power of the back swing into the down swing with the golf club moving along the correct path. Now that your lower body is stable and moving only slightly, we are going to work on allowing the club to hinge on the correct plane. Start your backswing as in C2, keeping the lead arm straight, (left arm for right handed golfers). As you look down at the ball in the middle of your stance, allow that club to hinge. Think of pointing the butt end of the club at the ball. (C3) Your lower body has remained passive. The hard work is done; you’ve hinged the club correctly and have created some power from resistance in your back swing and you are now ready to let the club head fire at the ball.
The down swing is a very fast, smooth action that happens as a result of the hard work you put into the back swing. Keeping your lower body still during your back swing and hinging the club correctly (C3) will generate more power, more consistent ball striking and improved accuracy. The drills discussed here can be done in slow motion indoors. Remember your proper grip, stance and posture, followed by a back swing with very little lower body movement. The more the upper body turns back while the lower body resists, the more power you will generate. Give it a try and let’s see some long drives when springtime comes around.
What are some of your post-season golf tips? Let us know in the comments.
George Heslin is a seasoned Golf Professional with over 20 years of experience. He has extensive knowledge of the golf swing and modern teaching strategies. With his breadth of experience and knowledge and a state-of-the-art video swing analysis system, George can improve any golfer’s game, from beginner to advanced. And his quirky sense of humor comes free with the lessons!