When the hands hold the golf club too tightly in effort to control it, they add tension to the arms, which in turn produces slower clubhead speed and inconsistent shots.
For a more repeatable golf swing, while pivoting the body, focus on keeping the hands passive throughout the swing. This creates clubhead lag (clubhead trails behind hands) until the moment of impact when the club automatically releases and in essence “whips” out and “impacts” the ball with incredible “thrust.”
To illustrate… imagine a line of ice skaters holding hands. If the inside skater starts to rotate… the outside skater in the line is “whipped” around at tremendous speed… basically holding on for dear life! If something got in her way while being whipped around… YIKES!
Think of the golf swing in the same way. Your body… is the inside ice skater. Your clubhead is the outside skater. And the arms, hands, and clubshaft are like the skaters who connect the two together. When the body rotates… the clubhead gets whipped around, “impacting” the ball with great speed and power.
A drill I prescribe to my students is known as the “float load” drill (I’ve attached a video of me demonstrating the drill below). It’s called “float load” because during the transition from backswing to downswing… the club “floats” a bit before changing direction.
Using a mid-iron, set up as if you’re going to hit a full shot. Release the tension of the hands to a grip pressure of about a “3-4” on a scale of “1-10” where “1” is loose and “10” is “death grip!” Focus on maintaining this constant “3-4” grip pressure as you start your backswing with your chest, shoulders, and arms. Continue maintaining the soft grip pressure as you begin to rotate your body toward the target, allowing the club to lag behind the hands.
Keep the hands soft throughout the entire swing as the ball gets in the way of the club’s path. Resist the urge to “push” the clubhead back to the ball. Trust it! The clubhead will find it!
When watching the video… notice how the angle between my arms and clubshaft decreases on the way down toward the ball… NOT on the backswing. The club is really lagging behind the hands. An indicator that I’m holding the club lightly. For many amateurs… this angle expands… indicating that they are using their hands in attempt to hit the ball.
Finish with the club low, hands about waist high, and target-side wrist flat (left hand wrist for right-handed golfers). At finish, you should “feel” the weightiness of the club in your hands and the grip pressure should STILL be about a “3-4.” Seriously… I’m not kidding.
Once you’ve hit a bazillion (and one) “float load” drills… I want you to hit full shots while being very aware of the soft grip pressure during the downswing and follow-through. Let the club control the release of the hands into impact!
It is important to note that although I speak of softening the grip pressure on the club, I am not asking you to slow down your swing! “Softer” is not synonymous with “slower.” Stay aggressive with your body pivot while keeping the hands passive. Make sure you make a complete backswing… follow-through… and finish!
Use the float load drill for warming up. And when practicing… alternate between float load drills and full swings. Eventually you will create a more repeatable golf swing that will produce consistency in your game.
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Peace… Love… Golf!