More Power Golf Drills: Belt to Target Faster

Here's a drill that will help you really belt the ball. Literally.

The hips hold much of the golf swing's power, so you must unleash them to unlock it. That doesn't mean making a huge hip turn on the backswing. On the contrary, you want to limit hip rotation while making a full shoulder turn going back, which creates tension and torque in the space between the lower and upper body.

The hips drive the downswing by pulling the midsection, shoulders, arms, hands and club into impact. The position of your belt buckle is a good indicator of how well your hips are working. It should point to the right of the ball (for a right-handed golfer) when you complete the backswing, and at the target (or slightly left of it) at the finish.

What happens in between is critical to generating speed. Here's a drill that will teach you to use those hips to maximum effect:

  • Loosely assume your address position with the hands apart.
  • Turn as though making a backswing, your belt buckle pointing to the right.
  • Snap the hips toward the target, pulling the shoulders and arms through the impact zone. The hips should be ahead of the upper body throughout the downswing.
  • Finish with your belt buckle facing the target.
  • Repeat several times until the motion begins to feel natural.

Next, try the drill with a club but no ball, then hit some shots. Start with short swings and work your way up to a full swing.

Proper hip action is all about timing. Once you've got the lower and upper body correctly in sync, you'll see major increases in both distance and accuracy.

More Power Golf Drills

More Power Golf Drills

You don't have to go far in the golf world to find some advice on how to create more power in your game. This is the topic that most amateur golfers want to focus on when they think about improving, so golf teachers are happy to oblige by providing plenty of instruction. And, of course, there is nothing wrong with looking for more power, as long as it is done in the right way. It is great to have power on your side, provided you have the control necessary to keep your ball in play while hitting it great distances.

In this article, we are going to provide you with some power drills that you can use on the range to unlock additional yardage in your game. These drills have been designed in such a way that they should allow you to hit the ball harder without sacrificing in terms of control. We don't want you to add yards while losing accuracy at the same time, since that would defeat the purpose and you wouldn't get any better overall. It is our hope that you can find the perfect balance of distance and power with the assistance of these simple drills.

One of the biggest misconceptions in golf is the notion that you need to swing harder and harder if you want to hit the ball farther and farther. Simply put, this isn't true. You don't need to keep swinging harder – you just need to make the club move faster at the moment of impact. By timing your swing perfectly to maximize your power through the hitting area, you can send the ball a tremendous distance even if you aren't swinging that 'hard' overall.

For an example of this concept, you need to look no further than the players on the PGA Tour. Some of the longest hitters in the world routinely use relaxed, smooth swings which send the ball more than 300-yards through the air. By putting together great mechanics with the right equipment, you can achieve impressive things with the power of your shots – and you don't even have to use 100% effort to get those results. By using something less than full effort, you can launch the ball into the distance and still have enough control to keep it in play.

As you work on the drills outlined below, please be sure to think about how they work specifically with your golf swing. Your golf swing is unique, so you can't assume that all instruction and drill work is going to benefit you in the same way it will benefit another player. The drills in this article should have a positive effect on just about every player's swing, but it is always your responsibility to think about how your technique is being changed or adjusted by a given drill. In the end, trust your own instincts, as no one knows your swing better than you.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

Drill #1 – Staying Connected

Drill #1 – Staying Connected

If you are going to hit powerful golf shots, you are going to have to stay connected nicely during your swing. What does that mean? Simple – it means that your arms and your torso need to work together from start to finish. If one of them falls behind or hurries ahead of the other, the fundamental mechanics of your swing will be lost and you will struggle to hit the ball with any kind of authority.

In this drill, we are going to use the assistance of a small golf towel in order to make sure you stay connected nicely. To perform this drill, head to your local driving range and follow the steps below.

  • To get started, you will need your driver, a few practice golf balls, a place to hit, and a small golf towel. One of those towels that you can clip onto the side of your bag would be perfect – a full-sized towel will be too big for this application. If you don't have one of these small towels, an extra golf glove can actually stand in quite nicely.
  • Before hitting your first shot, you will need to pick out a target in the distance. It is important to always pick out a target for any shot you hit, even if you are performing a specific drill. Golf is a target-based game, so you never want to miss out on a chance to improve your ability to hit targets. Always have a specific target in mind whenever you swing the club, and always do your best to get lined up properly with that target before you put the club in motion.
  • With a target picked out somewhere down the range, and your driver in your hands, take the towel and place it under your right armpit. You will need to lift up your arm slightly to make room, and then bring your arm back down in order to trap the towel in place. With the towel held under your arm, place both hands back on the driver and get ready to swing.
  • You are now going to simply make a swing and send the ball down the range. You don't need to think about doing anything different when making this swing – just do your best to hit a quality shot.
  • After the swing has been made, think about what just unfolded. What happened to the towel as you swung? Did it drop out from under your armpit, or did it stay in place? If it did drop, when did it come loose? We will help you analyze the results of this drill in the content below.
  • Feel free to hit as many shots as you would like while doing this drill, and feel free to vary your club selection as well. When you are done, it is always a good idea to hit at least a few 'normal' shots with nothing under your arm just to get yourself back into the feel of a typical golf swing and setup.

So what is the point of all this? The presence of the towel under your arm is going to tell you a lot about the golf swing you are making. Ideally, you will keep your right arm properly connected to your body throughout the swing, and you will deliver plenty of power to the ball as a result. Unfortunately, many golfers miss on this point, and they waste power potential as a result. The most common error is allowing the right arm to move up and away from the torso during the transition from backswing to downswing. This is the move which is commonly seen among slicers. If you tend to struggle with a slice, there is a good chance you are letting your right arm move away at the top of the swing.

Thanks to the use of the towel, you are going to quickly learn about the behavior of your right arm during the golf swing. If the towel stays in place, the arm is staying down and you are doing a good job. However, if the towel drops during the swing, you are probably losing your connection. So, for example, if the towel drops out from under your arm while transitioning from backswing to downswing, you will know that your arm drifted away at the top. Or, if the towel drops soon after starting the swing, you can be sure that your takeaway needs some work. Don't worry too much if the towel drops out as you are swinging up into your finish, as this is one time when it is okay to lose a bit of connection. As long as everything stays together through impact, you should be in good shape.

Drill #2 – Enhancing Your Lag

Drill #2 – Enhancing Your Lag

If you have done any reading of golf instruction in the past, you have probably come across the concept of lag. Having lag in your golf swing is extremely important, yet many golfers don't have a good understanding of what it is and why it matters. Not only do you need to understand this idea, but you also need to be successful in adding it to your golf swing.

Lag refers to the club head lagging behind your hands (and the rest of your body) during the downswing. So, as your hands head down toward impact, the club head lags behind, picking up speed along the way. Once everything else has turned through the ball, your hands allow the club head to release, the lag is used up, and the shot is struck with tremendous power. In the professional game, lag is not an optional feature in the swing – it is required to play with the power and precision needed at the highest level.

Unfortunately, learning to lag the club is a difficult thing. Many golfers play their entire lives without ever really figuring out this part of the golf puzzle. So how can you be different? The drill listed below, while simple, just might be able to teach you how to lag the club.

  • For this drill, you will want to be at the driving range with a mid-iron, some practice golf balls, and a place to make swings. It would be good if you could focus during this practice session without many distractions, so try to find a quiet end of the range where you can do your work.
  • To get started, take out your mid-iron – a seven iron works great – and pick out a target in the distance. The target you select should be one which is within easy range for you when swinging this club. At this point, you are not going to place a golf ball down in front of you.
  • You will be skipping the golf ball for now because you are going to start by making some one-handed practice swings. With the club in your left hand, make a swing as if you were trying to hit a full shot. Remember, you are not actually hitting a golf ball at this point. Also, you should not be choking down on the grip of the club for this drill – you need to use the entire club in order to feel your swing develop.
  • After making one swing, you will notice a couple of things. First, the club feels surprisingly heavy when you don't have two hands to help you move it through the hitting area. Second, your swing is going to feel slow. There was probably not much speed to be found at the bottom of the swing, and if you would have hit a ball, that ball would not have gone very far.
  • You are going to continue by making more one-handed swings without hitting a ball. However, on these subsequent swings, you are going to think about lagging the club on the way down. Try to pull the back of your left hand down toward the hitting area without bringing the club head along for the ride. Only when your left hand gets down in front of your body should the club head then whip through the hitting area. When done correctly, it will be amazing to see how much speed you can add to the swing with very little additional effort. This kind of swing is efficient, and it will help you to hit the ball a long distance.
  • Now that you have a better feel for what lag is and how it works, you can put your right hand back on the club and hit some practice shots down the range. However, you need to make sure that you don't allow your right hand to interfere with the progress that has been made by your left. It is easy to let the right hand take over the golf swing, and lose all of your lag in the process. As you hit practice shots, try to keep your right hand as passive as possible while carrying over everything that you learned with the left.
  • Feel free to go back and forth between one-handed practice swings and two-handed shots. With practice, you will only get better and better at lagging the club powerfully into the back of the ball.

Lag is sure to make you a better player. When used properly, lag will allow you to strike the ball with authority while still hitting your target lines time after time. In terms of overall importance to your game, there are few things you can work on which will pay dividends as big as learning how to lag the club.

Drill #3 – Finding a Full Finish

Drill #3 – Finding a Full Finish

On the surface, it might not seem like the finish position would have anything to do with the flight of the golf ball. After all, the ball is long gone when the finish is taking place, so how can one affect the other? Despite how it might seem, the finish position is actually quite important when it comes to hitting powerful shots. Your finish tells you everything about the swing which led up to that point, so getting into a full finish is a sure sign that you have turned it loose through impact.

To learn how to get into a full finish, you are going to modify your swing a bit during an upcoming practice session. While working on this drill, you are not going to hit any golf balls – you will simply be making 'dry' practice swings to work on your fundamentals. However, you can certainly hit some balls with your regular swing when you are done with the drill to check on your progress.

Any golf club that you have in your bag – other than your putter – will work nicely for this drill. To start, find a safe place to swing and take your address position. Once settled into your stance, you are actually going to move the club forward rather than back. Start by moving the club forward as if you were swinging through the ball, and continue on up into a full finish which places the majority of your weight on your left foot. You should be posed on your left side in a balanced position, staring out at the imaginary shot that you just hit.

With that phase out of the way, you can now 'unwind' back down toward the address position. Reverse your motion and swing the club backward, only you aren't going to stop at address. You are going to keep going, now swinging the club in the correct direction. Swing up to the top of your backswing, and then down and through again into another balanced finish.

To review, you are going to swing forward from address and up into the finish, then back down again to go all the way through your full swing. Basically, you will be making 1.5 swings when you complete this drill. Not only is this going to help your power by teaching you how to find a full finish, but it is also going to help your balance along the way. This is a simple dill and one which can be done at any time during a practice session, or even during a round. Give it a try and you might learn a lot about your swing in the process.

Other Distance Tips

Other Distance Tips

The three drills provided so far in this article will help you to unlock power that may be currently hidden away in your swing. Sure, you are going to have to put in some work if you want to see these drills pay off, but that is always the case in golf. This is a hard game, and improvement never comes easy.

Before we close, we would like to leave you with a few final tips to make sure you can live up to your distance potential on the course.

  • Equipment matters. You will often hear people in golf say that you 'can't buy a better game'. That is true – up to a point. Yes, you do need to earn your improvement with hard work on the driving range, but buying new equipment can help you hit the ball both farther and straighter. The important thing is to buy gear which is perfectly matched for your needs. Work with a club fitting professional to find a set of clubs (or even just a driver) which complements your swing nicely. Also, make sure you are using a golf ball which is a proper fit for your abilities, as this will affect total distance as well.
  • Play to the conditions. Sometimes, you don't need to carry the ball farther down the fairway in order to hit it farther overall. If you are playing on dry, fast conditions, for example, you can keep your ball lower to the ground and let the bounce and roll take you way down the fairway. On the other hand, the game is all about carry when playing on a wet course. Should soggy conditions exist, do everything you can to keep the ball high in the air rather than letting a soft fairway rob you of distance.
  • Swing at less than 100%. This point seems counterintuitive, but you are almost certainly going to hit the ball farther if you swing with less than maximum effort. Take a little bit of the effort out of your swing and exchange it for balance and efficiency. Not only will you hit more fairways and greens this way, but you will probably hit the ball farther at the same time.

Although distance is not the most important aspect of your golf game, it certainly can help you conquer some of the tough courses you may play. We hope the drills provided in this article are of assistance as you seek to unleash as much of your power potential as possible during your upcoming rounds. Good luck!