Take the time to figure out your power percentage
- By Steve Whidden, SwingFix instructor
- Oct 7, 2012 7:00 AM ET
One of the most overused reasons for hitting a bad shot that I hear from students is that they “swung too fast.” In fact, we as teachers actually want you to swing faster!
When you feel that you have swung too fast, it’s actually not the increase in speed that you’re feeling; it’s the lack of timing.
So if one part of the body outraces another, you will feel uncoordinated and out of balance, which immediately tells your brain that the swing was too fast.
I’ve tested students’ swing speeds of the “too-fast” motion compared to the “slowed-down” version, and the “slowed-down” version is actually faster 99 percent of the time.
What the student is really feeling is correct timing, with all parts moving together, which feels smoother and “slower.” Folks, it’s simple physics … you can’t swing a club slower and make the ball go farther.
I teach my students to swing as aggressively as they can, as long as the shot is still efficient, and efficient simply means that it has as much power that can be generated without losing accuracy.
Try this drill to find your efficient swing:
When you go to the range, tee up a ball using your driver. Hit five balls with a full swing at 10 percent of your power, hit five more with 20 percent or power and five more with 30 percent of power, etc.
Remember, you need to be taking a full swing while doing this. As you are climbing the “ladder” during the drill, there will be a percentage where you start to feel efficiency slipping away.
Let’s say at 50 percent you are making very solid contact, you can’t believe how far the ball is going and it’s flying at the target. But when you kick it up to 60 percent, the ball is not finding the middle of the clubface as often, the ball is not going as far, and your shots are less accurate.
Well, you now have a barometer and know that you need to swing at 50 percent of your power. In reality, this is really your 100 percent right now, because at that percentage the ball acts the best and most consistent.
Go out and give this drill a try. I think you’ll be surprised at what percentage you play your best golf!
SwingFix instructor Steve Whidden was selected as the 2010 Southwest Florida PGA Teacher of the Year.
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