With Sven Nielsen, Head Teaching Professional at the Trump International Golf Club, Dubai
“Can you help me increase the distance of my shots?” is a question I get asked often when coaching my students. When we look at the elite players today, it certainly proves that hitting the ball a long way helps to shoot lower scores. Is it possible for someone who has been playing the game for 20 years or more to hit the ball further? If we activate the correct body movements, yes. But, first learning from a young age how to hit the ball a greater distance, and then down the line, understanding how to hit it straighter, is certainly the best way to learn the game from a young age!
When I look at how you can hit the ball further, I look how you utilise your body during your golf swing, especially during your backswing stages, as this is where you ‘build up’ or ‘store’ your power for the downswing. If you don’t utilise your body correctly during the backswing, it will be difficult to “unload” the power on your downswing as there is no proper ‘build up’ of power.
Let’s look at the three parts that are important for unlocking the power in your swing:
1. The left knee (for right handed players)
On the backswing we need to make sure that your left knee is active and works towards your back leg. This will especially be good for people with limited hip rotation, as this will help you to rotate your hips.
2. The hip turn
It will now feel easier for the hips to rotate as your left knee helps free them up. The hip turn will now help the upper body turn more, especially for those with limited upper body rotation.
3. The upper body (torso rotation)
With the hip rotation improving now, it will be easier for your upper body or torso to make a full rotation to fully unlock of the power in your backswing.
Learn how to activate these three body parts by taking the arms out of the swing by crossing your arms across your shoulders, and feel each of the points mentioned earlier.