Secrets To Clubhead Speed

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Published: 06th July 2009
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In golf the faster the clubhead moves through impact, the more power you generate and the longer you hit the ball. The longer your shot, the better your chances of slicing strokes off your golf handicap. Longer drives mean shorter-and usually easier-approach shots. Of course, you still must make solid contact and be on the right swing plane. But all things being equal, the faster you move the clubhead through impact, the more power-and distance-you generate.

But where does clubhead speed come from? It's not from your arms and hands. They can swing a club through impact fairly quickly. But they're not sufficient to generate PGA-rated clubhead speed or drive the ball PGA-like distances. To generate real clubhead speed, you must involve your hips. Used correctly, they help produce unimpeded delivery of centrifugal force, sort of like a slingshot does. Accessing this force, as golf tips point out, is the fastest and best way to increase clubhead speed significantly.

Bend From The Waist

Fast clubhead speed-the kind we strive for in golf lessons-comes from fast hips. Fast hips come from moving them correctly and in the right direction. With correct hip movement, you do little with your arms and hands. You do more with your hips. Moved correctly and in the right direction, your hips create the space with which to gather power and produce awesome clubhead speed. This results in longer, straighter shots. Let's look at how the hips work at critical swing points:

At address, your hips must be set correctly. Golf instruction sessions don't emphasize this enough. The correct set requires a solid hip flex/sit, the right spine bend, and a light athletic knee bend. Sadly, golfers don't always achieve this solid foundation. That's because they bend from the hips, not the waist. Thus, they must make adjustments during their swing. Bending from the waist instead of the hips increases your chances of hitting it long.

Maintain Hip Flex Distance

At setup, the hips sit at a prescribed distance from the ball. This distance must be maintained for you to achieve maximum clubhead seed. As you start your backswing, the back hip must accept the early transfer of weight. The key here is that the back knee maintains its bend. The back hip moves back just a little yet maintains its original flex. The front leg also plays an important role in the swing. Thus, right and left hip flex is never lost, despite hip rotation.

At the top of the backswing, the entire body is coiled. But the original hip flex is still maintained. The key is holding the lower body centered and in place, creating leverage. This requires turning the upper body against a stable lower body. In a proper backswing, the hips and glutes move toward the back without the back leg and thigh ever changing their position. So watch the front leg. Moving it forward or toward the ball ruins the right hip position.

Reversing Backswing Movement

The downswing simply reverses backswing movement. The mistake I see golfers make in golf lessons is moving the front hip toward the ball. This move destroys the original hip flex. In a powerful downswing, weights shifts forward with the back hip holding its original address flex. The key in the downswing is to clear the hips, allowing the club to whip through at maximum speed while still maintaining the proper hip flex. This dynamic plays a huge role in power and path delivery.

At impact, the hips shift toward the target. In other words, they get out of the way. But the hips must clear without losing their original flex. More importantly, they must clear without flexing toward the golf ball. The loss of hip flex through the hitting zone is a major power leak. In fact, it's nearly impossible to generate great power on the forward swing, if the hips reverse flex. That blocks the arms from moving on the correct return path.

Holding the flex close to the position set at address keys the delivery of power. That's because it helps establish an effective power delivery system, like a slingshot. Failing to hold hip flex means the golfer must make adjustments to compensate, short-circuiting power. That short-circuits power. If you want the kind of power that helps chop strokes from your golf handicap, get hip to your hips.

Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book How To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros. He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven continents lower their handicap immediately. Free weekly newsletter available with the latest golf tips, lessons and instructions.

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