Improve Your Swing with Creative Drills

Physician's Money Digest, May 15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 9

Congratulations, golfers. Wehave made it throughanother long winter. Thegolf season is finally in full swingagain. The days are longer, the grassis greener, and the lonely golf coursesare anticipating our arrival.Now's the perfect time to get yourselfprepared to play the best golfyou've ever played. So, before youhappily head out to your favoritecourse, take the time to improveyour game by improving your backswing. Following are 2 drills youcan practice at home to get started.

THE SOCCER BALL DRILL

The back swing is merely a preparationfor the down swing. Therefore,it must be both controlled andrepeatable. As you execute your backswing, you should be building a wide,powerful arc (ie, a stretch). This willnot happen if the back swingbecomes too long. In that case, thepower you build up during yourswing will be lost. To make sure thisdoesn't happen to you, practice yourback swing using the soccer ball drill.This easy drill will help you build awide and powerful back swing.

All you need is a soccer ball andsome free time. Place the soccer ballbetween your hands and swing as ifyou were swinging a golf club. If youare executing a solid back swing,you'll see it and feel it. At the end ofeach back swing, your hands shouldbe a good distance stretched fromyour right shoulder, and the left sideof your rib cage should feel astretching sensation. The hands andsoccer ball will be opposite orslightly higher than your head position.This drill will enable you tosense when your swing is too long.

THE UMBRELLA DRILL

Another important factor inexecuting the perfect back swing isthe positioning of your right leg(left leg for lefties). Keeping theright leg flexed (ie, bent) is vital ifyou plan on producing a solid backswing. A flexed right leg allows theupper body to turn powerfully overa resisting lower body, creatingboth resistance and force. During aproperly executed back swing, youwill feel the pressure on the insideof your right thigh and right footincreasing. In addition, your rightknee will remain anchored insideyour right leg during the entireback swing.

The umbrella drill will help youmaintain a flexed right leg. Afteryou've found a golf umbrella andthe perfect spot to practice, stickthe umbrella in the ground. Thencover its grip with a head cover,and position the umbrella directlybehind your right knee. Withouthitting a golf ball, but with a golfclub in your hands, make someslow swings. The key here is not tofeel the sensation of the umbrellapressing into the back of your rightknee. If you do feel the umbrellaagainst your knee, your back swingis off. Your right leg is straightening,which will cause inconsistencyduring your golf swing.

Adrian Davies is a former EuropeanTour player and Europeandirector of golf for DavidLeadbetter. He has been a PGAClass A professional for 19 yearsand is affiliated with the Links inShirley, Long Island. He welcomes questionsor comments at adavies@palmergolf.com.