“Dear, ‘The Golfing Doc,’ How do I create more power and hit the ball farther? Thanks Doc.” –N. Haul. Seattle, WA
If you want more power in your golf swing, you must first understand a few things. First of all, power is created from the ground up. Second, power does not necessarily equate to more distance. Let me expand on these two concepts.
In physics, the true definition of power is the amount of energy produced in a given amount of time. For example, a light bulb puts out 60 watts of power when it is turned on. Another definition of power is the ability to act or produce an effect. This definition is more relevant with respect to golf. When you hit the ball with the club, power is seen as the movement of the ball after impact.
When it comes to generating power within your body, I like to say that power is created from the ground up. By this I mean that it all originates in the lower part of your body and then the energy is transmitted to the part of your body you want to release it from. For example, if a boxer wants to throw a really hard punch, he will make sure his feet are well planted on the ground. The boxer will then load his legs with his body weight and allow his torso to start to torque on his lower body. As he starts to deliver his punch, he will drive from his legs. His legs will begin to straighten and his upper body will begin to unwind. The final move is his arm and fist being released toward the target. How hard he hits the target is the result of how much power is released.
Now imagine a boxer trying to throw a really hard punch while standing on ice. The footing is much more slippery. It is harder to stay grounded. As a result, less power is produced by the punch. This punching analogy functions on the same principals as does hitting a golf ball. You must build the power from the ground up. However, it is here where there is a misunderstanding about power and distance.
Hitting the ball harder does not necessarily mean the ball will go farther, it just means that you produced more energy with which to hit the ball. Distance is a result of speed. The more clubhead speed you can generate, the farther you can hit the ball. One of the major requirements of creating clubhead speed is making sure your body can create that power. Your body must be strong enough to create the torque and energy necessary to transfer power from the ground, through your body, and to the club. If your body can create more power, you can then create more speed, and speed gives you distance.
So how do make your body create more power? First of all, make sure your body is healthy and in good physical shape. If you have an injury, you will either be unable to create much power or you will lose power in the course of your swing. For example, if you have strong legs but have lower back pain, you will lose all the power you generated as it transfers from your lower body to your upper body. Second, you must train your body with more explosive exercises. This does not mean you need to push heavy weights. Your body weight is more than sufficient. Rather, instead of slow movements, you want to practice “loading” and then “exploding” into the movement. This idea is similar to those used in plyometrics.
Here are a few exercises you can try to help you create more power for your golf swing. Try up to ten repetitions, for one or two sets, a couple times a week. If you experience any pain during any of these exercises, stop immediately and consult your medical professional.