Distance and Golf: The 8 Golf Power Effectors

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One of the key components of Age Defying Golf is to focus on increasing golf distance and golf power for the golfer over 50. In 2007, I was working with William Breland who is a touring golf professional and physical therapist who owns several golf performance centers in Texas.  We tested and identified the most important factors effecting golf power. He has named these the “Power Effectors.”

The power effectors are specific golf mechanics that deal with the various influencers of golf power including golf physics, purity and consistency of ball centered contact, and swing plane. In other words, understanding the power effectors will give you all the information you will ever need to maximize your golf power potential.

We are going to identify the power effectors for you today and tackle each one over the next week or so.

The Power Effectors

  • Swing Center Movement Factor: Is your spine angle consistent throughout your swing
  • Weight Distribution at Impact
  • Primary Spine Angle (Golf Posture)
  • Secondary Spine Angle
  • Right foot position in the backswing
  • The X Factor
  • Left wrist position at impact
  • Does the pelvis rotate in place or shift toward the ball during the swing.

Here is a brief description of each factor:

#1 Swing Center Movement Factor

Breland implemented a simple test that we continue to use in clinic that identifies the consistency of the golfers spine angle from the address position to the backswing and back to the impact position. We found a direct correlation between this consistency and the consistency of hitting the golf ball squarely in the sweet spot. If you want to have great power than you need to take advantage of the latest golf club technology by nailing the sweet spot, every time!

#2 Weight Distribution at the Impact Position

Weight distribution is important in all aspects of the golf swing but we found that weight distribution specifically at the point of impact dramatically effects golf power. The picture below is from our proprietary evaluation.

Golf Weight distribution at the impact position

#3 Primary Spine Angle

The primary spine angle is essentially your golf posture. Do you have the desired flat back or do you have the power sapping “C” posture or “S” posture. These postures dramatically decrease golf power because they limit your spines ability to rotate. If your spine cannot rotate, you are essentially swinging with just your arms and have lost the potential power from your torso and hips.

#4 Secondary Spine Angle

This measure of your spine angle tells us how well you load your body in your backswing. The results of correcting the secondary spine angle were much greater than I anticipated. I was surprised.
Golf power secondary spine angle

#5 Right Foot Position in the BackSwing

The key measure here is if you are able to keep your body weight on the INSIDE of your back foot. If your weight rotates to the outside of your foot, or worse, if your foot visibly rotates outward, you are going to lose all the power your back leg can offer. This mistake effects both swing speed and consistency of hitting the sweet spot of the golf club.

#6 The X-Factor

The X-factor is the difference between how much more your shoulders can rotate compared to your hips. The greater the difference, the greater the swing speed. Golf pro’s have a ridiculous amount of X-factor. For the golfer over 50, this is primarily an issue of golf flexibility.

However, what is usually missed by golf instructors is that being able to maintain a large X-Factor through the impact position is largely a factor of timing and mastering the golf transition move. More on this later.

#7 Left Wrist Position at Impact

Basically the left wrist needs to be flat(instead of cupped) at impact. Many golfers release the wrists too early in the downswing and this can result in the loss swing speed and consistency of hitting the sweet spot on the golf club.

#8 Does the Pelvis Rotate in Place or Shift Toward the Ball

Of all the power effectors, this is the most difficult to master. I will get into the technicalities later. But, essentially we are determining if the golfer uses his body like a whip or like a shot putter.

Stay tuned in the following weeks as we give you the tools to maximize the 8 power effectors for rocket ball speed with ever club in your bag!!!

Thanks for reading.

Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist

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