Improving your golf power is about much more than swinging the golf club faster. Last week we addressed golf flexibility and golf stretches to improve swing speed, but today we will focus on improving golf power with golf flexibility aimed at improving ball flight characteristics.
We we talk about improving your ball flight for distance, we are most concerned with eliminating the golf slice.
There are many reasons why golfers slice, but there are more specific reasons why golfers over 50 slice and lose tons of distance doing so.
Golfers Over 50 are more at risk of coming over the top of the golf ball resulting in a pulled shot or a slice.
The reason why golfers over 50 are more at risk is related to golf flexibility. Namely, torso flexibility.
The key move is the transitional move at the top of the backswing. Regardless of your age, if you get this move wrong, you will never hit the ball well, or very far.
The Transitional Move
The transitional move occurs at the top of the backswing. It is the move you make to “transition” from your backswing to your downswing. The move YOU need to make, is to begin your downswing with a lower body shift and hip rotation that occur BEFORE you begin the downswing with your upper body rotation.
If you begin with upper body movement or rotate both upper and lower body concurrently, your swing is toast. You have no option but to swing from outside the path to inside the path and slice.
Many golfers over 50 do not have the flexibility to separate the lower body and upper body turns. In this case, which is surprisingly common, the golfer is unable to transition correctly leaving them only 2 options
- Let the swing ride and live with the short, slicing ball flight
- Shorten the backswing to stay on plane to hit straight drives, but drives that are short and leave you a LONG way from the green.
You Can Fix This
You can fix this fault with simple stretches. The one I like the best is the crossover stretch.
Perform this stretch 3x’s daily for 30 seconds each rep to make good progress.
Next, you need to retrain the body. This is easy, but it takes repetitions and some consistency. It is easier than trying to figure it out on the course! Even if you already have adequate flexibility, you should practice this to get the move down.
Those are a couple quick exercises from our Signature Program, Age Defying Golf Rx.
Here is the more traditional advice to correct the slice.
1. At address, setup to the ball with the ball aligned with the HEEL of your golf club. This is a bit of a mental “trick” to trigger an inside to out swing path.
2. Make a good turn in your backswing focusing on rotating your shoulders so that your left shoulder is behind the ball. If you are stiff, allow your left heel to raise naturally and start your downswing by putting the left heel back down. This helps initiate lower body movement first.
3. Downswing. Start your downswing by initiating a left knee slide towards the target first. Again, getting the lower body moving first is key.
4. Follow through. If you are struggling with a slice, focus on finishing your swing with hands high.
I hope that gets your swing firing on the right path, hitting straighter and longer drives.
Thank you for reading!!
Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist
Age Defying Golf
PS. For more information on this topic and the transition move, review these articles