Width = Power

OTHER HELPFUL TIPS: Use the right tool in the sand & Tweak your finish to work the ball

Doug Hammer

Scottsdale, AZ (Sports Network) -- Everyone wants to hit it farther. I know I do. I recently played a new golf course here in Scottsdale, one that measures just short of 7700 yards! That, of course, does not mean you have to join me at the "tips."

But, even as someone that plays from the back tees.blues, black, gold or any color the course chooses, I came to the realization that everyone NEEDS to hit it further. Today, golf club technology is better than ever and is doing everything possible to help you to hit it farther, but you still need the right technique to hit the center of the club face consistently to reproduce power.

Bad Swing finish
Most amateurs associate power with length of backswing. To some extent this is true but just because you take it back really far does not mean you will hit it farther. You must maintain a good swing arc, or width, in your backswing to create the right amount of club lag in the downswing. Too often I see golfers take the club back with just their arms or, if they do rotate their shoulders, the arms "outswing" the shoulders in the backswing causing a loss of width thereby resulting in a smaller arc.
The golf swing is simple physics. A smaller swing arc will produce less club head speed. A wider arc will produce more speed.
Try this: attach a weight at the end of a string. Hold the end of the string and swing the weight in a circle. You can probably hear and see the amount of speed. Now, hold the string in the middle and swing the weight. You should be able to tell that the weight is not moving as fast.
In the photo I am demonstrating a takeaway with a narrow arc. Notice how my arms are bent and my hands have swung back much farther than my shoulders have turned. In the second photo, I am keeping my left arm straight and my arc wide. Notice my hands have stayed in front of my chest.
Good Swing finish
Regardless of how much you can turn your shoulders, the left arm should stay relatively straight and the hands should stay in front of the shoulders.
The arm swing should match the shoulder turn!!
The next time you watch golf, pay attention to the long hitters.
They will have a big shoulder turn, but they do not let their arms "outswing" that shoulder turn. They also keep a wide arc in the backswing before cocking the wrists and swinging the club up. If you can avoid taking the club back by just picking up the arms and keep a wide arc, you will hit it farther!

Doug Hammer * Director of Instruction * Troon North Golf Club p 480-585-5300 ext. 251 * f 480-585-5161 * www.troonnorthgolf.com 10320 E Dynamite Blvd. * Scottsdale, AZ 85262 Managed by Troon Golf? * www.troongolf.com

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