Hitting power vs raw power
Three ways to turn raw power into hitting power
Power needs a harness to do anything good for you. True in any sport, it’s especially pungent in golf, where it is one key factor determining shot length and thus your performance on the course. Here are three suggestions of how to go about it in order to become better at your golf swing.
You can hit farther than you think. And in all likelihood, you can hit farther than you currently do. That’s one truth we can risk saying about almost any aspiring golfer, even without having seen them hit. The reason is that almost all aspiring golfers don’t quite tap into whatever power they have. They are saddled with raw power. What they need is hitting power – the ever fleeting, seemingly effortless, well-aimed and optimally dosed power that gives you the extra yards on your shot.
How to get there? “By being comfortable with not getting there for a disturbingly long time”, would be the cynical answer. Here are three distinctly less cynical attempts to go about it.
Take away the ball
“The biggest problem in golf is the golf ball” in the candid words of David Leadbetter. Worry less about getting the ball from wherever it lies to whatever target you have in mind. Do away with it and focus on the move as such.
Granted, taking the ball out of your practice might take a lot of spice out of it, at first. However, it can pay well for your long-term progress. Practice the sheer move and practice it often. Mr Leadbetter goes as far as recommending beginners ought not hit any ball for three entire months. Yes, that’s ninety days of hitting air. Which brings us to the second answer.
More reps. And then some.
The more you repeat a move over time, the more extensively your brain builds muscle memory for it. This reduces the conscious effort that goes into performing whatever you are focusing on. Which in turn frees up more energy that can be allotted to the motion. And this is exactly what you want: a larger oomph available for a swing that runs on safer rails.
Lots of repetitions – even without the ball – is a key to getting technique grounded.
Feel the move
Golf lends itself well to the analytical mind. There is no shortage of numbers, and at BAL.ON, with our metric-based approach to rating performance, we are especially guilty of taking apart the swing and the game in order to improve players.
Yet we are also among the first to encourage players to turn their gaze inward and feel_the_move. Go into slow motion, if it helps, close your eyes, and observe what’s going on. A good idea (and a staple of modern training concepts) is sequencing moves from extremely slow motion to ever increasing tempo until normal or high-speed.
Remember: the feeling for the right move must build in much the same way a muscle builds. It takes time. It also takes many reps …
Good players take time to feel the movement and let it sink in well.
Do not quit
Maybe the most important bit of advice is laboring a cliché – hang in there. Be patient, give yourself and your skills time to mature. In golf, the will to improve can get you into a downright quicksand of questioning everything. Don’t let that ruin your goodwill towards your training.
Committed, long-term training almost always pays off in some aspect or other. If need be, question a lot of things, but have faith in the practice as such. One day, it might even result in that coveted longer shot!