3 Golf Swing Mistakes That Drain Your Power

There is an awful lot of literature in print and on the internet regarding the golf swing and what you need to do to improve your game. There is also a lot of information on how golf fitness can improve your swing and increase your swing speed. However, not much of this information provides golfers with the understanding to correct their own golf swing faults.

What golfers need to realize is that there are a few swing mistakes that lead to a lack of power in the golf swing, and these mistakes are definitely correctable. Improving your fundamentals will help you hit the ball further. You can be able to bench press a house, but if you have one of these swing faults, you will never see much improvement in your swing speed.

The first, and most common mistake is the over the top golf swing, and this actually leads to a second common mistake, which is the early release of the hands. The over the top swing typically results in a pull slice for most golfers, or just inconsistency in many. It robs the golfer of power because it is the upper body that is leading the downswing, rather than the lower body, which is where we are strongest.

Many golfers unsuccessfully try to correct this fault by pulling the club further to the inside on the back swing. This is exactly the opposite of what you should do. Instead, you should try to take the club back in a straighter line away from the ball so that the club does not get too far behind you in the back swing. This takeaway will get you in a better position at the top of your back swing so you will have room to let the arms drop into a better position in the downswing, which must be started by moving the hips laterally toward the target before letting them turn. So, improve your takeaway and learn how to start the downswing with your lower body.

The second common mistake, which I mentioned is a direct result of the over the top swing, is the early release of the hands in the down swing. If the hands release too soon in the downswing, you lose that storage of power and the whipping action that can occur with the hands similar to what Sergio Garcia does with his hands. I often see students have extended arms and the club in line with those arms while the hands are still a foot behind the ball. This means they are going to only hit the ball with their arms, rather than let the club whip through as the hands release properly.

Ideally, while the hands are almost even with the ball in the downswing, the club should still be lagging behind quite a bit. In Sergio’s case, his club is still nearly parallel to the ground as his hands are just about even with the ball. The club then whips through with tremendous speed, which is why he hits the ball so far for someone who is not very big.

To correct this early release, you must focus on getting the lower body moving to start the downswing. However, it is crucial that you learn to maintain the hinge in your wrists, or your wrist cock, longer in your downswing. Try this drill. If you are right handed, stand one arm’s length away from a wall (one that you don’t mind marking up a bit). Grip a 5 iron near the clubhead. Extend your arms to your right and hinge your wrists so that the club is pointing straight up. Then, from here turn your shoulders so that you swing the club to the top of your back swing. Now, swing the club down and try not to hit the wall behind you. In order to miss the wall, you MUST start the downswing with your lower body AND maintain the wrist hinge longer in your down swing. Once you have learned how to do this by holding the club near the clubhead, you can do it by holding it on the grip.

Finally, the last common mistake is the reverse pivot. This occurs when the golfer fails to shift their weight properly to the back foot in the back swing. Most often, it is caused by the golfer TILTING their hips during the back swing, rather than TURNING them. Golfers who have the reverse pivot swing fault also tend to tilt their eyes downward toward the target during the back swing.

This swing issue robs the golfer of their ability to use the lower body in a good weight shift back to the front foot. Ultimately, they often lose balance while falling back on their back foot, and this results in a lack of swing speed.

To correct this swing fault, you must learn to do a proper weight shift through a proper hip and shoulder turn. Try to turn your shoulders and hips so that the center of your chest is over your back foot. You must be sure that the back knee is bent, but it should not be bending outside of your back foot. If it is, then you know you are not getting a good hip turn. If you are a right handed player, you must feel your body weight on the inside of your right heel, the inside of your right thigh, and in your right buttock. Finally, you need to try and keep your eyes parallel to the ground in the backswing.

When trying to correct your swing faults, be patient! Swing changes take time, and can not be done over night. Over time, as you improve on these moves, you will get more solid shots and hit the ball further. But, no matter how much you focus on improving your golf fitness, you will not be able to hit the ball better without improving your fundamentals.