Have you ever wondered why your hard swings hit shots that rarely go very far and are usually off line, whereas your smooth ‘just get it out there somewhere’ swing frequently hits the ball 20 yards further than usual and right down the middle? It’s probably because you have ‘soft hands’ on the smooth swings and release the club properly.
A good way to get the feel of “soft hands” is to swing the club back and forth from waist high on the back swing to waist high on the follow through. Make sure the toe of the club is pointing roughly up at the sky when it reaches waist high on both back and forward swings. As you swing back and forth you want to hold on just tight enough to avoid losing the club, being smooth with the changes of direction. If it feels loose, sloppy and out of control, you’re probably doing it right. Notice how your hands roll over at impact. They will literally snap over just from the club accelerating under its’ own weight through the ball, not because you are making them turn over. This all happens automatically by relaxing the hands and arms on the downswing, rather than creating tension by trying to physically hit the ball. (I use this exercise all the time when I’m playing to remind my hands of what I want them to do.)
Now, make some full swings. Make sure you still feel the hands release through the hitting area. Once you have this down you can start hitting balls. Keep in mind no matter how good your “soft hands” are at address, when you get to the top of your backswing and start down there’s a good chance you’ll be choking the life out of the club. Try relaxing your grip pressure at the top of the backswing to regain your ‘soft hands’. Trust the club to find its’ way to the ball - the worst thing you can do is try to guide the club to the ball.
You spend a lot of money on your golf equipment. It is packed with technology and knows how to hit a golf ball perfectly… every time. It will take wonderful care of you if you just trust it and let it do what it is built to do. Don’t mess with perfection! You have enough to do just being smooth and maintaining your ‘Soft Hands’! Once you get the feel for this, you’ll find both your good and bad shots will go longer and straighter than ever.
If you have trouble getting the feel of this, your local PGA Professional will be able to soften your hands so you hit it longer and straighter in the New Year!
Happy New Year and may you all swing and putt your best in 2014!
Kim Anders is PGA Professional residing in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at email@example.com.