Director of Instruction
Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club
One of the difficult things about being a golf coach is that you are trying to communicate a feeling to another person. And, then that person has to try to replicate that feeling when they are on their own. I am a big proponent of using drills to accomplish that.
There are two things that I think make a drill useful. First it has to create feelings and outcomes that will enhance a player’s swing without them having to think too much. The drill should do all of the thinking for them. Second, it should give the player instant feedback if they are doing it right or wrong. These are two drills that I use quite a bit to help players drive the ball better.
The first is “Drive it from your knees”! This is a drill we first used with juniors but has the ability to help any golfer and it accomplishes several things. If done correctly, it will help with forearm rotation in the backswing, proper release in the through swing and combat against early extension in your posture.
To do the drill you need to set up on your knees with your driver in your hands. Hover the club a few inches off the ground and make sure that you are sitting up, not down with your rear end on your heels. As you swing the club back and through try to do so utilizing only the hinging of your wrists and the rotation of your forearms. If you try to use your body the club will smash into the ground well behind, where the ball would be in your stance. If the drill is done correctly, picture 1 reflects the position you should finish in.
The second drill is “Swing up for more distance.” We all know that to maximize the distance with your driver you need to contact the ball with the club moving on a slightly upward path. To do this drill tee up a ball, again with your driver in your hands, and place a putter cover or something of similar size a little more than a foot in front of the ball. You should probably also tee the ball up just slightly higher than normal. (picture 2)
The goal is to not hit the putter cover as you swing through and hit the ball. The movements and body positions that are necessary to not hit the cover will almost automatically show up in your swing. You will tend to start the downswing more with your lower body, you will have a better spine tilt at impact and you will start seeing higher, longer and straighter drives!
Drills are a great way to practice efficiently and get better quickly without over thinking things. If you have a particular drill that you like, make sure it does not require too much thought and that it provides quick and clear feedback.
Jeff Fisher is Director of Instruction at the Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club. Jeff can be reached at 480.414.9330 or email@example.com.