Golf Strength Drill

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Have you ever noticed the number of naturally left handed people who play golf right handed?  Often, this starts due to the lack of left handed equipment available when they take up the game.  While I don’t encourage anyone to start playing from the opposite side, this could be a huge advantage to anyone who plays from the opposite side.  In fact, Phil Mickelson, one of the top players in the world, is right handed, but plays golf left handed.

Golf Strength DrillMany golfers lack the physical strength necessary to swing a golf club.  As result, they often develop the habit of swinging the club with their dominant side (for example, a right handed player will use their right side).  It is easy to fall into this category, think of your everyday life.  A few examples of how you use your right arm include: writing, throwing a ball and picking up heavy objects.  This can potentially lead to many different swing faults, such as swinging over the top.  While your right side is naturally stronger for a right handed player, your left side needs to guide your swing. 

Golf Strength DrillThe following drill is used to strengthen your left side when you swing the club (or right side if you play left handed).  Take your normal set up and grip the club with your left hand.  Place your right arm at your side or behind your back.  Use a short iron for this drill (7 iron – sand wedge).  Practice making a swing with just your left arm.  Focus on making approximately a three-quarter swing.  Try to maintain a straight left arm while completing the drill.  Complete your swing by following through to a complete finish position. 

Golf Strength DrillWhen you feel comfortable making practice swings try hitting a ball.  Start by teeing the ball up.  After you successfully hit the ball on a tee, try hitting the ball off the ground.  This drill is not designed to hit the ball a far distance.  Rather, work on the feeling of how your left arm should move throughout the golf swing.

Golf Strength Drill

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    • Eva Yoe
    • mary on August 15, 2011 at 2:01 am
    • Reply

    Oh Thanks for sharing!!! Not many articles out there are focusing on increasing/ gaining golf strength so this is definitely a useful piece. Golf is getting more and more athletic and if you don’t shape up yourself and slacking on fitness, you are going to be having trouble keeping up with the better golfers ( even if you are a weekend golfers) because most of your friends would be spending times and working hard to improve their strength in order to improve their game. Please continue to share your tips with us! 😉

    • Eva Yoe
    • joann on August 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks for the pics! Definitely help me understand the whole concept a lot better 🙂
    It looks easier than I thought but then again, pro golfers always make golf so easy when most of us amateurs struggle so much!

    I’ve always wanted to increase my strength but don’t know how, so thanks for your tips and advice! Now I just have to go try it out tomorrow.
    Is there anything I can buy to help with this training drill? Like the heavy clubs or something like that or do you prefer using a normal golf club??

    • Jeff Howard on March 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm
    • Reply

    Curious the nature of strength and golf!
    I think the opportunity to change one’s swing (if naturally left handed and using right handed clubs, and then desiring to switch back) is a great chance for grit and resilience. The remedy you prescribe (slowly working with feeling the swing, and then hitting the ball from a tee) is probably great to start. I would even suggest, since perception has such an important role in strength, that the person goes from swinging the club and getting used to it, to hitting it and feeling ok, to actually working with a weighted club (again, this is if they are learning to swing with the other hand).

    Natural muscle imbalances and handicaps are best achieved when you attack the problem aggressively, and, with sticking with it and using some form of club weighted, now that liability is an asset, and swinging a ‘normal club’ is nothing. Use Tiger Woods as your role model and heed that even the best change swings and stances (and they do it simply to improve, rather than to right a handicap from using the wrong type of clubs!)

    Anyway, I also like how you say “work on the feeling of how your left arm should move throughout the golf swing” – the value of focusing on the feeling of the movement will give good feedback to the brain on how its supposed to feel, allowing the motion to be more ‘ingrained’ and ‘sinked’ with the person.

    Studies also show visualizing, in the form of seeing yourself actually go through the motions, primes every part of your brain for the movement minus the last synapses necessary to carry it out (motion is more complex than simply moving, part of it is the synchrony of an area called the pre-motor cortex, which plays a role in setting up the movement, the last part is the actual activation of the muscles).

    So anyway, with practice, visualization, and increased progressive resistance in using left handed clubs, the person could turn a handicap from accidentally starting off with a right handed swing and be one of the best left handed golfers. Dare to be great.

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