‘Batter Up’ drill will help your consistency

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, June 27th, 2015

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By Tom Ward
Special Contributor
tompward@sbcglobal.net

Over the years I’ve taught numerous professional athletes from all the major sports and found that Baseball and Hockey players are usually the better golfers.
When it comes to Baseball players one of the main reasons is that the baseball swing and golf swing are quite similar. I won’t go into all the intricacies about the mechanics of a baseball swing and a golf swing because this column doesn’t have enough space to delve into all nuances of each sport. However, I do have an excellent drill that can improve your shot making immediately and it has a baseball type twist to it.
All you’ll need to do this drill is grab one of your own golf clubs and setup over the ball like you’re about to take a swing. To assist me in demonstrating this drill I have my friend, former Texas Ranger and Chicago Cubs pitcher and current Spanish radio broadcaster for the Rangers, Jose Guzman helping me out.
I’ve had a few baseball players tell me over the past 4 decades that hitting a little white ball, that isn’t moving and sitting on a tee, is much harder than hitting a 90 plus mile an hour fast ball being thrown by a major league pitcher like Guzman.
Jose told me that during his playing days he never got to bat until he played for the Chicago Cubs in the national league. He could hit the fast ball, but didn’t have much luck with curve balls.
As you can see in the photo on the bottom left, Guzman has adapted a batter’s stance like you would see in a baseball game. He has great knee flex on his setup and has gotten into a good athletic posture like he’s ready to hit a home run.  I can’t over emphasize the importance of creating and maintaining a stable well balanced stance whether your swinging a golf club or a baseball bat by having outstanding posture prior to making your swing.
Next, where the baseball swing path is more horizontal than the golf swing path,  I have Guzman slowly lowering his club after each subsequent swing. You can see in the bottom right photograph how he has gradually allowed the club to be lowered after each practice swing. Eventually you will have lowered the club all the way down where the golf ball is sitting.
Once you’ve setup into this particular drill the key to having success translating your baseball swing into a golf swing depends on you staying bent over the waist from start to finish. Do not deviate from this position or you will come out of your posture prematurely prior to impact meaning that you’ll probably top or whip the ball.
Each time you make a slow swing or pass over the ball you’re letting the golf club drop down to a lower level until you end up in a more vertical swing path.
I recommend starting out slow when doing this exercise, without a ball, because it is quite demanding, but the dividends it pays in the long run are well worth it.
Finally, by continuing this swinging action you will have gone from a baseball type move to a golf swinging motion all in a few seconds. You can actually hit golf shots doing this drill…. if you have been disciplined in your technique your body will automatically respond to the perfect chain reaction created.
The photo at the top is where Guzman gets the big payoff hitting a great shot right down the middle of the fairway with tremendous velocity.
Take a close look at the top photo of Guzman after impact. His head is still down and the right shoulder is working under through the shot during the critical impact area. His legs have remained flexed, the right knee has kicked inward and that action are creates a dynamic pulling action.
The arms are totally extended and the clubface has naturally rotated through the shot. Now the golf ball has been launched down the fairway with lighting fast club head speed at the perfect angle of attack which all add up to long drives that are straight and true.
To play great golf you want a swing that stays in motion from start to finish. Not a series of stagnant, abrupt movements which create anxiety and tension leading to wayward shots.
In baseball, when players get to the plate, they are always moving trying to stay loose and active as the pitcher gets ready to deliver the ball. In golf, they call it a ‘waggle’ because it’s a stress reliever and it really works.
So next time you’re out working on your game try this drill and see how it can help you hit the ball deep like the major league players. Guzman may have never hit a home run during his playing days in professional baseball, but now he’s bombing his drives on the golf course thanks to his ‘Batter Up’ drill.

Tom Ward can be reached at www.teetimewithtom.com

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