Tom’s Tip: Get “On the Ball’ Drill
This week’s tip is going to focus on an important area of your
swing that starts from the ground up.
Your hands maybe the only contact you have with the club, but
your feet are the only contact you have with the ground. When a
golfers legs start to get tired late in the round this is a tell tale
sign that there is going to be a major power leakage in their game.
Also under pressure when a golfer incorporates too much upper body
(shoulders) or excessive hand and wrist action its likely game over as
This weeks drill will help to highlight the importance and often
understated value of your feet (legs) and the role they play in your
golf swing. This particular tip will help you maximize your energy for
a clean and efficient move from start to finish. This incredibly
simple drill requires only a golf ball, placed under your right foot
(for right handed players) as shown in the photograph demonstrated by
one of my junior golfers.
First, go ahead and take your normal setup over the ball. Next,
take a golf ball and wedge it under the sole of your golf shoe as
shown in the picture. I must warn you that this will feel quite
awkward in the beginning, but remember the old saying ”If you always
did what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always
got.” Needless to say, in the long run you’re going to like how the
ball under your foot will help your shot making and can add more power
to game. The premise for having the ball under your foot is to build
and maintain leverage as you take the club back up to the top of your
backswing. The key to pulling off this shot to derive the maximum
amount of energy possible in your swing is to make sure you maintain
the correct posture you’ve established on your initial setup.
The junior golfer is a relative newcomer to the game, however you
can see she has a simple setup over the ball staying bent from waist
as she prepares to make her swing. Take a close look at the great knee
flex she has even with a golf ball tucked under her right foot. She’s
allowing her arms to hang down naturally and comfortable not trying to
over extend herself in any manner.
When a golfers torso straightens up too much at the top of their
backswing a multitude of problems will arise. The purpose of the
backswing is to store up your energy. As the golfer reaches the top of
their backswing they are really winding up, like a human rubber band
creating a great surge of energy that will be very explosive as they
begin their trek back into the hitting area. By having a golf ball
wedged under your foot it will act as a miniature backboard to help
create stability as you pivot the upper body against the lower body
which is supported by your braced right leg. It’s very similar to the
motion used by a pitcher in baseball. As The pitcher makes his windup
he’s keeping one foot planted firmly against the rubber on the mound.
The ball under your foot is your safety net to assist in pushing off
from the ground up as your start your journey back to the ball.
Also, the ball under your foot will help from over-swinging.
Trying to take the club too far bac, with too much lateral motion in
the takeaway, will cause loss of balance. You’ll be fortunate if
your even able to make any contact with the ball at all.
Having the ability to push off with the right foot creates a
dynamic chain reaction whereby the legs will automatically pull the
club down first on the correct swing path relative to your physical
build. This excellent motion starting from the ground up is where you
can really can develop some extra club head speed.
Next time you’re out hitting balls I highly recommend giving this
drill a try. With a little practice you’ll be surprised how well this
drill can make an immediate and positive impact in your game giving a
favorable boost of confidence. The added bonus by doing this drill is
feeling more power driving the legs into your shots than in the past.
This motion with the lower body leading the downswing will help you
feel and look much more synchronized and fluid in your swing.
Finally, this drill is designed to counteract the tendency we all
battle as golfers. Inconsistency is the bi-product of initiating the
downswing with the hands or shoulders first which forces the club to
come into the ball at a poor angle of attack or what is commonly
called “coming over the top”. The better players can frequently get
away with it, but eventually even they will fall prey to some awful
shots. If there is a ‘cancer” in the golf swing it originates in the
hands because that’s the only contact we have with the club. When
getting nervous or anxious about our swing we feel it in the hands. To
have a great swing that can hold up under pressure let your hands just
hold onto the club and go for the ride, as that’s the purpose they
So it’s time to “Get on the ball” and step up to the tee with a
revised game plan to elevate your game to a higher level.
Tom Ward can be reached at www.teetimewithtom.com