Secret is going forward

KEVIN HAIME

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Every day on the practice tee and golf course I see people desperately trying to hit the ball farther. Everyone is looking for the secret to a few more precious yards.

The problem with most golfers is that they are looking for the secret in the wrong spot. Just about everybody out there thinks the key to longer shots is a bigger backswing. Golfers lift, shift and wind themselves up in an effort to create that bigger backswing. This strategy rarely works.

First, golfers usually end up out of balance and out of position because they have too many moving parts in their backswing.

Second, the real key to longer shots is forward speed.

Golf is a forward swinging sport. The faster your club swings forward to a finish the further your ball will soar. The real secret to more powerful golf shots is to swing your club to a full finish.

Take a look at the pros --their backswings look so simple and controlled compared to the average player, but their follow-through are much longer.

You can learn a lot by looking at the finish position of a great player. All of the golfer's weight is on the lead leg and the back foot is fully released and up on its toe. Most importantly, the upper body has completely unwound so that the pros' back shoulder often faces the target. Momentum has unwound the body as the club literally slings forward and releases to a finish.

Next time you practise pay less attention to the size of your backswing and focus more on finishing your swing. You may even feel that you have to shorten your backswing in order to get to a full finish, but it's well worth it. If you want to hit your longest shots, you need to understand golf is a forward swinging sport. The secret to distance is the follow-through.


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