Archimedes once said: “Give me a lever and a place to stand and I can move the world.”
Power comes from leverage
It is not necessary to be tied to the muscles to perform longer impulses. But you do need to harness all the power at your disposal. Maximize the power in your golf swing through leverage.
Distance comes from speed
Going further is not so much about power as it is about speed. You want the clubhead to travel as fast as possible through impact.
Leverage provides the power to generate speed
The power of your golf swing should be used to rotate your core through hitting the target into an efficient pivot. Faster core rotation will generate your desired clubhead speed.
The common mistake most golfers make when trying to propel the golf ball further is throwing the head of the club at the ball with their hands and arms. The challenge is that the hands and arms are not as strong as the large core muscles, from the hips to the shoulders. The strength of the hands and arms is used to control the clubface, not to generate clubhead speed.
The key is good footwork
Jack Nicklaus believes that a good golf swing begins with good footwork. Creating more leverage in your swing, and consequently effortless power, starts with your feet.
Your leverage point is the ball of your right foot.
At the top of the swing, you need to load power and energy into the inside of your right foot, right on the ball of your foot. The inside of the ball of the right foot is its position of action. If you don’t have your weight on the inside of the ball of your foot at the top of your swing, you’re stealing power and distance.
Examples of leverage
Imagine a basketball player on defense. To stay in front of the dribbler, the defensive player has to move his feet from side to side while the ball is moving. They push from the inside of their feet, the ball of the foot, to move sideways.
That same pushing motion, when combined with a pivot, is what adds power to the golf swing.
Another example would be a baseball pitcher. On the mound is a slab of rubber that pitchers use as a lever to push and pivot toward home plate when they pitch. It is not the strength of the arm that creates the speed of the ball. In fact, your arm must be relaxed to maintain precision and make the small positional adjustments that make the difference between fastballs and corners. It is the leg and torso strength maximized through the lever position on the inside of the right foot that creates speed.
The same concept applies to distance and your golf swing.
The next time you are in range working to add distance to your impulses, pay attention to your leverage position at the top of your backswing. If you are not on the inside of your right foot, you are losing power.
Pigeon tip drill to help feel leverage
To help you get a feel for good leverage, try the “pigeon tip” exercise.
Get into your normal driving position. Before swinging, turn your right heel out so that your right foot is “dove toe.” Square your hips and keep a little bend in your right knee. Take a ¾ swing and pay attention to the tension that builds up in your right leg. You will probably find that it is very easy to push towards the target with your lower body when the right foot is turned slightly.
Maintain your leverage to get more distance
If you want to add more distance to your thrusts with effortless power, maintain your lever position throughout the swing. Leverage allows you to efficiently use power to your large muscles, which in turn allows your hands and arms to remain flexible enough to control the clubface and produce consistent golf shots. Your leverage point is the ball of your right foot, and that’s where you need to charge energy at the top of your golf swing.