The great part about golf is that there is always a back nine, so if you somehow didn't get your fill on the front side - there's always more to be had after the turn. That's what this part of the Beacon News' weekly golf coverage will do for you
But that's not the type of speed you need. You need this kind of speed...
Also included is the commercial that inspired this week's golf page, as well as some videos of your favorite player's swings on the tee.
Here are some extra snippets of advice from this week's pro's - Jeff Schmidt out at Phillips Park/Fox Valley and Lou Solarte, who teaches out of Cantigny Golf in Wheaton and Links & Tees in Addison.
"Everybody wants that extra five to 10 yards. Number one, I focus on the balance in your swing. You've got to have balance. You can have clubhead speed all you want, but its the combination of ball speed coming off the face of the golf club. And the squarer the head, the more ball speed. The combination of ball speed plus clubhead speed, you'll see an increase in distance."
"If they're looking for more clubhead speed, I'm looking at their equipment as well. Their equipment may not be adequate for them and their golf swing."
"You also have to look at body type. Some people's body type may inhibit them from generating that club head speed. They may have some back problems, they may have flexibility issues. That's when you go back to the equipment - can we correct it with an equipment change in a reasonable manner."
"Everybody wants to swing harder, but harder is definitley not the answer. If you're not hitting the ball square, you're not hitting it."
"I like to make them aware of the smaller muscles of their swing. The large muscles are your legs, your back, but a lot of players will pick up a lot of increased power with how fast they can release the club through the ball (from behind the ball to the ball) For me, I don' thave a large physique - that's where I pick up my distance. I maintain my balance but I get my hands through very, very quickly. I'm not trying to exert any type of force on the ball by swinging harder, but I swing it hard at the bottom of my swing through the release.
"A lot of players hit it square but don't really finish the swing. They have more a check swing with it. When you release that clubface and get that right hand over left and release it through the ball, it's like hitting that home run swing in baseball."
"The extension of the golf swing is the last piece of the puzzle that helps produce the power through the shot because you're sending everything out to the target, you're swinging your club down the target line to the target."
Lou Solarte helps us break down the differences between raw speed and angular speed..
"The old vector launch monitors used to measure club head speed, so you've got linear speed, which is just raw speed - how fast something's moving. Then there's an angular contribution - the club moving away from the arms. The single biggest difference between tour players and amateurs is tour players retain that angle closer to impact and they have a much high angular contribution, or momentum transfer. So most amateurs, they move the club away from their arms at transition up at the top, so then what you have is just a straight lever - it takes more effort to move a straight lever. ... Amateurs cast the club at the top - that's the club moving away from the arms - tour pro's retain that angle further into the downswing. So that's what happens is that the golf club turns into like a whip, so the club snaps at the bottom.
Her'es a good visual for you from Solarte:
"Think of a top - when a top is going its fastest it actually looks like its standing still. But when you're standing and looking down on the top of it, you can actually see the speed. And then when the top slows down, then it starts making these long drifty circles."
so how important is a solid base and proper shoulder turn to increasing angular speed?
"If I give a hundred lessons, my next hundred beginners, I guarantee that with 95 of them I'll start with teaching lower body engagement - what is the proper way that the lower body is used in the golf swing.
The lower body is more of a bracing apparatus, like a tripod with a camera - it allows the camera to turn 360 degrees but in an even line. In the golf swing, it's how you push the feet into the ground and how the ground kind of pushes back. It sets up the proper sequence or proper movement.
In golf (there is) a lot of the over turning. I think a lot of the problems lies with how golf has been taught over the generations. We teach a lot of over twisting, get your back to the target, get your left shoulder under your chin, you're not turning enough...when players get their feet grounded, or rooted, they're not able to turn as much, but they turn their body into a more lactic band, like a rubber band, that you're stretching it efficiently and you can now snap it."
Here's that video again of Tiger hitting driver from his knees, and an explanation from Solarte on why that drill can benefit you...
"If you get on your knees, and you make a back swing, what you'll notice almost immediately is that you simply can't turn back as far. You've eliminated four major joints in the knees and ankles. And now the hips can't turn as much and you've got a dynamic pull through the core. That's what you're trying to achieve in your backswing. That'll give you a pretty good idea as to how far back you should be turning back. For most people it's not very far at all. Not very far at all. But that's what you're trying to achieve in the backswing, you're trying to stretch the midsection. That's your rubber band for the backswing."
Here is a version of the commercial I saw that started this Front Nine discussion - as well as a comment from Solarte, with a great lead in to some great Tour swing videos...
"It's going to make people worse. They'll get out there and think 'So I'm at 80' and they'll sit there and work on getting it to 90. And then what? The shaft...the biggest difference between pro's and amateurs is that pro's can get the equipment to work for them. They're actually getting the shaft to snap at the right time, down at the bottom of the ball. You literally see the shaft kick forward five or six inches (on a tour swing).
Here's a Camilo Villegas tee shot...
"When you do that and the club is going 100 miles per hour, think of how much energy transfer you'll get, when that shaft kicks forward just prior to its maximum point and then it makes contact with the ball."
"That's why these guys don't look like they're doing anything when they're playing. They're out on the range hitting balls and you're like 'My God, if I could swing at it like that, I could stand out there for 10 hours.' That's absolutely right because the manner that they're swinging in allows the golf club to actually help."
and finally, here's Tiger in real time and slo-mo...