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|Lorena Ochoa might be small in stature, but she still manages to generate a lot of club head speed. (Courtesy ladieseuropeantour.com)|
Most golf instruction is written by men from a man's point of view. But women, who are built differently and have different tendencies, have to work on set-up and swing keys that are specific to them. Although only 5 ft. 5 in. and weighing 120 pounds, LPGA Tour Pro Lorena Ochoa's average drive is 271 yards. How is it that a petite woman can boom her drives out there farther than the average male golfer?
It is all in her technique and her ability to create club head speed. Here are five things ladies can work on to improve their technique for more club head speed and knock it out there with the big boys and girls - and maybe even past them.
A strong grip helps create a flatter swing path and a more powerful release of the club through impact.
Instead of setting your left thumb on top of the grip, rotate it about 30 degrees clockwise (away from the target) so it is angled down the right side of the grip.
You now should see two, even three, knuckles of the left hand when looking down at address.
This grip will help compensate for having less arm strength than men.
As for the right hand, spread your fingers as wide as possible. There should be a significant gap between the index and middle fingers. This is also a strong position.
A solid base creates good balance and supports high club head speed. Flex your knees slightly and press them away from each other, not inward as many people think they should. Pressing them inward actually promotes reverse pivoting, a major power loss position. Pressing the knees away from each other enables you to shift your weight correctly.
As the club starts back, stretch your arms away from your torso while holding your hips and knees in place. Your lower body will turn no matter how much you try to prevent it, but if you resist with your lower body at the start of the swing, you won't overturn - a common problem among women who tend to be very flexible. Overturning destroys the coil that sets up a powerful downswing.
At the top of the backswing, the right arm should fold to form a right angle. When this occurs, the right hand should be under the grip, providing support so the club doesn't dip past parallel. This support preserves your natural maximum swing arc and the wider the arc, the more club head speed you can produce.
Starting down, push the hands away from your shoulders as far as possible. The butt end of the club should point down to the ball and the club head stays pointed to the sky creating angle in the back of the right wrist. This position combined with a stronger grip helps the forearms rotate the clubhead square for a solid strike every time.
October 10, 2007
While live lessons from a good golf professional are always better, if you're going to learn to play or improve your game on your own, the "Butch Harmon About Golf presented by Titleist" series is about as good as it gets. The two-DVD set, which costs $79.95, is broken down into six sections and is very well organized, Mike Bailey writes.
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