Golf Practice at Home
Golf Practice at Home
1. Golf swings with various weighted golf clubs for increased swing speed and power
I find practicing with various weighted clubs very helpful for building strength, flexibility and tempo in a golf swing. Its so easy to do and can be of great value to you in not only improving your golf swing but also increasing your clubhead speed!
I start with my heaviest weighted club and do some slow motion practice swings only about 10 max. If there is reflective glass or my shadow on the ground I like to keep an eye on the positions of my swing.
Next I move to the lightest club or training aid that I have. I am concerned only with moving the club as fast as i possible can (Hint: you will be able to hear the speed of the golf club through the air – the louder the sound the faster the clubhead is traveling). Start slowly at first but once you reach full pace you want to do at least 10 swings at your maximum speed. Then repeat but as if you stood on the other side of the ball (ie right handers swing left handed and vice versa).
One you have done that you can take the drill up a notch by repeating but this time starting with your feet together and taking a step towards the target just as you reach your backswing, this initiates the downward motion and generally gives you more clubhead speed, again 10 times per side.
Next repeat the above exercise but with a heavy club.
How to make a weighted club:
There are plenty of training aids available which allow you to add weight to your existing golf club or if you prefer you can hold two clubs at the same time. I have made up a practice club (which your local club professional could easily do for you) where I have removed the grip and filled the shaft with weighted powder then plugged and replaced the grip. So lots of options for you to choose from. For a lighter golf club i use a ladies golf club but you can also use your alignment sticks.
2. Golf Shadow drill for improved golf swing sequence
I love the shadow drills and hence I have a few of these but today I’ll just discuss the one practice drill but I’m sure once you get the idea you will also adapt and add your own drills to this one. How it works is you need a shadow or reflective glass so you can watch what positions your body is moving into during all phases of your golf swing.
In the basic shadow drill you will set up so you are looking directly at (facing) your shadow or reflection. I like to mark positions on the ground for reference. You may have others but the three I like best are the left and right hip plus what I refer to as the swing center (Suprasternal notch or the V at the base of your neck). These points are vital to maintaining good angles during your swing and staying centered which really helps when it comes to hitting the ball sweet and avoiding topping, hitting fat, or hitting off the toe or heel of the club.
Check the basic features of your set up against what your local professional has asked you to do. The primary feature I like to check at this point is that the spine angle tilts just a small amount away from target. In more advanced forms you can also check posture, distance from ball, knee and hip flex as well as many more things.
With hips and swing center positions marked you’re ready to move from set-up into backswing position.
Once there stop and check how your backswing compares with what you are trying to do. The primary area I now check is that my swing center has stayed still and my front hip has not slid away from the target. If these two positions are stable it means I have stayed centered and am in a great position to hit the ball clean. Again in more advanced versions you can check swing plan, lead arm position, maintenance of posture and much more. Very important note, if at the top of the backswing you notice some part of your golf swing is not what you want then DO NOT REPEAT, instead correct the position and hold it for a few seconds to let your mind absorb both the look and the feel of the correct position.
Now you’re ready to swing down and into the follow through position. In the advanced versions this is done slowly so you can see what’s happening along the way however when you’re first practicing this drill just swing easily into your finish position and hold. Whilst holding check your positions against what you want. I like to look for perfect balance, a totally stress free straight back and weight all on the front foot.
Repeat this practice drill for at least ten swings.
When I swing my golf club, what’s it mean if my shadow head is moving?
If your shadows head is moving we call this swing center, the chances are that your impact strike will be less than perfect, or what i call an unclean hit. That is not out of the center of the club. Often when this happens its related to your hips moving especially on the lateral plane (side to side). Using golf drills like this shadow drill will allow you to focus on the hips and the core of the swing and maintain the respective correct positions during your swing
3.. Golf exercises to improve your golf flexibility and power
I can not stress enough the importance of strength, fitness, nutrition and flexibility towards golfing success, thus if you do not have a golf specific trainer or physio then it’s a great time to try and connect with one. The advantage it will give you over your competition is huge! Now when at home there are a lot of things you can do to improve these areas but here are a couple of my basic exercises and swing drills that can be done in just a few minutes of your time to improve flexibility and golf swing speed potential.
Dynamic stretch vs static stretch
The three types of golf exercises can be done in either mode depending on what you wish to achieve.
Most stretches can be done either statically – slowly with a fifteen hold or dynamically – on the move. In my understanding the static stretch is better for increasing flexibility and best done after exercise or play (warm down) to give the muscles etc a really good stretch. Dynamic stretches are best for increasing speed and explosiveness and are best done as part of a warm up prior to playing.
Please do not attempt these exercises without consultation with your health professional!
Wrist and forearm exercise
Start with any club you like (as you progress you may use a weighted club). Grip the club in one hand only and raise your arm up, bend at the elbow and flex your wrist so the head of the golf club goes over the same shoulder as the arm you are using. In this position your upper arm should be horizontal, forearm vertical and wrist close to 90 flexed. Then simply without moving your arm, flex and unflex your wrist using the weight of the clubhead as the resistance. Repeat until you feel the stretch working 10 – 15 reps should be fine if it is too easy get a heavier club!
Upper torso and shoulders
Hold a golf club with your normal golf grip, raise your arms so both arms and golf club are horizontal. Then rotate your wristband arms so the clubface opens and then hinge your wrists. Once in this position pull your arms around your body and you should now look a bit like a baseball player about to hit. From this backswing position unhing and roll your wrists and arms and allow momentum to swing your club on a horizontal axis until your arms are wrapped around the other side of your body. Once you get the idea you can increase the momentum of the club by swinging faster, this is also a great drill to help out those golfers who slice and also for increased power! Repeat until you feel the stretch working 10 – 15 reps should be fine if it is too easy to get a heavier club.
Legs and lower back
You just can not beat squats for a leg and lower back workout, so important for power and stability in a golf swing however often overlooked when it comes to warm ups and strength training. So add some good old fashioned squatting to your daily schedule and see the results. If you’re weak in the legs you can start by using a chair and just sit and stand, repeating as much as you feel necessary to complete either a work out or a good stretch. I like to use a golf club held across my shoulder blades, ensuring I keep a straight simple bend down from my legs into a full squat and if stretching just raise up slowly. For power and once loosened up instead of raising slowly I jump upwards the more I get off the ground the harder the workout!
If you would like to see our suggested warm up protocol visit “The 72 Lessons from beginner to winner”.
Most questions you have about fitness, flexibility, nutrition or golf strength should be directed toward your trusted golf specific fitness or health professional. If you’re struggling to find one, please feel welcome to contact us and we shall endeavour to point you towards a health professional in your area.