Using Gravity For Distance

Using gravity for distance gain sounds simple enough to the youthful, but it involves activating many body parts, more than you can think of during a golf swing. This harnessing of gravity for distance can be what one loses with age.

Lee Trevino was one of the very best at using every KG of body weight to get the most power to the golf club head through impact, and he was also the straightest. When using  “gravity drills” you are able to perform golf practice exercises without having to think  technically. As the drill is repeated you gradually learn to contact the ball effectively and the feel is remembered in the body.

I personally have used a specific drill, (single arm swings) regularly in the past when practicing. Start with a 9 iron and hit five balls using the right hand only. Then hit 5 balls using the left hand only. Now hit 10 balls with your normal swing. Do this set of 20 balls 3 times before your regular practice. To begin with you may hit only air and ground a few times, but I found this to be just part of the learning curve.

In The Video below  gravity swing and drills are explained in more detail. I recommend regular drills and golf exercises for all golfers, especially older golfers. As the doctor says “use it or lose it”.

GreyPower Distance

When talking to many older golfers I have found that the most common aspect of the game they would like to improve on is distance from the tee.

If you are in good physical condition for your age, survey results show you should not expect to experience significant distance loss until your mid 70’s. One of the primary reasons for this is the clubhead speed that can be generated simply from the right arm and hand. You will find several videos featured here showing how the right arm works like a throwing action in golf. This same action can be seen in videos of other activities with similar right arm bio mechanics.

In the next videos take a look at a baseball and softball swing. This is a two-handed swing with very similar bio mechanics to golf when it’s adapted to a golf posture and the swing plane is adjusted to a stationary golf ball on the ground .

An added dimension is an explanation of the wrist action. Note how the club head speed (distance) is increased dramatically when you have both hands gripping the club, introducing wrist action through and after impact. This is not a demonstration of control and accuracy, just distance improvement. Once new distance has been accomplished and the centre of the club face is contacting the ball, I can show you the ways to improve your control and accuracy.

The next step is to combine the right arm hinge with body rotation. Visualise how the best baseball players do it. These body movements are little more difficult and require quite a lot of practice, especially for a GreyPower body, but with increased knowledge, improved flexibility, plus a greater range of body movement, you can expect good results.

Cutting the Grass

Using a sickle, another example of excellent right arm action in the golf swing.

In the video below, Mike demonstrates using a sickle to cut his grass. Watch how takes advantage of the power generated by hinging the right arm at the elbow.

In golf we do the same.. Keeping the right elbow hinged on the downswing until the elbow is down to the level of the right hip greatly increases club head speed, the key factor to adding more distance on your drives.

So how does this two handed Scythe motion, which does not allow for a delayed release of the elbow generate power? Observe the body rotation’s similarity to the movement of a golf swing. Full body rotation, and the centrifugal force it generates, is the second key to unleashing more distance in your game.

Skipping Stones for Distance

When I was a youngster my parents would take me to our batch (cottage) by the beach. I would love to pick up smooth stones and throw them to see how many times I could get them to skip along the top of the water before sinking. Little did I know I was practising a right shoulder and right arm action and spine rotation, which later, when incorporated into my golf swing, would give me longer than average distance even although I would be described as smaller than average size.

I am now over 70 years old and still hit a lot of five pars in two shots. I credit a lot of this retained distance to the underarm throwing action of my right arm and shoulder learned as a child skipping stones..

It is interesting to observe the right arm mechanics of the stone skippers in the next two videos and compare it to the similar desired action that can be seen in a good golf downswing.

Compare the arm action of these stone skippers to that of the bottom hand in your own golf swing.

The right elbow goes straight down from the top of the swing. Right elbow is leading the wrist and the elbow is coming in closer to the right hip and into what is described as a loaded lever position before it begins to unload. At he last second the wrist lets go to release the stone which skips along the top of the water many times before sinking.

If you take a look at the slow motion video analysis of top golf swings, you will notice the right hand and wrist joint is still partially cocked at impact. The right arm and wrist only fully straighten out after the ball has been struck.

Most GreyPower golfers can still throw or learn a similar action despite their age and the reward is a longer drive.

CHECK OUT the videos below on the right arm action in the golf swing.

Pro Tip:
When swinging well I can release (take off) my right hand completely from the club at impact on any iron shot without significant distance loss so long as my body rotation hasn’t stopped. In fact I often do this as a practice drill the guard against releasing my right arm lever too early on the down swing.

Own Your Swing

During the 1970’s I was a young PGA golf professional based in Canada and became friends with a Pro named Moe Norman. Moe was completely dedicated to hitting balls and playing golf every day. He developed a swing that he knew would repeat shot after shot and he won many golf tournaments.

I also was lucky enough to teach golf alongside a famous instructor Lloyd Tucker, who was Moe’s mentor in his early years. Lloyd also coached Gary Cowan (2 times USA amateur champion) and other champion Canadian golfers in their younger days. Lloyd often spoke with me of the swing methods he coached Moe about, and the different coaching styles he employed in order to get the most out of each of his pupils. These differed to suit individual ability body type and personality traits. Lloyd’s track record demonstrates the effectiveness of his very successful approach which I was lucky to be exposed to as a young professional.

Check out the video below and you will see Moe demonstrating his skills in his later years. Observe the individual swing that suited him. He developed the basics of this style in his youth when he was hitting balls daily under the watchful eye of Lloyd Tucker. I would not try to copy this swing, but if you can master one or two of Moe’s moves it will certainly take shots off your score.