What would you do for 10 extra yards? Would you find it in a new, $500 driver? Maybe it would be in a $300 exotic shaft or a low-spinning ball? Probably not because you can't buy a golf game.
What makes the game so appealing is you have to earn a golf game. Half the fun of it is trying to see how good you can become. In order to get those 10 extra yards you might look at improving your technique. In that respect, we can look to one of the major power sources in the golf swing to improve your distance. That power source is the coiling of your body around a steady center.
Although it sounds way too simple, the coil is the main source of power in all golf swings. When I am talking about coil, I am talking about turning of the upper half of the body around the resistance of the lower half of the body on the backswing.
In doing this, the torso will turn about 90 degrees on the backswing, while the hips and lower body will only turn about 30 or 40 degrees. This "separation" between the lower and upper halves is a key power source. Keeping the lower body quiet and stable on the backswing triples your power potential.
To visualize this, think of a sling shot, where the base of the slingshot represents the lower body and the rubber band represents the upper body. The problem is that most amateurs don't resist enough with their lower body as they turn their upper body on the backswing. The result is usually a powerless, cut-across motion on the downswing.
Maintaining this coil on the downswing is just as important for the production of power. For amateurs, this would mean maintaining that resistance on the downswing. Unfortunately, most amateurs unwind their upper body with their lower body coming down. As a result, the club releases too early, and clubhead speed and square contact is lost.
A good way to feel the correct downswing is to feel like the upper back is continuing to face the target as the club comes down. The lower body is the leader, and the upper body is the follower. At impact, the hips will be slightly open as the shoulders will be square to the target. This will give you the feeling that the resistance between the upper and lower half are being maintained on the downswing.
Maintaining that coil as long as you can on the downswing results in a great deal of clubhead lag, and tremendous amount of clubhead speed.
The bottom line is, you can get that extra 10 yards by resisting with your lower body on the backswing and maintaining that resistance far into the downswing. Distance can be achieved through resistance.
Dr. Jim Suttie, 2000 National PGA Teacher of the Year, is available for lessons through the end of this year and also the spring of 2013 at Suttie Golf at the Club at Twin Eagles in North Naples and Cog Hill Golf Club in Lemont, Ill. For lessons and program information call 800-765-3838 or email Jmsuttie@aol.com.