Use Ground Leverage to Generate Power

Published: 26th January 2008
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Copyright (c) 2008 Jack Moorehouse

What does throwing a baseball and swinging a golf club have in common? They both use the ground to add some power to a motion. You wouldn't get anything on your throw or hit the ball very far if you didn't. You wouldn't think of throwing a baseball without pushing off on your back foot, would you? Often, leveraging the ground is a natural tendency. But sometimes it's not.

Ground leverage in golf is the same principle applied in every day actions like walking, skipping a stone over the water, or closing a car door. Ground leverage enables you to add thrust and power to your action. In golf, this ability must be learned. And that takes concentration and work. But once you've mastered the mechanics of ground leverage, it can have an enormous impact on your swing and your golf handicap.

Start with the Setup

Your setup has a lot to do with how much ground leverage is in your swing, so we will begin there. To create ground leverage, you need to make some setup changes. The five golf tips below will help you leverage the ground when swinging a golf club.

* Widen your stance

* Flare your back foot in

* Flare your front foot out

* Use a trigger

* Transfer your weight

The changes in your setup are minor, but taken together they have a profound effect on distance. Begin by widening your stance slightly to shoulder length (measuring from the inside of your foot.) Flare your back foot in slightly to create a solid coiling post to support your backswing as well as your torso rotation and weight transfer. Also, flare your front foot out slightly. This setup may feel a bid odd at first. But it doesn't restrict your ability to turn. More importantly, it stops you from twisting you hip, producing a reverse pivot.

With a reverse pivot, you do the opposite of what you should do when transferring wieght. Instead of transferring your weight to your back foot and then to your front foot when swinging, you (1) transfer your weight to your front foot during your takeaway, and then (2) transfer it back to your back foot during the follow through. This sequence constricts your body turn, short-circuiting power and inhibiting consistency. Golfers with a reverse pivot don't get much on their drives or iron shots.

Get Comfortable

Since this setup is new, take a few practice backswings to get used to the feel of it. You should sense a lighter coil. Notice also how your front foot points forward with your toe open toward the target-almost as though you were stepping forward to throw a ball. This open foot position offers the best leverage into the forward swing.

The open foot position also encourages your weight to shift and allows your rotation to powerfully unwind your hips, arms, shoulders, and hands with full acceleration. On the way back down, use ground leverage to create the dynamic weight transfer and acceleration that produces power-the kind of power that drives a ball for distance and helps lower golf handicaps.

Add a Trigger

In addition to using ground leverage, many golfers with low golf handicaps add a trigger to the process. Some players push the front knee slightly towards the target. This move acts as a forward press, triggering their swings both mechanically and psychologically. It also helps build up rhythm, another contributor to power. Gary Player uses his knee. Jack Nicklaus turns his heads slightly to the right. Use whatever works for you.

Using ground leverage can have an enormous impact on your golf scores and your golf handicap. Ground leverage takes advantage of a simple principle that we use every day with a wide variety of actions. In golf's case, using ground leverage must be learned and mastered, whether through golf lessons or on your own. Once mastered, it helps you drive the ball longer and straighter.


Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book "How To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros." He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven continents lower their handicap immediately. He has a free weekly newsletter with the latest golf tips, golf lessons and golf instruction. .

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