Each season the young players coming onto the Tour are swinging faster and hitting the ball further – think of recent graduates like Viktor Hovland, Matthew Wolf and Cameron Champ to name just a few.
If we look at the top 10 players in the world, they are all long strong hitter – Koepka, McIlory, Johnson, Thomas, Rahm etc. It’s clear without speed it’s going to be VERY difficult to compete at the highest level – it’s now a power game.
Well in this article I’m going to present a snapshot of a recent Coach Education Day we hosted with my friend Steve Gould in Ticino Switzerland.
Steve is a PGA Professional but as specialised in coaching technology over the last 25 years. He owns and runs GASP systems (www.gaspsystems.com) and has developed one of the most advanced force plate measurement platform in the world and has worked closely with leading golf biomechanics Dr Sasho MacKenzie and Dr Mike Duffey.
His workshop on ‘Ground Reaction Forces’ was outstanding, and he detailed firstly the theory of how to optimise power and then later in the day he increased significantly the swing speed of EVERY player.
Steve cites, “50% of the power we generated in a golf swing comes from using the ground correctly. It’s important to understand that players need to generate rotational speed. This is called TORQUE. The more TORQUE you have, the more potential you have to increase a golfers club speed.”
He adds, “There are two main TORQUES generated by GRF - Frontal Plane Torque and Horizontal Plane Torque. Other torques are generated Pivoting Torque, Transverse Plane Torque and the torque created around the Free moment, but these are lower in magnitude. Sagittal Plane torque is created; however this does not generate power, it just effects the postures stability”.
1. Linear Forces
This is a vector in a straight line – imagine a sprinter moving forward
2. Rotational Force
ROTATIONAL FORCE / TORQUE or MOMENT is a rotating force like a child's roundabout, turning around a fixed point
3. Key Formula
Torque = ‘Moment Arm’ x Force
(moment arm is the distance between COP and COM – of your measurement device does not measure COM it is impossible to correctly calculate and measure torque). We are looking for a moment arm of about 20cm
5 Key drills to try
1. Widen stance – this can assist in building stability so you can use the ground more effectively, as well as assisting building the ‘moment arm’.
2. Start with the club in front in order to build greater speed and momentum on the backswing. Contrary to popular belief low backswing is definitely not helpful in building speed – you need to get momentum on the backswing
3. Move COP left before you start…e.g. a forward press…or exaggerated the Matthew Wolf move!!
4. Start to feel as though you squat as you reach ¾ position in backswing (‘un-weighting’)
5. Use the feet and ankles to grip into the ground to rotate harder to create more rotational torque on the downswing and follow through
On Tuesday 19th November Steve Gould will be in Switzerland to present his Ground Reaction Forces Seminar to coaches in the Zurich area. Interested to join? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and click HERE to view information sheet
Click HERE to learn more. Only 8 places available
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