Welcome to Play Smart, a game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Game Improvement Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter, better golf.
One of the most effective ways of hitting the ball farther is to load into your right side on the backswing. The idea of shifting your weight on the backswing has been around for ages, but since golf teachers have jumped headfirst into the study of ground reaction forces in the golf swing, they have science to back up why it’s a good idea. The fact is that loading poorly into your trail side can be a major power leak in your golf swing.
Enter Dave Phillips, a GOLF Top 100 Teacher and co-founder of the Titleist Performance Institute, who works with Jon Rahm. He shared a handy tip (which you can watch for yourself below) to fix this, so in today’s Play Smart, we’re going to break it down.
1. Feet together, toes pointing out
Step one is to put your feet together with your toes pointing out. Don’t worry, you won’t be hitting the ball from here.
“Feet together, just like a penguin, put the ball in the middle,” Phillips says.
2. Big step to your right
The next step is literally a step.
“I want you to step your trail leg back,” Phillips says. “Wherever you land, that’s where you stay.”
3. Keep the feeling
And once you’ve made your step, Phillips wants you to stay there, set up, and maintaining in the swing. You may be taken aback by the simplicity of it, but that’s the beauty of it. Don’t fall into the trap of needing to do more.
“Don’t add any more side-bend at setup,” he says. “I want you to set up, and keep that feeling all the way to the top of your backswing.”
It’s a good drill, not just because it’s simple and from one of the best coaches around, but also because it’s more of a routine than a drill. If this is something you struggle with, you could very easily do this on the golf course — it could become the new way you set up to the golf ball off the tee, and your drives will be better for it.
Watch the full video below.