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GROUND REACTION FORCE GOLF DRILL – PGA Professional Robin Symes explains a drill to increase Ground Reaction Force and clubhead speed.

Hi, Robin here. Let’s talk a little bit about ground force reaction. Now this is a biomechanical subject. Something that’s been researched a lot recently. But biomechanics are great, but they’ve got to be appliable. So the way I’m going to talk about this today is not into the micro-detail. I don’t think players learn with fine details. They learn from just having the general concept. Things which they can relate to and apply and do during a swing. And that’s the way that I’m going to try and explain it today.

All right, when you ask players in a golf swing what creates speed and distance. The common answers would be shoulder turn, pressure transfer, weight transfer. Maybe wrist cocking, and logging, arch, etc. All good stuff, all has some effect in distance. But very few will say the ground force reaction, the force from the ground. I call it just vertical force. Because if I think about a player. I’ve said this before, basketball throwing a ball. If they just threw with their arms and nothing from the ground, it’s very difficult to create distance. They’re going to have to use a lot of upper body strength to create any momentum and create any distance in the ball. But if they use the ground a little bit, they time that little jump with the release of the ball. Actually they can put a lot less effort in to get the same distance, or even more distance. Think about almost any hitting sport. Baseball, you’re always gonna see that little bit of a thrust upwards. A push from the ground timing with hitting the ball. It’s essential to create speed in an efficient way. Golf swing’s no different. If you’re using the ground efficiently, you’re not having to overwork your upper body muscles, your arms, your wrist to create distance. That gives your more efficiency which it turns out to be more consistent.

Now if you’ve got this element already in your swing then there’s maybe not much room for improvement. But if you don’t have this element, there’s a huge room for improvement. Recently I had a student who, and this maybe a good way for you to know if you’ve got this element in your swing. They look [inaudible 00:02:22] buckled at impact, telling me they really had no vertical force. Just adding a little bit into their swing, they picked up 10 miles in their club head speed. Now I know that doesn’t sound realistic. Yeah, maybe that’s a one off. But it kind of gives you an idea. If you don’t have any of this going on and you add little bit, there’s a huge room for improvement.

So one, how can you feel this in your swing? The most successful way I’ve had of teaching players to feel it coming down is the left foot only drill. Putting their right foot behind them just for a little bit of support and balance. And basically what I want you to do is as you’re coming down, I want you to feel like you’re jumping up from your left foot. There might be a odd player out there who will actually jump up, but most of you won’t. Most of you the pressure under your left foot will just get lighter, and that’s what we’re looking for. So it’s your normal swing from left foot only, right foot behind you. Feel a jump up through the ball.

Some players will ask, “Well do I not need to push down first, then up?” But it’s correct, that happens. But do you need to think about. No, I don’t think so. Because if you’re jumping up, you’ll have automatically pushed down. So simply left foot only, put the ball in the tee. And try to feel that vertical force through the impact zone.

Now I’ve tested this on TrackMan. And I would say at least 90% of the time, one player said maybe after 5 or 10 balls. Actually create at least their equal club head speed with this left foot only drill as what they do with two feet. So maybe that gives you an idea of just how important this is. I say, at least equal club head speed. Very often they create more club head speed.

So then basically once you got that feeling, go back to your normal set up. And then basically you’re feeling the same feel from your left side through the ball. That’s basically getting some ground force reaction in your swing. If you time correctly, your club head speed will go up. But I think there’s a lot of other benefits from using the ground correctly. As I say, you won’t have to overuse your muscles in your upper body. That can affect many things, ball striking, swing plane, efficiency and consistency. So first of all you got to workout if you need this in your swing. If you feel like you do, give this drill a try. I’m sure you’re going to see some change in your club head speed, and the distance you’re creating. So thanks for watching. And yeah, give it a try.