Resistance and Windup

By Tom Woodard,
Director of Golf, City & County of Denver and
PGA Professional

Illustration by Hershel CaldwellResistance and windup are the two main keys to generating power in your golf

To wring a towel there has to be resistance at both ends that you are twisting. Picture your upper body (shoulder turn with the arm swing) wringing or torqueing into your right leg. This creates a powerful coiling effect in the golf swing that will be unleashed in the forward swing like letting go of a spring that has been compressed or a big rubber band that has been twisted to its max. Both will let go or spring loose when one end is released. The lower body weight transfer is “the end” that starts the forward swing (lets loose) to release the upper body coil, not the upper body. When the right leg (hip, leg or foot) breaks down in the golf swing by straightening, not getting 80 percent of your weight on the backswing, rolling to the outside of the foot, then this wringing the towel or coiling effect is insufficient or wimpy. To generate maximum power, the upper body turning on the backswing must have resistance from the right leg as weight is transferred to it. If the right leg gives way in some way, no resistance is generated. Power must be stored up in the right leg in order to to be released.

To help you create the right leg resistance needed for the shoulder turn press your right knee in toward the center of your stance. Another option you might try with this is to have a little more weight on your right than your left with your right shoulder and hip a little lower than your left. As you press your right knee in, feel a little inner thigh tension. Concentrate on maintaining this knee position as you take your backswing. Feel the resistance build up in the right leg as your shoulders turn. It’s like stretching a taunt rubber band to its max to create a lot of snap when let go.

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