What could be better than some exercise to keep your golf swing in shape?
For plenty of players, there are a lot of things that rank higher on the list than performing some new drills.
Painting a room and cleaning out the garage come to mind.
What if you could do one thing to help you hit the ball much farther when we’re all able to shake free from the COVID-19 pandemic and get back to the golf course? Would you try it?
Sounds too good to be true, but Olyphant’s Scotty McAlarney said two weeks of work will pay off with up to 30 yards more distance off the tee.
He’s seen the results with plenty of his pupils.
“We have shown it will increase your clubhead speed by 10 to 11 mph in two weeks if you do this drill daily,” said McAlarney, who is director of golf at A Swing for Life Golf Academy, and a World Golf Teachers Federation top 100 instructor. “That translates to about 30 yards.”
That’s a number that will pique the interest of even the most sedentary golfer.
“Everyone is a little different, but we’ve had so much success with that,” McAlarney said.
All it takes is the Hitting Zone Swing Trainer, which McAlarney offers through his DrillFreak.com website, or, in lieu of that, a piece of PVC pipe, anywhere from three-quarters to an inch in diameter, and about as long as your driver, will do the trick.
The key, McAlarney said, is repetition.
“Light and then heavy,” said McAlarney, who has been teaching the swing professionally since 1996. “That worked the best for us through the years with our students. Let’s say you have one of our swing trainers, just swing the trainer
pretty fast outside with no ball, no nothing, little half swings (back) and really fast. Make sure you finish the swing and you want to make a loud “whoosh” sound after where the ball would be impacted.
“Ten repetitions of that, and with each repetition, you’d want to increase the sound of the whoosh. You want to make that sound louder and louder with easy swing.”
Pause for a minute, grab the driver, and go outside, taking practice swings with the same principle, but maintaining a balanced swing and going to a full finish.
“Each rep should be louder and louder,” McAlarney said. “Ten light, 10 with the driver in two hands, and then 10 with the driver with only your lead hand, which would be the left hand for a right-handed player.”
In two weeks, McAlarney said the results will be surprising.
“We had one very good high school player who was hitting it 280 yards and wanted to get to 300. His first time hitting a ball, no warmup, he hit it 301.”
While a two-week commitment with the Swing Trainer should add distance, it takes more than that to build a golf swing.
One recommendation from McAlarney is exercise, pure and simple. His DrillFreak site offers a 7-day PYGO exercise challenge — there is no charge to watch the videos — slowly working muscle groups for better fitness, and a better swing.
“We do a lot of squatting exercises that are really good for getting a person to keep their mobility through the swing,” McAlarney said. “It’s really good for the quadriceps and gluteal muscles.
“In a golf swing, you’re going to fall into the golf ball if you can’t stay balanced. Your legs and glutes are going to crumble, much like a house crumbles with a bad foundation. Legs are big because you build the swing from the feet up.”
McAlarney also recommended another drill for players biding their time to return to the course, and looking for more consistent iron shots.
First, he recommends using Almost Golf Balls, a softer, lightweight practice ball. Place it on the grass with a tee inserted about two inches in front of the ball and sticking up an inch.
“The idea is to feel like you are hitting down into the ball but you have to hit that tee as well,” McAlarney said. “That creates a better dynamic of the club coming into the golf ball. You have to not just hit the ball, but you have to hit the tee in front of it.”
It prevents scooping the ball with the club, and creates what McAlarney refers to as a greater low point in the swing.
“It will give you the downward motion you are looking for,” McAlarney said. “You don’t want to scoop. That would be just practicing a bad habit.
“Create a greater low point, you’re going to see better results in your iron and approach game, for sure.”
McAlarney soon will launch a subscription online platform through LessonAlive.com, founded by Blakely’s Val and Steve Cerra, which will offer virtual live lessons as well as quick and informative instructional videos.
“We had a webinar conference Tuesday and we wrapped up a lot of stuff,” McAlarney said. “I’m excited and they are excited about it, too. We’ll have virtual live lessons and be able to have an inbox (for subscribers) — they brought it into their platform, so we can upload online video daily and upload to those who pay for the subscription.”
Marty Myers began his career as a sports writer at The Wayne Independent in Honesdale, where he served as sports editor and later managing editor. After 10 years there, he joined The Times-Tribune in 1994 and has spent the ensuing years reporting on high school sports, local and professional golf. An award-winning journalist, he also enjoys his duties as a copy editor for The Times-Tribune, editing stories and designing pages. A native of Williamsport, Marty resides in Clarks Summit. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, 570-348-9100 x5437 or @mmyersTT.