Drill Principles

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Eliminate, Isolate and Concentrate

A drill should eliminate the fear of failure

Remove the target, the ball, the club and most of the swing, then you can’t fail if there is no standard to measure success against

When you are not worried about where the ball goes, then you can focus your attention

Mimic the true movement while isolating a “mini” (specific) point of performance

Focus your concentration on the specific “feeling” for what you are trying to do right

How Drills Work

A drill should be idiot proof

The logic of why you doing the drill and what you are learning should be obvious

Easier to perform than the normal movement

Drills require discipline and must be correctly performed

Drills are VERY powerful learning tools … failure to correctly perform a drill replaces one bad habit with another incorrect habit “Dogging” your way through a drill is worse than not doing the drill in the first place

Drills Teach Feel

Your task is to pay attention to how the movement feels to the exclusion of everything else.  Don not use your eyes, feel the movement.

60/21 ...  that's sixty correct repetitions for twenty one consecutive days.  This is a guideline, not a law.  There is no known scientific basis for this technique, but it well known and used among coaches who teach technical sports.

 

Bow, Squat and Hangle

Bow, Squat and Hangle is a learning and performance technique more than just a drill … this position is the starting position for most  drills as well as for a normal golf swing.  Like the golf swing, all drills must begin from a correct starting position.

Starting Position

Feet spread shoulder width apart; knees locked

Standing tall, back straight, head erect

Both thumbs are placed on the back shoulder (done with or without a club)

Execution … By-The-Numbers

Do NOT blend these movements.  Like a soldier being taught to assemble his weapon … Ready, Bow, Ready, Squat, Ready Hangle … 1, 2, 3.  Complete the technique by checking for the five points of setup … butt up, chest down, chin up, arms hangle and weight balanced.

Bow … from the waist, keeping the back straight and head erect (don’t duck your head into your chest), bow forward from your waist until you feel your heels starting to rise up off the ground

Squat … break your knees just enough to regain your balance

Your toe to heel balance must be on the balls of your feet … you will feel the most pressure just behind the big toe joint

Hangle … hang and dangle your arms

Let you arms fall from your shoulder

Don’t “reach” for the ball … your hands will hang inside your necktie

The anterior head of the triceps muscle will be soft and relaxed

Continuous Motion

Drills are characterized by continuous, back and forth movement.  If there are more than one checkpoint of performance, isolate your attention onto one checkpoint.  Make continuous swings, back and forth paying attention  Shaping and Chaining are used for position by position learning.

 

Windmill / Hitchhiker Drill

Purpose:  Teaches correct shoulder rotation in a circle around your nose, develops upper body/torso flexibility

Starting Position

Standing tall, back straight, head erect, feet spread shoulder width apart

Raise your arms to your sides up to about chest high (like Jesus on the cross)

Make a fist with each hand and point both thumbs up into a hitchhiker position

Swing both arms to your front

Grab your left thumb, placing it into the pocket of your right palm … if this is done with a club, place both thumbs on the top of the shaft

Point your thumbs forward to form a 45° angle with your forearms

Execution

Point your nose straight ahead and LEAVE IT THERE

Turn your shoulders to the right, then back to the left

Gradually increase your shoulder turn and work your way past a 90° rotation

Step 2 Modification

Raise your arms to your front, grab your thumb and execute in the same manner except noticing that of each side of the turn one elbow MUST fold

 

Prayer Drill

Purpose:  To learn correct use the hands and to initiate the backswing

 

Starting Position

Standing tall, back straight, head erect, feet spread shoulder width apart

Partially extend your arms (elbows bent about 90°) to your front up to chest level, squeeze your upper arms against the sides of your chest

Place your palms together, fingers extended and joined in the prayer position, then extend/slide your right until the thumb pad is in the palm of the left hand

Bow forward from the waist until your feel your weight balance slightly more towards your toes.      

Execution 

Push your L hand against the R hand and turn your L hand, L arm and L shoulder as one SOLID unit to initiate the backswing

Keep your nose pointed at a fixed point

Keep your upper arms squeezed against your torso

Keep your hands together, DON’T let them separate … this is a huge point of performance

Push your R hand against the L hand and turn your R hand, R arm and R shoulder as one SOLID unit to initiate the forward swing

This drill can be used  as a mini-swing like a chip shot

Starting Position

With or without a ball

Put a tee into the ground and clip the top of the tee on the swing; or tee up a ball on a tall tee

Place both hands on the handle with the thumbs on the top, at the 12 O’clock position,  palms face each other as if in a prayer in a prayer position, slide the bottom hand down and close your fingers

Take up a chip stance

Execution

Make a 1/4 backswing and then swing through to a 1/2 followthru position

Thumbs stay on top, wrists do not break or roll.

 

Blue on Blue Brick Wall Drill

This drill is a modification of the Windmill /Hitchhiker Drill and the Prayer Drill … with this drill we add a club but still remove the ball and the target so you must focus on learning rather than performance. This is a three-step drill

Memorize this little poem:  Blue on blue, left arm back, right arm through.

Starting Position … Step 1

Standing tall, back straight, head erect (same as for Hitchhiker)

Club is held to your front, slightly lower than shoulder height, thumbs on top of shaft

Shaft points “up and out” at a 45° angle to the arms and the ground

Execution … Step 1

Point your nose at an imaginary brick about belt high located on the imaginary wall to your front … fix your nose on this brick and don’t move it (teaches you to look at the ball)

As with the Hitchhiker and Prayer drills, turn your shoulders back and through you nose gradually increasing your range of motion to trying to turn the shoulders through a 180° revolution

Key focus … L shoulder back, elbow down; R shoulder through, elbow down

Starting Position … Step 2

Similar to the Prayer Drill except with a club … standing tall, back straight, head erect, feet spread shoulder width apart

Bow slightly less than for a normal swing, then squat into a balanced stance

Drop your arms from your shoulders, but deliberately “reach” for the ball, keeping the clubhead 6” off the ground

Squeeze your upper arms against the sides of your chest

Execution … Step 2

Again, fix your eyes on a single brick about 6” from the bottom of your imaginary wall

Turn the shoulder back, turn the shoulders through

Gradually increase your range of motion to more than 90° turn

Key thought … L shoulder back, R elbow down, R shoulder through, L elbow down

Starting Position … Step 3

Similar to the Prayer Drill except with a club … standing tall, back straight, head erect, feet spread shoulder width apart

Bow slightly less than for a normal swing, then squat into a balanced stance

Drop your arms from your shoulders, but deliberately “reach” for the ball, keeping the clubhead 6” off the ground

Squeeze your upper arms against the sides of your chest

Execution … Step 2

Again, fix your eyes on a single brick about 6” from the bottom of your imaginary wall

Turn the shoulder back, turn the shoulders through

Gradually increase your range of motion to more than 90° turn

Key thought … L shoulder back, R elbow down, R shoulder through, L elbow down

 

The Elbow Drill (1/2, Back, 3/4 Thru)

Purpose: 

To teach correct extension of the takeaway (delayed wrist cock) continuing the correct use of the hands as passive connectors rather than active hitters … thumbs on top into the backswing … this is the same movement as a pitch shot

To teach correct weight transfer onto the back foot

To teach correct elbow position to control swing path

Starting Position

Correct, normal, full swing address

Execution

Continue the movement of the Takeaway Drill up to the ½ backswing position (waist high)

The shoulder and left arm are the prime mover of the whole motion, the legs and right side are passive

Checkpoints … insure: 

The L shoulder has moved back, not down

75% of your weight transfers onto back foot

The thumbs are still on top of shaft

The shaft points 180° away from target

The toe of the club points to the sky

The wrists have minimum wrist cock

The R elbow folds naturally … it is neither fully extended nor deliberately held close to your body

Slowly and continuously reverse the movement back and forth focusing on each of these checkpoints one at a time

 

The Shoulder-to-Finish Drill (3/4 Backswing to Full 4/4 Followthru)

Purpose

To extend the motion of the Elbow Drill up to the ¾ backswing position

8To teach correct weight transfer onto the back foot … to “get behind” the ball

To teach correct elbow position in order to control swing path through the ball

Starting Position

Correct, normal, full swing address

8.3.   Execution

Extend the motion of the Takeaway and Elbow Drills up to the ¾ backswing position

The prime mover of the motion is still the L shoulder and arm, the right side is still passive

The same checkpoints of performance for the Elbow Drill continue except …

Execution

The wrists will break slightly to moderately, depending upon your level of flexibility; the shaft will generally point to the sky indicating there is more swing remaining

 

 

Staggered Release Drill/Split Hands Drill

Purpose

Starting Position

Execution

Make as slow and as full of a swing as possible … the modified stance and hand position cause you to be aware of every little detail in your swing … weight transfer, balance, elbow and thumb positions

After making a number of dry swings, gradually, work your way out of each modification … first move your hands closer together

When you feel some comfort, add a ball … from this position, you will hook the ball as soon as you have control of your elbows and thumbs

 

 

 

One-Armed Man Drill

Purpose:  To develop strength in the prime mover of the backswing and forward swing

Starting Position

Full, normal address position

Remove your bottom hand and softly grasp the wrist of your arm

Execution

 Slowly make repeated ¾ length back swings, focusing on correct checkpoints

Reverse your hands and make forward swings

 

 

Stop, Get Some More & Go Drill

Purpose

To ensure a correct backswing has been executed

To isolate the backswing movement from the forward swing movement

To increase an awareness of the transition from back to forward motion

Starting Position

Full, normal address position

Execution

Make a ¾ backswing in the same manner as you did in the Shoulder to Finish Drill

At the ¾ position, STOP and check for errors … correct any errors by cocking your wrist into a full 4/4 backswing

AND GO … initiate the forward swing by reversing the shoulder turn

 

Blind Swings Drill and Super Slo-Mo

Your eyes are the “queen of your senses”.  They override your sense of feel and can interfere with learning.  All of these techniques should be performed with and without a weighted club.

Purpose:  Teaches “feel” for the correct checkpoints of execution

Starting Position

Full Normal Address or intermediate

Execution

Blind Swings:  Close your eyes and make slow, continuous, full swings while systematically isolating your attention to each checkpoint

Make single, full motion, normal speed swings while focusing on a single checkpoint

Super SloMo: all movements are made as if in a tank of molasses; the forward portion is slightly faster than the backwards movement

Posing:  Move to the desired position, check your checkpoints of correct performance and hold the position for a slow count of ten. 

 

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