The idea of having a fluid, tension-free golf swing that is at the same time powerful and dynamic enough to drive the golf ball over 300 yards seems like a contradiction until you understand the concept behind the Power-X.
Here’s the One Thing you need to keep in mind: To drive the golf ball farther you need to maximize your swing speed.
The Brute Force Approach to Distance Doesn’t Work
The common misconception is that you can try to drive the golf ball farther by applying more power – otherwise known as the brute force approach. Most golfers instinctively take this approach and try to “muscle up” on the ball to get more distance.
It’s not hard to picture a golfer trying to use the brute force swing: their grip pressure climbs off the charts, their arms get rigid as iron bars, their shoulders hunch up to the ears, their core gets locked down, and their swing gets so fast it creates its own breeze.
There is a big problem with the brute force approach: All your muscles are working against each other!
Sure you can hit a long bomb once in a while with brute force, but what good is it to add 30 yards to your drives if your next shot is from the weeds?
Yet if you were to ask these same golfers to describe their best drives, they would use words like “effortless”, “smooth”, “fluid”, “solid”, and similar terms.
The contradiction is that power has to come from Somewhere.
The Answer to Dynamic Power Lies in Understanding the Power-X
If you stand and cross your arms in front of your body so that each arm is pointed down the opposite leg (left arm points down right leg, right arm down the left leg), your arms will form an “X” in front. This simple visualization of arms crossed in an X can help you understand which muscles should be strong and dynamic throughout the swing, and which muscles should be relaxed.
Think of the two different axis of the X. The left arm and right leg are the strong and dynamic axis. The right arm and left leg are tension-free, relaxed axis. This is the “Power-X.”
Protagonistic vs. Antagonistic Muscles
Imagine a weight lifter performing a curl with barbells. The muscles that do all the work are the biceps. They are the protagonistic muscles. They lift the weight by contracting and relaxing. The triceps, on the other hand, are the antagonistic muscles – they do not help in lifting the weight. If you tighten your triceps while trying to curl a weight, it’s a big effort to lift even a small weight. The triceps work against lifting.
The muscles that supply the power in the swing are called the protagonistic muscles, while the muscles that inhibit the swing are called the antagonistic muscles.
If you use antagonistic muscles during your golf swing you will have to exert far more effort to generate speed. Yet this is exactly the conflict that occurs when using the brute force method!
The muscles that need to do the work in the swing should be strong, powerful, and dynamic. The muscles that are not working in the swing should be relaxed and tension free.
Effortless Driver Distance Comes From Using the Correct Muscles
To add effortless speed to your golf swing, and consequently drive the ball 30 to 40 yards farther, keep the left arm and right leg strong and powerful throughout the swing. Keep the right arm and left leg relaxed and tension free. Use the image of the Power-X to help understand where power comes from in the swing. You can have a fluid, consistent golf swing when you allow the right muscles to work for you.
ERIC M JONES is a Class “A” PGA Professional who is dedicated to helping golfers learn, play better golf, and have more fun.