A common misconception about a golf swing is that pulling your arms back farther will mean longer shots. It's an easy mistake to make. Surprisingly, a wider swing can rob you of your power. Separating your arm strength from your core strength with a wide, loose swing won't get you the drives you crave. A tight, compact golf swing will add power and accuracy to your game, and get you closer to the green.
Twisting into the backswing readies your core and your shoulders for a huge explosion of power. But if you keep bringing your arm back, and the club dips back behind your head, then you have isolated your arms from your core. Your shoulders and abdominals need to work as one unit when you whip that club down to the ball. Make sure you aren't over-rotating at the top of your swing or dropping your arms too far back. If you're twisting so far back you're having a hard time keeping an eye on the ball, that's too far.
Practice Your Pivot
Golfing phenom Yani Tseng got to her spot as world champion in 2012 by training her muscle memory before the tournament so she can turn her mind off during the swing. Her coach, Gary Gilchrist, likes to keep her swing compact and tight by reinforcing the movement using pivot exercises during training. Yani will practice with an exercise band or by throwing a ball. She pivots with the ball and then whips around, using her core, to toss it at remarkable speeds. Practice a twisting power exercise to train yourself for compact power.
Professional golfer Lorena Ochoa was a victim of the overswing problem because she originally trained with clubs that were too heavy for her size. Her coach's solution: strength training. Ochoa works out four to five times a week, and the increase in muscle strength has transformed her swing. Don't let the weight of the club determine your form. Dominate your swing with strong muscles.
Check Your Stance
The upper body isn't the only responsible party for a tight swing; the stance is just as important. If you stand with your legs too wide apart, you won't be able to twist your spine and you can slide out of alignment. If you stand with your feet too close together, you may swing your arm more to try and compensate. Avoid a wide, out-of-whack swing by placing your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Open up your left foot a bit to make the turn easier.
Meredith Berg received her B.F.A. in directing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Now living in Los Angeles, she works as a film and television writer, comic-book editor and director of plays and films. In addition, she loves tackling paleo recipes, workout routines and DIY projects.