I’m going to start a series on golf visualizations. I find these immensely helpful in my own game and hope they will be helpful to you, too.
The great thing about visualizations is that they can be as creative and imaginative as you like. Creating different ways to imagine or think about a specific golf position or dynamic can be a immensely powerful way to producing a solid, repeatable, relaxed golf swing.
I’ve often felt, when playing my best golf, that I had a very rooted, grounded feeling with my legs and feet. That the leverage of the ground is producing the power.
As we know, a good, solid golf swing is initiated by the lower body. The feet grip the earth, the weight begins to shift forward, your shoulders, arms and hands remain soft – allowing them to drop into the “slot”, then your hips begin to be activated, your shoulders and arms following with a nice powerful, inside-to-out “sling” through the ball. All produced from leverage via ground force dynamics.
Visualization: “Feel” like your feet are like an Eagle’s talons. You want to feel as if your feet has claws and that they are literally sinking and gripping the earth by digging in and turning the claws inward.
Visualization 2: This is the same feeling you get when you are wearing a treaded show (like Merrells hiking shoe) and try to turn (as if you are making a golf swing) but keeping your feet firmly on a rug. You immediately feel the resistance of the tread of the shoe getting intertwined with the rug fibers creating “resistance.”
I actually did a post on this called, Braced Right Knee in the Golf Swing.
In my experience this is something that can developed through focused training and practice.
Practice: Via Qigong Training. Qigong is an ancient practice (not unlike Tai-Chi) that promotes balance, strength, calmness and cultivation of Qi – or “life energy”
Think of this as another little “experiment” Just try it out. Keep an open mind. Have a bit of fun with trying something new. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
What we’re going to practice is called a “Standing Meditation” or “Standing Post”. This is the single most important and widely practiced form of Qigong.
This is a LOT tougher than it looks initially. You might wobble, shake, think it’s stupid to be doing it or a thousand other distractions will go through your mind. Let them happen. Rise above them.
Try it for 2-3 minutes the first week, 5 minutes the following week, 10 the next etc. Try to eventually get up to 15-20 minutes. Watch the video below for more details on the specific posture, positions, etc.
What this does is build tremendous strength in your legs and core, allows you to breathe properly (from the belly), promotes relaxation, accurate body awareness, proper alignment, tranquility and, of course, cultivation of Qi.
As you begin to practice this you want to feel your weight “sinking” into the ground. This will really help to relax your arms and in particularly your shoulders which, for many, have chronic tension. Get the breathe to drop from your chest to your belly. For now, just be aware of those.
You’ll soon have legs of steel and better body integration and awareness of the ground and how to use it for more relaxed power in your golf swing.