Back in September, Titleist Staff Professional Trillium Rose provided some great swing keys to help you play well during the fall. When she spoke with us, Trillium emphasized that fall golf should be all about playing, enjoying the final rounds of the season and trying to shoot some low numbers. She also advised that work on swing mechanics could wait for the winter.
Not saying that winter is even remotely close! – but we were curious about staying productive as colder weather does move in. So, we reached back out to Trillium and asked her what golfers can do as outdoor practice becomes more difficult. The good news? Being stuck indoors doesn't mean that you can't work on your game. In fact, being away from the course can have some very positive benefits, as Trillium shared:
"The timing of when you work on technique and when you just play with what you’ve got and let the feel take over is called periodizing. High performing athletes all organize their schedules so that they are playing their best during tournament seasons and give themselves an off season to rest and work on some technical aspects.
Now, most players still work on technique during the playing months, and that’s fine too. I’ve certainly helped a lot of people play better and work on shots that cost them strokes. What I’m referring to are bigger motor patterns that you’d like to recreate.
The off season is a great time to do this because you can focus more heavily on internal swing cues and explicit information, such as where your hands should be at the top, or how your trail elbow feels in the transition. These internal, very specific directions on what to move, can be extremely helpful when learning a new pattern, but disruptive if you’re doing it while on the course." - Trillium
Unfortunately, we can't offer private lessons with Trillium for each and every swing fault out there. But we can do the next best thing. Trillium has been kind enough to share a number of drills from her indoor training programs. Each drill addresses a common swing fault that she sees every day on the lesson tee while also reinforcing solid biomechanical fundamentals.
Enjoy these indoor training tips from Trillium and let us know how they help you to build a more sound swing. Please also be sure to check out her Instagram page, follow her on Twitter and explore Trillium's website for more instructional content.
Thanks for the help, Trillium!
• • •
"If you suffer from inconsistent contact with your irons, a common cause is casting, throwing the head of the club at the ball. The best ball strikers are more passive with their hands. Their clubhead lags behind their hands and their club shaft leans forward, toward the target at impact. This is a key to making clean contact and compressing the ball. " - Trillium
- Stand to the side of a kitchen or dining room chair and swing to the top of your back swing.
- Slowly initiate the downswing by uncoiling your hips until your hands are even with your trail thigh and the club shaft is parallel to the ground.
- Shuffle your feet laterally until the clubhead is now directly over the center of the seat cushion on the chair.
- From this static position, now rotate your pelvis further, feeling your hips open to the target. At the same time, feel your trail arm fold in as you slide the handle of the club laterally towards the target (the shaft stays parallel).
- Blend this into a short swing where the club head misses the seat of the chair but then brushes the ground where the golf ball would be positioned in your stance.
• • •
Wedge Rotation Drill
"For consistent wedge shots, it's important to keep the arms connected to the upper body and in sync with the upper body's rotation. When the arms swing independent of the body, everything can suffer - your ground contact, your dynamic loft at impact, your swing path, your distance control. When you let the big muscles do the work, everything falls into place and your chips, pitches and even full wedge shots become more repeatable." - Trillium
- Take a rolled up towel (or a head cover or even a folded up golf glove) and place it under your lead arm. Gently squeeze your lead arm against the side of your chest to hold the towel in place.
- Take your golf stance, wedge in hand, and lean into your lead foot.
- Turn back so that the lead arm glides across your chest, still securing the towel. Start with little half-swings, half speed.
- Rotate your upper body toward the target as you let the wedge fall and brush the ground. The arms simply go along for the ride. Keep your lead arm connected and the towel in place while focusing on rotation.
• • •
"In an efficient backswing, you rotate your upper body and your hips and coil into a braced trail leg. This creates a huge mount of rotational energy and it's what allows you to use the ground for power. Keeping the trail leg braced and the weight on the inside half of your trail foot also keeps your turn centered, making it much easier to return the club consistently to the golf ball.
But when you sway, when you let the trail hip move laterally outside of your trail foot, you lose that powerful coil. You also make it harder to maintain balance, you make it necessary to sway laterally during the downswing to get back to the ball and you also risk injuring your hip and lower back." - Trillium
- Stand to the side of a kitchen or dining room chair. Take note of how far your trail hip is from the edge of the chair back.
- Swing slowly to the top of your back swing and hold that position. Check how far from the chair back your hip is now. Your trail hip should rotate back and the hip should be no closer to the chair than it was at address.
- Check your weight distribution. The majority of weight should be in your trail foot, favoring the heel, and the weight should be centered or even favoring the inside half of your foot. Your weight should not roll to the outside of your trail foot.
- As you make practice backswings, imagine your right hip pocket (for a right-handed golfer) moving straight back behind you as you rotate. Feel some pressure in your trail leg, foot and glute as you coil into your trail side.
"As golf instructors, we talk a lot about building an efficient swing. What we're trying to do is to build a simple swing without a lot of compensating movements, because a machine with less moving parts can produce a repeatable motion much easier than one with many moving parts.
One important way that this applies to the human body and golf is with regards to posture. In the golf swing you want to maintain consistent posture throughout the swing because this gives you the greatest chance to successfully return the club to the golf ball, swing after swing.
If you dip down during the backswing or stand up during the downswing, you're effectively lowering or raising the low point of the arc that the club is swung on. So in order to still make contact with the ball, you have to introduce a host of complicated adjustments to make sure you don't swing a foot above the ball or bury the club a foot under the ground. That requires a set of compensations that are very difficult to repeat. And they're simply not necessary." - Trillium
- Stand behind a kitchen or dining room chair. Get in your golf posture and make sure that both your right and left hip pockets are touching the chair back.
- Without a club, rotate back and feel like your right hip pocket (for a right-handed golfer) stays touching the chair back as you reach the top of your backswing.
- As you rotate and swing back through, your left hip pocket should now be touching the chair back.
- Your spine angle, the amount you bend forward from your hip joints at address, should remain constant throughout the motion.
- Once you get used to the feel of maintaining your posture, try the drill again, this time with a golf club in your hands.
• • •