Titleist Tips: Power and the Kinematic Sequence

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To create maximum clubhead speed, the world’s best players all move in a similar way, using the big muscles of the body to rotate and transfer energy in a specific, sequenced order. This order of movement is known as the kinematic sequence and when done properly, the clubhead accelerates through impact with amazing speed – a phenomenon that is very similar to the crack of a bullwhip.

In this video, Titleist staff member Mark Blackburn tells us that in an efficient kinematic sequence, the clubhead moves away from the ball first, then the hands, then the arms, then the torso (thorax) and then the hips. In the downswing, that sequence is reversed, unleashing the rotational energy stored up by coiling the muscles in the backswing. Just as the lead arm gets to roughly parallel to the ground in the backswing, the best players use the ground to shift their pressure from the trail foot into the lead foot. The pelvis fires first, and starts to uncoil. Then the torso, then the lead arm, eventually the hands and then, finally, the club.

Nearing impact, as you brace and post up into your lead side, the pelvis begins to decelerate. This causes the next link in the chain, the torso, to accelerate. An instant later, the torso decelerates, passing energy up the chain and accelerating the lead arm. And on, up the chain until the clubhead whips through the ball in a blur.

If you don’t swing in this precise sequential order, you will break the chain of acceleration, which robs you of speed that you could potentially generate. To lean how to swing efficiently, with proper kinematic sequence, Mark suggests two drills:

1. Turn your driver upside-down and grip it near the hosel. Swing the grip end, and make the club “whoosh” loudly. By taking the “hit” out of the swing and the impulse to square the face, your body will naturally swing the shaft in proper sequence. Learn this feel and then apply it to your swing as you hold the grip end of the club.

2. Step Drill. Make practice swings starting with your feet together. As you swing your arms back and up, step forward, towards the target with your lead foot. Plant your lead foot and brace against the ground, using that leverage to pull your arms and the club through to a full finish. This drill promotes a dynamic downswing motion that is initiated by the lower body – a hallmark of sound kinematic sequence.

For more tips and drills from Mark and other Titleist Staff Members, visit Titleist Instruction: https://bit.ly/2W4QkIR

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