How often have you watched female golfers in a tournament? I happened to watch the women’s Australian open this year and saw Yani Tseng from Taipee, the 2010 LPGA player of the year and winner of two majors in that year and current world number 5, win the 2011 Women’s Australian Open for the second time, back to back by 7 strokes from her nearest rival, who happens to be the current world number one, Jiyai Shin from Korea.
As I watched I asked myself, ‘What is it that sets these women in particular, apart from the rest on the LPGA tour, why do they dominate so many of the world’s tournaments, many of them are just over 5 feet tall, Jiyai Shin the world number one from Korea, is only 5ft 1 inch tall, yet their domination of women’s golf worldwide is unmatched.
The ability of these women and Yani Tseng in particular, who also happens to be one of the longest drivers off the tee on the LPGA tour, is well, amazing, to say the least. Have you ever asked yourself, where does their power and accuracy come from? How is it that these tiny women can out drive most amateur male golfers, and even some of the PGA players.
You might not have taken the time to watch these women play so much, or even pondered the reasons why they can hit the ball like they do, but, obviously there is much we can learn from them here, as much as from the men on the PGA tour. Think about it, players like Hall of Fame members Karrie Webb, Anika Sorenstam, and a few others have been the most dominant golfers of their time, male or female, yes, even beating out their male professional counterparts for most wins and consistency.
We should be asking ourselves, What can we learn from these women golfers that would also help us to improve our game? The answers come from watching, for starters, just watch how easily they swing the golf club, you never see them make a wild swing at the ball at full power, ever, it’s a slow rhythmic timed swing, at about 75% to 80% of their maximum power.
The takeaway is low and slow, they use leverage and timing, to launch the ball down the fairway. Timing, rhythm and correct weight shift are the keys to a solid and consistent golf swing that delivers optimum club head speed and solid contact into the ball and propels it long and straight down the fairway. For such tiny women, they can often drive distances off the tee, of up to and over 300 yards.
How many amateur golfers can attest to that, not too many I’ll wager. But the lesson we learn in this is, that you don’t need to
swing with all your power and might at the golf ball to get a long way down the fairway, in fact the harder you swing, the more likely it is that you won’t hit it very far at all, or if you do it
probably ends up 40 yards out to the right off the fairway. Or even more embarassing is duffing the shot and not even making it past the ladies tee, It happens. Come on, hands up how many of you have done that before in front of your mates, oh the shame.
Lessons learned, for maximum distance and accuracy off the tee, don’t try and smash it, that’s just showing off, instead take a measured and rhythmic swing, take your normal shoulder width stance, place the ball opposite the inside step of your left foot for driving, maintain a low and slow takeaway, make a full shoulder turn, begin your downswing with your hips and shoulders, shift your weight to your left side and rotate through impact, then fully complete your follow through, be sure to maintain posture throughout and on completion of the swing. Easy isn’t it?
Practicing with a driver, just using half strength with a half or three quarter backswing until you get the right feel and timing with it, is a good way to develop a consistent rhythm and contact. I sometimes like to attach a weight to the heal of the driver too, this gives me a better feel for rotation of the wrists and club head speed through the swing.
Next time the female golfers of the LPGA are playing, why not make sure and take the time to watch them, really watch how they
approach their game and their swing, while watching their technique, you might even learn something, besides they are very easy on the eye too.