Rotate your ribs — yes, your ribs! — for a serious power boost

August 17, 2018

Top 100 teacher Carol Preisinger (@Carolpreisinger) has a self-help solution for a more powerful swing.

Thanks to 3-D technology, instructors know more about the biomechanics behind the swing than ever before. One interesting discovery is that your rib cage is the primary provider of rotational power, especially on the downswing. Makes sense: If you turn your rib cage, you’ll turn your shoulders, and your shoulders branch out to your arms and hands.

Turn your rib cage as you open your hips. The towel won’t fall, and the ball will rocket off the clubface.
Turn your rib cage as you open your hips. The towel won’t fall, and the ball will rocket off the clubface.

In not-so-technical terms, a shoulder turn without a rib-cage (torso) turn is nothing more than a weak lift-and-slap motion. Since learning this, I’ve asked my students to focus on rotating their rib cage, not their shoulders.

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It has lead to noticeable increases in backswing coil and swing speed through the ball. I hammer the concept home with the Towel Drill. It’s a great way to keep your shoulders and arms in the game while helping you rip your ribs through the ball for a more powerful strike.

The goal of the Towel Drill: Don't let the towel slip out from under your arms as you swing.
The goal of the Towel Drill: Don’t let the towel slip out from under your arms as you swing.

TOWEL DRILL

Place a golf towel across your chest, securing the ends under your armpits. Make your everyday swing. The goal with the Towel Drill is to make sure the towel doesn’t drop to the ground when you swing. If it does, it means you stopped turning your rib cage and allowed your arms to race ahead of your body (photo, above). Keep those ribs turning as you open your hips to the target (as you see in the article’s top photo). The ball won’t know what hit it.