How to Swing Like an Athlete

1 of 5 Angus Murray
The physical abilities required to throw and kick a football, dodge defenders or blast through an offensive line are just some of the many football skills that make hitting solid golf shots easy. Most of these talents depend on your physical makeup, which is why linemen are big, receivers are tall and lanky and quarterbacks can flex like Gumby. You likely share a few physical skills with the NFL's brightest stars, which you can tap to shoot lower scores on the course. Here's how to find the NFL player inside you, and apply those football skills to make your swing more efficient and powerful. Follow the following basics and you'll be shooting lower scores by Sunday.
2 of 5 Angus Murray
This is for you if ... You're a big guy, but still athletic. You've always had lower-body strength, but you just don't know how to use it in your swing. Your NFL Twin: Defensive End Kroy Bierman 2009 Stats: 49 tackles, 5 sacks, 4 tackles for loss HOW TO PUT LEG POWER TO WORK FOR YOU On your backswing, push your weight through your right foot and into the ground, loading up like Kroy does for a big burst off the line. On your downswing, release this loaded energy by pushing off the ground, exploding upward like Kroy does in his impressive vertical leap. You'll know you're doing it correctly if your left hip is higher at impact than it was at the top of your backswing.
3 of 5 Angus Murray
This is for you if ... Whatever shape you've been in, you've always had the ability to throw a pigskin—or any other type of ball—with both power and accuracy. Your NFL Twin: Quarterback Matt Ryan 2009 Stats: 2,916 yards, 22 TDs HOW TO PUT SHOULDER FLEXIBILITY TO WORK FOR YOU From testing thousands of players we've found that good golfers keep their left arm straighter than less-skilled players during the backswing and downswing. One of the reasons why good players are able to do this is that their right shoulder is flexible enough to support the left-arm extension (when your right shoulder can no longer support it, your left arm bends). If you have a quarterback's arm, make a conscious effort to keep your left arm as straight as possible on your backswing and on the way back down. As you swing to the top, fold your right elbow to support this action.
4 of 5 Angus Murray
This is you if ... You're tall and thin, or have the ability to move in any direction without thinking about it. Side-to-side motion is your specialty. Your NFL Twin: Michael Jenkins 2009 Stats: 50 catches, 635 yards, 1 TD HOW TO PUT HIP AGILITY TO WORK FOR YOU If you have lateral jumping ability like Michael, then use it to explode from your right leg onto your left leg during your downswing. Notice how I'm barely into my downswing and yet my left hip is already over my left leg. Be careful to move your hips and not just your knees. The move gets easier to make as you increase the strength and flexibility in your gluteus medius (hip muscle). It's an important muscle to work out for big hits.
5 of 5 Angus Murray
This is you if ... You're regular-sized, but hardly short on athleticism. In fact, you play most sports well because you have balance and stability. Your NFL Twin: Kicker/Punter Michael Koenen 2009 Stats: Punts: 42.6 avg.; Kicks: 28 touchbacks HOW TO PUT LEG STABILITY TO WORK FOR YOU Here's the thing about lower-body power as it relates to golf: you have enough of it already to hit with decent power and accuracy. It really is a matter of adding stability and flexibility, so here's an area where anyone can improve. As you move into your downswing, all you have to do is get your weight into your left leg. Avoid falling back at all costs. When you correctly move into your left leg, it has a better chance to stabilize and allow your chest and shoulders to rotate through the ball as your arms extend into impact. The move onto your lead leg is also critical to setting the club on plane.