Eric Jones and fitness trainer Mike Pedersen
“In The Gym”
On a trip to the Phoenix area just after winning the World Long Drive Championship for the second time I gave my friend Mike Pedersen a call to see if he would take time from his busy schedule to come work with me on my golf fitness.
Mike was kind enough to agree to meet me in the gym, but only on one condition: that I spend some time with him and his golf game first.
That sounded like a great idea, and we thought we’d film each session and share it.
We had a lot of fun and we each learned some key ideas from the other.
This first video is Mike putting me through my paces in the gym. We had already spent some time on the range, where I worked with Mike on his swing (see the video further down the page). He showed me some really good exercises and some inexpensive ways to get a great workout.
I have Mike’s golf fitness training program – The Ultimate Golf Fitness Guide – and I use many of the exercises he outlines in his program as part of my own fitness training. But there’s nothing like going right to the source when you want an expert opinion.
Eric Jones and fitness trainer Mike Pedersen
“On The Range”
Mike’s Second Lesson: Leverage
In this second video we are learning about the key to effortless power: Leverage.
Here is Mike at his address position. He has a very good set up. I’ve drawn a line from the inside part of his right foot up to his hip. Notice that his right knee is inside the line.
Golf is played on the insides of the feet, not the outside. The knees should be slightly canted in, or knock-kneed, at address. This position helps to reduce lateral motion. We want rotary motion instead – a good pivot rather than a slide.
As he takes his backswing however, his right knee drifts sideways instead of rotating or pivoting.
This is a tendency very common amongst many golfers. When the right knee drifts over the top of his right foot during the backswing, that puts the weight squarely on TOP of the right foot, instead of keeping it on the inside of the foot.
As a result, Mike can get into a position where he can’t initiate the downswing with the lower body by pushing off the right foot to get the weight to the left side.
Swing Issues: “Over-The-Top”, Push Fades, and Slices
This causes two potential issue – also very common.
The first is the “over-the-top” swing – a nemesis for many golfers.
When you can’t start the swing from the ground up, you start from the top down. The shoulders spin, and it feels like the left shoulder goes straight left. The club swings out well on top of the swing plane and comes into the impact position the outside in, causing a pull or pull hook.
Many golfers attempt to treat the over-the-top move directly and wonder why they can’t seem to correct it.
That’s because it is a “symptom” of something else out of position in the swing. The leverage point.
You can’t treat symptoms. You have to go to the root cause.
In this case – keeping the weight on the inside part of the ball of the right foot at the top of the swing, so you can start the swing from the feet.
The second issue that crops up when you lose your leverage position is throwing the hips forward to start the swing. That’s an immediate disconnection which usually results in a blocked shot to the right or even a nasty slice, as it is very difficult to square up the club face at impact. You get a big spine tilt to the back.
Not only does this open up the club face, but it causes a big loss of power because the upper body momentum is actually going backward at impact.
Mike was kind enough to demonstrate it for me, but fortunately that has not been one of his issues.
Nevertheless, the simple loss of the leverage position can cause multiple symptoms to appear.
The key, again, is to treat the root cause, not the symptom.
With just a couple of small adjustments – and an understanding of the proper position a the top of the swing – Mike is able to maintain his leverage position, initiate the downswing with the lower body, maintain his power lines, and deliver maximum energy to the back of the golf ball.
The Cure: Leverage Practice
We used a handy bag stand to help Mike get some feedback during his backswing. The goal was to make a swing and not tip the bag stand, while still making a pivot.
Within just a couple of swings Mike got the idea. Perhaps as importantly, he understood the root cause of one of his frequent misses – the shots that cost him several shots a round, not to mention a lot of frustration.
He knows now not to treat the symptom. But rather to understand the root cause. Address the root cause issue, and the symptoms disappear.
All of this information – and much more – is inside my training program “The 5 Keys To Distance.”
Please read more about the program below to find out how to get your own copy.
Mike’s First Lesson – Athletic Balance
ABOUT THE 5 KEYS TO DISTANCE
Athletic Balance is just the first of the five fundamental swing concepts covered in The 5 Keys To Distance.
There are four more.
Mastering any one of the concepts, like Athletic Balance, can get you 10 more yards. Students who invest the time and energy to conquer all five have picked up as much as 50 to 60 yards off the tee.
If you want to hit the ball farther you need THE 5 KEYS TO DISTANCE. It’s the most comprehensive training program ever developed to maximize your distance – off the tee, and with every club in your bag. Click the links or images to learn how to get yours.