Jack Nicklaus Golf Tip: Anchor Yourself


Illustration by Jim McQueen

I’ve always had a full swing arc and big body turn going back, but those elements alone never made me a long hitter. The key to a powerful backswing is creating torque, whereby the upper body winds against the lower body to create a coil that unloads on the downswing. For me, the best way to ensure a good coil is to key on the “anchors” in my swing.

My upper-body anchor is the back of my neck (inset); it should stay in the same place throughout the backswing. Any movement up, down, or sideways as I swing the club back diminishes the amount of torque I can generate.

My lower-body anchors are my feet; I always keep my weight on the insides of my feet. As I turn back, my weight rolls from the inside of my left foot onto the inside of my right, and then reverses direction on the downswing. Weight drifting to the outside of the right foot on the backswing is a sure sign that you’re not “winding the spring.”

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your swing, check your anchors. Remember, you need to maximize torque going back if you want maximum power at impact.

Next week’s topic: Drive the Ball Forward, Not Down.

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