by Dr. T. J. Tomasi, Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research
One aspect of generating swing power/accuracy is the proper use of your trail-side piston – the right side or back arm piston for a right-handed player – the opposite for a left-handed player.
There are several elements of the piston system, but here the focus is on the trailing arm – it must fold during the backswing and straighten by impact using the action of a piston. Misuse of the piston system will cost you power and accuracy.
Long Hitter’s Use the Piston
Below are two photos showing the trailing arm in different positions. Although it depends on the face coming down, you’ll generally hit it harder by fully extending your trail arm, so it not only acts like a powerful piston but also squares the face. Shorter hitters and cutters of the ball who fail to fully release this lever are forced to overuse their body and/or hands or make contact with an open face.
Pictured above is tour veteran Tom Pernice, who has learned to release that back lever fully and aggressively over the years
Pictured above is the amateur swing, which leaves much distance on the table because he still hasn’t extended his arm even after impact. He’s playing without the full power of the piston.
If you’d like to study with Dr. Tomasi and other PGA Master Professionals, contact The College of Golf today.