Ever wonder why pitchers make good golfers? I can’t tell you how many guys I played with who liked to get out for an early tee-time on the days they weren’t pitching…
But hitting a golf ball well (consistently) can be one of the most challenging, frustrating things in all of sports.
It should be so EASY! It’s literally just sitting there for you on the tee!
But if you’ve ever played the game, you know it’s anything but… It’s why even the best pro golfers put in hours of practice time, working on their swing, hitting shot after shot.
And it’s why I’ve never gotten really good at golf… I just don’t have the patience for it, and didn’t grow up with the love for the game the way I did with baseball.
Maybe someday when I have the time to dedicate to it… but with 2 little ones at home, that day isn’t coming anytime soon.
Now all of that said, the swing itself tends to come pretty naturally to most pitchers.
I stumbled across this article the other day (actually, one of you sent it to me – you know who you are)… Hit a Golf Ball Farther Than Bubba Watson
It’s all about this former University of Miami pitcher who now absolutely crushes golf balls in long drive competitions.
And there’s a difference between mashing the ball for max distance and what you see with a pro golfer…
For the pro golfer, accuracy is king. I don’t pretend to know a whole lot about golf strategy, but I’m pretty sure hitting from the weeds every hole isn’t a recipe for success.
To see what I mean, just watch this video (max drive is about aggression more than control):
But why does any of this matter to you?
I mean, if you’re here on my site or you get my emails I’m assuming your expecting pitching info right?
Well if you watch that video, look out for the 1:30 mark because that’s where he get’s into some concepts that are very important for maximizing power in your pitching delivery.
How Effectively Crushing a Golf Ball Relates to Your Pitching Velocity
It’s all about your kinetic chain… a term you may have seen tossed around pitching circles before.
You’ve probably heard coaches say you want to “throw with your entire body”… you can usually spot a guy throwing “all arm” a mile away. What they’re talking about really is the kinetic chain.
When you get down to it, it’s mainly about timing and the effective sequencing of movements in your pitching delivery.
It’s about the flow of momentum from your lower half to upper half…
Well golfers have been on to this whole kinetic chain thing for a long time. See, the sequencing for both actions is really pretty similar:
Legs, Hips, Torso, Arms…
Now in reality all these things are working together, it’s not like one body part shuts down and the next section takes over… we’re humans after all, not robots (why you want to stay away from bad pitching drills).
The key is getting everything working together in the right order… Firming up with the front side to transfer power and create good whip.
It’s why that Miami pitcher has a leg up over guys who’ve never pitched before. He knows what it feels like to transfer power up his body, through his hips and out to his arm.
Happyy Gilmore knows a thing or two about the power of the hips
(For more on the science of the Happy Gilmore swing, check out this piece)
Now I mentioned before how I’m not much of a golfer. But I do enjoy hitting a bucket or two at the driving range when I can find time. I like the feel for getting my hips into my swing… firming up with my front side and whipping that golf club through. And then seeing the result…
In so many ways, it’s just like when I used to work on my pitching delivery (minus the stride).
It’s the same kind of direct feedback training you want to have with your training if you’re a pitcher… it’s why long toss, while not the magic velocity bullet or bogeyman some make it out to be, can be a useful practice tool (more on that here).
When you get your whole body working together in the right sequence and get the feel for transferring power and momentum up your kinetic chain… well that’s a beautiful thing.
So how do you work on this?
Well, it really starts with good sequencing and getting the feel for efficient movements. And one way you can work on this is with med ball training. Working to throw a heavier ball can be a great way to get the feel for getting your body into your motion.
The more efficient you are in the movements, the lighter the ball starts to feel.
It’s one reason I include a system of Med Ball Throws in the Ballistic Pitching Blueprint
Click Here to learn more about a complete system for developing a powerful pitching delivery.