September 1, 2015

Helping Students Generate Distance and Speed with the Power Fan

This resistance-based training aid has withstood the test of time and continues to be a favorite among top teachers

“I’m a big ‘fan’ of Dr. Gary Wiren,” quips Nicole Weller, the lead PGA teaching professional at The Landings Club in Savannah, Georgia. Dr. Wiren developed the Power Fan more than 25 years ago to help golfers produce more distance and speed with their swings. The training aid is still widely used by golf instructors such as Weller, Judy Alavarez and Rick Grayson, who was first introduced to the Power Fan in 1988 and says he’s used it in the majority of his lessons since.


Training aids that provide instant feedback are coveted among teaching professionals. The Power Fan offers it on two tiers: Sound and feel. “Once we show the students how to use it properly, they can use it on their own for auditory and feel feedback,” says Weller, the 2013 PGA and LPGA Youth Player Development award winner. “I like having students make a soft, louder and loudest swing with it and then re-create those swings with their own golf club.” When the students swing their regular golf club, it feels astoundingly lighter compared the Power Fan. Because the club feels lighter, they’re able to swing it faster and generate more power.


At the Rick Grayson Golf School, located at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield, Missouri, the Power Fan is utilized in about 80-90 percent of all lessons, according to Grayson himself. The biggest benefit, as the name would suggest, is developing power and distance. “We teach students that they need to pivot and transfer their weight for maximum distance, and the swing fan helps them do that,” says Grayson. “It gives the student the correct feel.” The feel that Grayson is referring to comes from the heavy resistance created by the Power Fan. As the student rotates their hips and lower body the Power Fan causes the hands, club and upper body to lag slightly behind. This stores energy, creates torque and helps them understand the correct way to swing the club faster and generate more distance.


Like Grayson, Judy Alvarez has been using the Power Fan for more than 25 years. She utilizes the training aid for “Swing to Finish” drills with students who have a difficult time with the proper speed patterns in their golf swing. “I like to use it with golfers who have a fast backswing, but tend to decelerate as they swing down at the ball. In fact, it’s great for any golfer that decelerates through impact,” says Alvarez, a PGA and LPGA Master Professional. “It teaches them to swing the club faster through the strike and accelerate into their finish.”


Not only does the Power Fan engrain good habits for building speed and distance, but it can also be used as a great golf-specific exercise. Its resistancebased design helps strengthen the muscles needed to swing the golf club with power, such as the thighs and core. “When a student uses the Power Fan for the first time, they always comment that it made them more tired than they expected,” says Weller. “It definitely works the necessary golf muscles, and extended use can help players build stamina.”


While the Power Fan is used primarily for full swing improvements, it does have some applications to the short game. “It provides a great visual for showing students how the handle leads instead of the blade on pitch shots,” says Weller. “In addition, it can help students easily visualize and feel where to stop the club, on the backswing and follow through, to achieve certain distances. Essentially giving them the feel and visual feedback needed on half to half shots (or nine to three).”