This month’s tip refers to where you make contact with the ground relative to your ball position. If you suffer from chunky shots (hitting the ground prior to the ball) you are most likely not getting your weight to your forward foot. The ball position could also be too far forward in your stance. Remember that your low point is where the club bottoms out after you have struck the ball. This picture shows the correct low point and swing motion.
The most important part of the golf swing is impact, plain and simple. The picture to the right shows a club approaching the ball with a shaft that is almost vertical. The club head is making contact with the ground first, about an inch before the ball. The better ball strikers have more shaft lean and catch the ball first, not the ground. Their divots will come after the ball. To enable this you must have your weight moving towards your target side foot (left foot for right handers). The shaft will automatically start to lean more towards the target and the club head will catch the ball cleaner. Contact improves immediately as does distance and control.
Book your lesson with me to assess your impact position and start improving your ball striking. I also use Trackman to determine your exact impact numbers, this technology allows you to understand better and improve more quickly.
Understanding or awareness can be misinterpreted, an example of this is the back swing motion. When you read or watch “you must get more weight on your right foot and less on your left” for a right hand golfer in the back swing, be careful.
You can easily start a sway action, for most people the sway leads to poor shots. I say “most people” as there are a few people with hip mobility limitations who cannot rotate.
Remember to rotate your shoulders and pelvis around your spine, keep your spine in the same position from set up to the top of your back swing. You will have more weight on your right foot and in a better position to start the down swing.
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I hear from many of you that “I need to turn my hips faster or get them going sooner!” Sound familiar?
The down swing has a sequence of events or as some refer to as timing. The first domino to start the sequence is your weight moving towards the forward foot. The pelvis then starts to unwind, then the shoulders, then the arms and finally the club head. If you begin the down swing with something other than the weight shift, the shot will be compromised.
The left photo displays a hip spinning motion versus a weight shift using the ground for leverage.
The hands obviously hold onto the club and play a major role in the club face control. If you have a good grip position, your club face has a better chance of starting the ball on the line you intend it to start on.
The hands were not meant to be used for swinging the club with the intent of rotating the club face thru the impact position. This requires extremely accurate timing and unless you have a physical dysfunction, which precludes you from moving your body or your arms, it is not recommended!
The hands play an intentionally inactive role thru impact to the finish position, the picture below displays this correctly. The 2nd picture displays active hands/wrists, which lead to poor contact, directional issues and lack of consistency. If you are using too much hand action, start turning your body and swinging your arms more to the finish position.
Golf performance is largely dictated by rotational power. Unfortunately, the weakest part of most golfers’ bodies is the part they need most: the core. Without strong, healthy, flexible muscles in your stomach, hips, butt and lower back, you can’t make a golf swing that is both powerful and technically sound.
Here are some core strengthening and stretching drills for you to use when doing your workout. Doing these exercises regularly will help build your muscles and keep them in tip-top shape.
Pictures 1 & 2 stabilize the pelvis and strengthen the torso/tva for better rotation. Picture 3 lengthens the spine and stretches the core to the finger tips, while strengthening the core.
Do not confuse golf swing speed with golf swing tempo. Your golf swing speed is how fast the club is moving at impact. Your golf swing tempo is the pace of your swing from the first movement to impact (ratio). A good example is Ernie Els and Tiger Woods. Ernie has a very slow looking pace compared with Tiger’s, but their tempo is identical, both are a ratio of 3:1. Tiger has a greater club head speed compared to Ernie though. Remember, if you rush your back swing on one shot and then slow down on the next, you have a recipe for disaster. Keep your back swing pace consistent and the downswing will be much better!
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