Today I will describe the full swing. Continuing on from my last post Simple Backswing Part 2, this is the next post in the series where I describe my own simple swing and teaching methodology. If you have not yet read the 2 preceding posts, please go back there first and go through them. You will find them below this post on the “Blog” menu link. Both deal with the back swing. You need to read them first.
I will continue with the backswing and build that up into the full swing. I am also going to introduce the crucial component to this whole process. This is all going to sound quite strange, but bear with me on this. It really works.
I need you first to examine the image below. As you see, it’s a picture of a golfer in the impact position. The hips are rotating to the left, the head is behind the ball and the hands are slightly ahead of the ball position. This is the position that will become our address position.
There are good reasons for this. In a conventional swing the address position is very different from the impact position. There is very little logic in intentionally getting into a position which is significantly different to the position we will be trying to achieve a few seconds later when we actually make contact with the ball. What we are doing by adopting the impact position as our address position is rehearsing a position we will swing through when we make our full swing.
I can see what some of you must be thinking right now. You are thinking “I am going to look really weird on the first tee box setting up like this”. Well don’t worry because you are not going to look weird. What you are going to do is set up with a little pre-shot routine which looks like this.
From a normal address position you are going to make two or three mini back swings taking the club back to about the point where the shaft is horizontal. This is little more than a wrist cock in effect although your hands will move back about 8 inches. Remember to rotate the shoulders and keep some tension in your left knee. This will keep your head aligned with the ball. From there you are going to bring the club head back to the ball (without hitting it) at which point your body will be in the impact position. In other words you are performing a few small rehearsals of the real thing. Try it you will see what I mean. After your second or third mini swing you will take the club back and to the top and complete the shot.
There are several advantages to this. The first is that you are not starting your swing from a static position which is very important. Standing in a classic address position and building yourself up to pull the trigger is a tremendous tension builder. Tension is the last thing you need in golf. I am sure you have all seen the strange little wristy waggle that Jason Dufner uses before he makes his swing. Why do you think he does that? He does it to stay loose, mentally and physically.
The second advantage is that you are creating a subconscious impression of the impact position on your brain and your body will fall into that position far more naturally at the correct point in your swing. Your subconscious will return you to that position rather than you having to artificially create it during your down swing.
The impact position you adopt during this pre shot routine should be a diluted version of where you will be during a full swing. When you are adding power to a shot your body will naturally adopt an impact position which is more extreme.
(When practicing try hitting balls from these half back swing positions. Make sure you are getting into the impact position while doing this. Its a useful practice routine for those tricky little half shots. Allow the club to fall naturally and accelerate through the ball.)
So we have now completed our 2 or 3 mini back swings. Decide beforehand how many of these you will perform and stick to that number. It will become your pre shot routine and from now on you will use it for all your full shots except, of course your putting.
When you are going for the real thing, stop for a full second with the club face behind the ball and then perform your back swing as described in earlier posts on this blog. Make sure you are doing it the same way and that you are in the correct position at the top. Now comes the interesting part.
What are you going to do next? Are you going to start shifting and rotating the hips to the left? Are you going to start dropping the hands and arms while maintaining your wrist cock? Are you going to rotate your shoulders on plane and drop your arms into the slot? I could carry on but the answer here is no. No to all the above. You are going to do one thing and one thing only.
To get a feeling for this, first get rid of the club. Now, clasp your hands together and get into the top of the back swing position. Left arm straight, right elbow bent, shoulders rotated 90 degrees to your foot line, clasped hands higher than your head.
Now find a door jamb and position your feet so that the back of your left hand is against it, preventing you from “unwinding” in the direction of the swing. Basically put the back of your left hand against the jamb then rotate your feet anti clockwise until you feel your upper left arm held tight against your left pectoral (chest) muscle.
With your body as relaxed as possible try to rotate your shoulders anticlockwise. The door jamb will prevent you from doing this but notice what the rest of your body is doing. Your legs and hips have shifted left and the hips are rotating anti clockwise, your head has moved slightly to the right. In other words your body is automatically doing all the correct things on autopilot.
Now pick up your club and get into the top of the back swing position. To start your swing rotate the shoulders to the left and resist this movement with the upper left arm against your chest. Develop the feeling that you are trying to leave your arms behind and that your left pectoral muscle is whipping the arms down and through the ball position.
This is how you will start and complete every full swing. Do nothing with the arms. Keep them passive and trailing the left pectoral which whips them through the ball position. All the different components of the down swing will happen on autopilot if you stay loose enough to let it happen. Just keep the upper left arm against your chest till after contact with the ball.
Well there it is. I hope I have explained this well enough. If it is not clear, please let me know. You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact menu link.
Until next time.