If you have not already read the About page, the first post in this blog is there and explains what the blog is about. This is the second post in this series and deals with simplifying the back swing. I want to expand on what I learned from my highly scientific research in my back garden. the object being to find a new, robust and repeatable swing and an easy to digest way of learning it.
My first angle of attack was to reduce the number of instructions necessary to perform any single component of the golf swing, in this case the back swing. In order to do that I needed to identify a key component of the back swing which if performed correctly would lead to the other components to perform their tasks on autopilot. Let me illustrate.
If I ask you to touch the tip of your nose with your finger you raise your finger to your nose and touch it. You also raise your arm and guide your hand and finger till your finger makes contact with your nose but you do that completely subconsciously. Your attention is concentrated on the tip of your finger.
Now if I asked you to assume the address position, clasp your hands together and keep your arms straight, then rotate your left shoulder around your spine until it was under your chin you would perform something very close to the core back swing move. If I asked you to brace your left knee against moving to the right while you were doing this you would be even closer. Your arms, of course, would not be. We will get to that later. Go ahead and try it. Remember that because your spine is tilted your left shoulder rotation will mean that it drops slightly while your right shoulder moves up by the same amount during the rotation. Bracing your left knee will also prevent excessive hip rotation.
Now the only reason I asked you to clasp your hands and keep your arms straight was to stop you thinking about them in the above exercise. You could also fold your forearms across each other and place each hand on its opposite shoulder for the same effect. Try it. I am keeping the arms out of this exercise because without a club in your hands it is difficult to rehearse correct arm movement. We will come to the arms later.
So what have we achieved so far? With 2 simple instructions (brace your left knee and rotate your left shoulder under your chin) we have performed the essential body movement for the back swing.
In the second part of this post I want to emphasise the importance of having an ingrained mental image of what a good golf swing looks like. If you don’t, probably the best way to get it is to watch golf on TV. There is no need to analyse or dissect what you are looking at, just watch and enjoy. These are “live” demonstrations of the finest swings in the world. You will soon have a recallable mental image of good swing to compare against your own. Initially concentrate on the top of the back swing position, it is crucially important
In order to examine my own form I swing facing a large window in my house. The room behind the window is quite dark and generally (being in Africa) I am in the sun. This gives me a clear enough picture of what I am doing. If you cannot do this you will have to use a large mirror outdoors or indoors. You can quite easily practice anything up to a full swing with your head slightly raised so as to look at your reflection. In the follow through on a full swing will you be forced to look away. Hold your finish position and look back at the reflection to see how it looks. You can also of course use a video camera but this obviously lacks the immediate feedback although being able to freeze frame parts of your swing can be useful. I always practice swing in front of the window. I can look at all aspects of my swing from address to finish position. I like to rehearse in slow motion, stopping at various points to examine my position.
So, set yourself up with a way of seeing your reflection and go through the process I described above. Try it with your hands clasped and straight arms and then try it with arms folded across your chest. How does it look? If you have any kind of correct swing ingrained in your subconscious you should be able to tell whether it looks good or not. Although you don’t have a club in your hands you should still recognize correct outlines and shapes in this core back swing motion. When I do this myself I get considerable pleasure from the recognizable correct form I can achieve when I look at my reflection. The fact that I have become a lefty in the reflection is not disturbing or odd.
In Golf Solutions blog 3 we will introduce a club into the equation and build up a full back swing. See you at Simple Back Swing Part 2.