The Golf Swing Transition


Many golfers have problems with the golf swing transition at the top of the swing. By transition I mean the process of reversing the swing direction from back swing into the down swing. Most of these problems can be easily worked out by concentration on timing and rhythm. Instead of concentrating on positions and moves, this move, like most others in golf will take care of itself if the golfer concentrates on nothing but smoothness and tempo.


I want you to start by imagining the action of a heavy pendulum swinging back and forth. As the pendulum approaches the point at which it will change direction it slows down. It then stops for a brief moment and then slowly starts swinging in the opposite direction gathering momentum and speed as it progresses. Now try to imagine this same sequence and apply it to your golf swing transition at the top. Try and develop that same sense of your cub head slowing as it reaches the top, stops, hesitates for a brief moment and then unhurriedly starts its journey back down. it must be a treacly smooth move. No jerking, or undue muscular exertion.


As amateur golfers, most of us are anxious about our swings and this often translates into rushing the swing, and particularly the transition at the top. It pays dividends before we swing to remind ourselves not to hurry. Take the club away from the ball slowly and swing it smoothly, almost lazily to the top. Stop for a brief second and send it off on its return journey in a similar unhurried fashion.


I start the down swing by simply allowing the muscles which have lifted the club up there to relax and this allows the club to start its journey down on autopilot. As soon as the the club head has started moving  I start to unwind the shoulders and allow my left pectoral muscle to push my upper left arm into and through the down swing sequence. I discuss this crucial move in the last third of The Full Swing post. Please go there and read it.


If you take anything away from this post please let it be this sense of treacle smooth unhurried tempo in your golf swing. There must also be a sense of rhythm in the transition at the top. Make plenty of practice swings (and real ones) with the pendulum image in your mind.


One last thing. Don’t for a second think that you are sacrificing power or distance by swinging in this fashion. You can swing smoothly and rhythmically and still easily attain good speed through the ball. You could well end up gaining distance by doing this and you will certainly be making better contact with the ball more often. Forget the big power, big lunge swing you may have been using in an effort to improve your distance. You will also find you injure yourself less often.


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