SURREY GOLF MAG
THE MAGAZINE FOR SURREY COUNTY GOLFERS
Key positions to better golf
Many golfers know their unwanted tendencies that often destroy their scores. It could be a slice, poorly struck iron shots from the fairway, lack of distance or any of the above!
But what’s the fix? The mistake is to try and change something too far down the chain reaction of the golf swing. Trying to correct things through the ball for example, but normally the fixes lie much earlier in the swing. With a calculated approach we can resolve these issues and have you fired up for the new golfing season!
Here I’m going to go through a simple checklist from preparation, right through to the finish of the swing to make sure you’re fixing things right from the start.
The posture should be balanced and athletic with good clean body angles keeping the natural curvature in the lower back. The weight should be slightly favouring the balls of the feet with a weight distribution of 50/50 between left and right feet for irons and 60/40 for woods. The spine angle should tilt slightly away from the target with the left shoulder higher to enable a full body turn behind the ball.
The move away
With the foundation of a great set up, the move away will set the club in motion and as with any journey, it’s important to start in the right direction! Initiate the swing with the upper body and core and check that when the club is parallel to the ground, it should also be parallel to your toe line.
Half way back
Now the club has gathered momentum there should be a naturally occurring wrist hinge to set the club on the correct plane. When the left arm is parallel to the ground the grip end of the club should point between your toe line the ball with an approximate 90’ wrist hinge.
Top of the back swing
Ideally the body turn and the completion of the arm and club swing will complete the back swing at the same time. The shoulders should now have about a 90’ shoulder turn with the club being approximate parallel to the ground depending on whether it’s a shorter iron or driver. The club shaft should point at the target at the top of the backswing or slightly left for a shorter swing with an iron.
Half way down and approaching impact
A key position which has a big influence on the path of the club head through the ball. From the top, the lower body should first move laterally, then the middle and upper body will turn into the ball with the shaft at a similar angle and position that that of the half way back position. A good guide is for the shaft to track down between the right shoulder and right elbow and continuing down so the club head works down through the hands or slightly behind them. A video of your golf swing from the correct camera angle is very useful here.
The hips will now be open to the target line and the chest and shoulders square or slightly open. The majority of the weight should now be into the left foot with the right side of the body and right shoulder moving forwards to assist in the acceleration of the club head through impact (commonly called the ‘release’). With an iron the spine will be only slightly titled away from the target to assist in a more downward strike and more backwards for a driver, which needs to hit more on the up swing.
The weight distribution should now be very much favouring the forward foot. With a full body rotation through the ball the chest should be facing to the left of the target and the club shaft having travelled behind the back of the neck. A good balance here will indicate a well coordinated swing.
How do I check these positions?
Use a mirror or patio door at home to help you see these positions from the correct angles or even better is to use video. Video analysis has been around for years in golf coaching, from the humble VHS camcorder 20 years ago to the high speed analysis systems we use now. It really is invaluable to see your swing from ‘the outside’ as feelings of positions often do not match up to reality.
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