Swinging the club is often made to appear difficult. It isn’t. You only need to understand a few fundamental concepts. For example, on the way back, pack your upper body around your legs and then unload with your legs on the way down. Isn’t it simple? It isn’t tricky in the least.
This practical approach is part of the mindset I’ve taught a number of outstanding professionals, including PGA Tour player of the year Patrick Cantlay and Rolex Women’s World Golf No. 2 Nelly Korda. I’m convinced it will help you improve your golf game as well.
Here are five tips to keep in mind.
- Align yourself athletically
At setup, have a friend put a club across your toes. This allows you to determine whether you’re properly balanced. Your trail foot should have a little weight advantage.
Solid address basics are the foundation of a good swing. Bending from the waist and letting your arms dangle freely off your spine is essential. From a front-on angle, aim for a “reverse K” look, with your trail shoulder underneath your lead shoulder. Distribute your weight over your feet in this stance such that your trail side is somewhat favored — around a 55 to 45 percent split.
Laying a club over your toes is an easy way to check this (above). Your setup is sound if the club lies flat and balanced.
- “Load” your takeaway
Starting your swing using the big muscles in your torso and shoulders rather than the small ones in your hands and wrists is known as a “loaded” takeaway.
Breaking your body into two parts: upper and lower, results in a well laden takeout. The aim is to pivot on the backswing by rotating your shoulders into your lower body. This “loads” your hips and legs, creating torque that you can use later in the swing to generate “unwind” power.
You can see how I’m gently moving this student’s (Long Beach State University sophomore Clay Seeber) club aside with pressure just below the grip as he begins his swing in the photo (right). This eliminates any “handiness” and instead activates the large muscles in your torso and shoulders, allowing you to swing strongly from the outset.
This is a terrific drill for finding the proper feeling of loading up on your backswing, and it’s something I do with Patrick Cantlay every day before he plays.
- Make a centered, balanced turn
A Hacky Sack on your head will keep you balanced for the duration of your swing.
You have almost little chance of making a repeatable maneuver if you don’t have balance in your swing. Fortunately, there’s a one-dollar training device you can use to teach yourself balance: a Hacky Sack.
Hear me out: at the address, put the Hacky Sack on your head (above). You have a quiet mind and great balance if you can make swings without the Hacky Sack slipping off before impact.
- Shift your weight toward the target
Starting your downswing with a “bump” toward the target gives you more room to swing your arms freely. You can square up the face and release the club around your body if the shaft angle at impact equals the shaft angle at address.
Your movement should begin with your lower body. In transition, though, you don’t want to twist your hips too quickly. Instead, “bump” your hips in the direction of the target. This creates enough space for the club to shallow and drop into the proper release point on the downswing.
- At impact, recreate your address angles
Andrew Hoekstra, a student and LBSU freshman, is practicing matching the shaft angle established at address to the one established at impact. If you get this right, the ball will have no idea what hit it.
You want to aim to match the shaft angle on your downswing to the angle you had at address now that you’re on your way to impact.
Consider the lines that show up on your car’s backup camera: When you reach impact, you want the lines of your shaft and the original plane to correspond.
You can bet you’ll hit the ball with a square clubface every time if you can return to that original angle while moving the club around in a circle.
Original article posted on Golf.