I am always approached by players wanting to change there golf swing. When I ask why, they will tell me they want to hit it longer or straighter; higher or lower. Either way, I always say, “Your swing is your swing and without having good swing fundamentals your chances of success diminish greatly”. Therefore, focus on your fundamentals of the full golf swing and let the clubs do all of the work as described below. In the past, I have written about the importance of the proper pre-shot routine, including grip, alignment, and set-up. There is a fourth constant with the great players, the impact zone. With this in mind, this month’s tip reinforces the need to build a firm foundation for your golf swing.
• Develop good swing motion standing upright first. Upon completion of the stretching and loosening up of your muscles, the first step will be to develop a good swing motion. This is accomplished by standing straight up with the golf club in hand and parallel to the ground. Begin to take the club back with the club and arms moving together away from the middle of your swing. Your hips should not be turning at this time. As your club and arms move back in the swing, your left arm (for right handed players) will be across your chest. At this point, the shoulders should be turning away from the ball, as well. Once the upper body has turned away from the ball, your hips should now be coiled up slightly. Also at this point, your back is now facing your intended target. The next step is to begin the forward motion of the swing. This is achieved by allowing the lower body to rotate forward first. Then, allow the upper body to follow with the arms, hands and club lagging behind. As the hips continue to rotate, they pull the chest through the shot and the chest pulls the arms, hands and club through with great force. (This sequence of motion is crucial.) If you try to manipulate the club at any point of this swinging motion, the opportunity for success diminishes significantly. Centrifugal force is needed to make the golf ball travel the proper distance. Visualize a baseball player swinging the bat, this is exactly the same motion as the golf swing. The baseball swing is standing upright, while in the golf swing the golfer is bent over at the waist. Practice this motion until it flows around you smoothly.
• Perfect your swing bent over at the waist. Once you get the proper feeling of the swinging motion standing upright, bend over into your proper set-up position. From this point, re-create the same swinging motion that you just perfected by swinging a full swing without a golf ball in place to hit. Once again, allow the club to swing freely back and through using the proper swing sequence previously discussed. Upon becoming comfortable with this swinging motion, place a golf ball on the ground and make a swing through the ball. Do not allow the fact that there is now a ball in front of you take your focus away from the swinging motion that you have just developed.
• Perfect your swing with all the clubs and learn to change the distance and flight path of the ball without changing your basic swing. Now that the swinging motion has been developed, you need to perfect this motion with every club in your bag. You will want to learn the distance that you can hit each club. After you get the distance mastered, you can now make slight distance adjustments modifying other things – not the basic swing. As an example of this, if your pitching wedge distance is 125 yards and you need to hit a golf shot 118 yards, you would either choke down on the club about an inch or increase the loft on the golf club by opening the club face approximately 5 degrees. This can only be determined through getting on the practice tee and testing how far the golf ball will go when you adjust the loft of the club or choke down on it. The golf club actually travels a shorter distance with the same swing when choking down on the club because the length of the club has been affected. Thus, the shorter the golf club travels…the shorter the golf ball travels. This thought process will work with every club in your golf bag.
This tip is pretty easy to work on alone. However, it is more fun to work on with a friend because you can have a little competition. This will help you trust what you have just developed through great focus and effort, but now with a little pressure applied by your friendly competitor.
Be sure to tune in to the Bunker to Bunker Golf Show every Saturday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. on Arizona Sports, now on 98 7 FM or on the internet at www.arizonasports.com click on SPORTS and click on listen now for more tips and updates on all of the week’s golfing news in the Valley and around the world. Tune in, to hear Greg and co-hosts Jim Hill, and or Marty Monaghan for a comprehensive look at the golf world each week.
Greg is also the General Manager at the Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia, in Peoria.
Be sure visit him and play one of the top golf courses in the area. For a starting time, call 623.328.5100 or go online at www.trilogygolfclub.com.