3 Quarters Equal a Dollar

Greg Ellis
Great Golf Academy
Goodyear, AZ

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I know what you are thinking, has Greg lost his marbles? For the record, I know that 4 quarters equals a dollar – most of the time. Recently, while conducting a golf clinic I witnessed several “John Daly” swings. The results of the swing, however, were nothing like the real John Daly. I gathered the students around and did a little hitting demonstration to show how much better the golf ball would travel if the length of the golf swing was shorter. With this in mind, I challenged each of the students to shorten their backswing to ¾ of the length of their normal full swing. The following few easy steps will help you to accomplish this ¾ golf swing:

•  Go through your proper practice routine. Whether you are preparing to play or just practicing, it is important to always have a plan and stick with it. Begin by stretching your upper body; then your mid-section; and finally your legs. Warm up your muscles. Easy to do at this time of the year. Next, if you have a “Momentus” weighted golf club, make a few loose practice swings. Otherwise use three short irons to create the same weight tolerance as the weighted club. You want to make smooth short swings for a few swings and then make a few full swings to stretch you shoulders and arms out more. To insure that you are stretching and not pulling muscles, always swing slowly, keeps you from tearing muscles. Hit a few golf shots with your wedge and work your way into your middle to long irons.

•  Using the “buddy system” to practice, have a friend watch you hit balls. You will want to use your 4-iron until the end of this session. The final test will be at the end of this session when you attempt to use this swing with your driver and see instant positive result s. Take your normal golf swing and hit a golf ball. Have your friend show you how far your backswing traveled. Once this length has been determined, swing the golf club ¾ of that length back and allow the downswing to swing all the way through. The follow through is very important to the success of this drill. Your buddy will give you instant feedback as to whether you were successful in making that ¾ length swing, and tell you where the club stopped at the top of the swing immediately while you are swinging. Also, to have complete control of your golf swing, you should also be able to feel like you are actually swinging the club a shorter distance on the backswing.

•  By working with this shorter backswing, you will be able to feel your body moving back and through the swing easier than with your “over-swing.” It is no longer necessary to work at getting the weight to shift properly or the body to rotate through allowing the club to follow on a path to hit the ball long and straight. This will be accomplished due to the less motion created by the shorter swing. The result of this will be straighter shots. The distance of the golf shot will actually increase due to the straighter shot.

•  Now that you have perfected this swing with your 4-iron, it is time to test your ability to make a ¾ length golf swing with your driver. Remember, you want to “feel” like you are swinging a ¾ length golf swing. Once again, using your buddy, have him watch and immediately tell you the length of your swing. If you are over-swinging he’ll tell you immediately. Swing the driver back, feel the end of the back swing then begin to turn your lower body back through the golf shot with the rest of the swing following through completely. Within a few shots with the driver you should see immediate improvement.

Now that you have developed this ¾ length swing, it is time for me to come clean. Although you may “feel” like you are swinging the club ¾ of the normal length that you were swinging the club prior to this exercise, you will actually be swinging the club closer to parallel than you will actually know. What this means is all of the time you thought you were swinging a full swing you were over-swinging the club and creating bad habits. Now you have regained control of your swing and will be using the ¾ swing to win dollars from your golfing buddies.

Practice this and if you have any challenges with this, feel free to contact me at the gellisdog@cox.net.  

In the meantime, be sure to tune in to the Bunker to Bunker Golf Show every Saturday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station or on the internet at www.arizonasports.com for more tips and updates on all of the week’s golfing news in the Valley and around the world. Join Jim Hill, Marty Monaghan, and Greg for a comprehensive look at the golf world for the week.  Also, visit www.bunkergolf.com for more information.