Friday, July 3, 2009

Common Swing Faults

At the United States Golf Academy we are firm believers that each of our students are unique and swing the club differently. Our goal is to help each player find their own technique, but in doing so we also find ourselves saying the same things to different players each day. So with the hope of helping you to a better second half of the season I thought I would comment on two of the most common problems we observe.

Easily the most common fault is in an effort to create more club speed the player over swings the club in the backswing. Two fundamental rules apply. You can only swing the club back as far as your balance allows and you should coordinate your arm swing to your shoulder turn. Basically, when your shoulders stop turning your arms should stop swinging. If the arms swing beyond the shoulders the arms are always trying to catch up with the shoulder turn on the down swing. You reach top speed before you get to the ball and the club is slowing at impact. Hall of Fame Golfer Jimmy Demaret said the best tip he could give any golfer is to keep your elbows in front of you as you swing. In other words don’t let your arms out race your shoulders.

The second most common is what I call the twisted set up. Feet point one direction; the shoulders another; your spine leans in the wrong direction; one leg is bent more than the other and/or any number of other combinations. The best way to have a balanced swing is to use a balanced set up. One where the shoulders, hips, knees and feet are aligned in a similar direction and parallel to each other. The twisted set up usually happens because you set your feet first and then twist your way to get the club behind the ball. A very famous golfer once told me the difference between a great golfer and the average golfer is that the average golfers start with their feet and twist their way to the ball at address. The accomplished player starts with the club behind the ball and works backwards moving their feet last rather than planting them first.

Spend a few minutes working on these two points and I am sure you will see some improvement in your ball striking.

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