Saturday, June 26, 2010

Understanding your Golf Swing

Did you ever have a day on the golf course when everything seemed to work? Your golf swing felt effortless and the ball went farther and straighter than ever? Most of the players we see at the United States Golf Academy think it is just luck when these rounds of golf occur. What they discover is that it is not luck at all. It is just a matter of having a better understanding of their golf swing.

First we have to realize that the golf club does not swing itself. It moves as directed by your hands. The hands move in conjunction with your arms and shoulders. The arms and shoulders are supported by the remainder of your body. When all these parts move in a proper sequence, we see great results. When the sequence is disrupted we get lousy results. So how do we find this proper sequence of motion?

As you are searching for your proper swing sequence, you might have to give up direction control temporarily. All we are looking for at this point is solid contact with the golf ball. It is much easier to correct direction once we understand how we move when we swing the club. Once the swing is in sync, if there is a problem controlling the club face, which controls ball direction, it is usually develops as a consistent problem. Like a slice or a hook. A consistent directional miss is a lot easier to deal with than unpredictable and random ones.

Now the discovery process gets a little more complicated. We have to figure out what moves first, what happens next, and how the club gets back to the ball. The easiest way I have found to do this is to try and verbally describe your golf swing. For example, I had the opportunity to watch Arnold Palmer hit thousands of golf balls. I describe the sequence of Mr. Palmer’s swing like this: The left arm swings back as the right hip turns to clear the way. The shoulders then turn to take the club to the top of the back swing. Once the shoulders finish, the knees start the downswing by shifting toward the target and once the knees get moving, he swings the club to the ball with his hands. Left arm back, right hip clears. Turn to the top. Knees to the target, hands to the ball. That sequence produced the best results for him. Your sequence will be different. For example, if your swing is more upright, the shoulders will lead and then the arms will lift. Regardless, what is important is not to look for perfection but to identify what works for you. It then becomes much like a mantra. The more you repeat it even without a club, the more consistent your swing and the better your golf.

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