Taking the club to far back

Published on 23 October 2012 by in Swing Tips, Uncategorized

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Too many players have a tendency to take the club too far back in their backswings which we’ve come to know as an “overswing”. This can lead to a domino effect of faulty motion and the consequences are inconsistency in direction as well as distance.

There are a couple faults which promotes taking it too far back. Most common is to keep swinging the arms after the body stops in the backswing, causing the left elbow to collapse or bend to much. When this happens, the players tendency is to throw the club from the top, causing the body to stay back on the right side which pushes the club onto an outside path, and the wrists unhinge too early. The typical result is a weak slice.

To fix this, think of keeping your hands further away from your head at the top of your backswing. This produces a wider arc so its easier to swing the club back in front of your body on the way down. Leading to straighter shots and more consistency.

The other common fault is too much straightening of the right knee in the backswing causing an over rotation of the hips and shoulders. The club gets too deep or stuck behind the upper torso. When this happens, it causes a narrowing of the arc with the club to close to the body leading to pushes and hooks.

To fix this, keep the right knee slightly bent all the way to the top of your backswing. If you straighten the right knee going back your right hip gets higher than it should and your weight goes left. Focus on the right knee staying as flexed as it was at address and the weight will be on the right thigh and the right arc of your foot. Yes the knee will swivel to the right a little during your backswing and that’s fine. This limits the over rotation of the hips and shoulder turn keeping the hands and arms from getting too deep by a more controlled rotation. When the arms stay short but wide in your backswing your in a better position to swing the club back to the ball on a straighter path. That leads to efficient ball striking…further and straighter shots.

 

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The Over-Swing

Published on 11 October 2010 by in Blog, Featured, Swing Tips

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Did you know that you can’t make a change in your swing until you know what it feels like. As an instructor I can either show you on swing analysis software, verbally explain it or get you to feel it. I think the latter is by far the most advantageous for the student of golf.

Let’s talk about over-swinging. I have seen a lot of golfers take a swing and a half when they’re swinging the golf club. Maybe trying to get more distance or it just really feels normal. The over-swing can cause a series of complications that can render the swing powerless and encourage a loss of direction.

Here is a simple drill to help you get the feel of not over-swinging:

Put a swimming noodle or some plumbers foam in your right arm pit at address. Take your backswing until your left arm comes to a stop up against the swimming noodle. That’s approximately where your back swing should stop. Yes I know, it feels like a half-swing. But if you rotated your shoulders as far as you can without compromising your lower body, i.e. (straightening or bowing your right knee) that position is as far back as the club should go.

It’s amazing how you get a half-swing feel with a full-swing ball flight. Don’t believe me, schedule your next lesson and we’ll get you to feel it and see the proof.

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Weight Distribution and Balance

Published on 28 May 2010 by in Blog, Swing Tips

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During your power shot or for a full swing your stance should be wide enough to create stability but narrow enough to generate a weight transfer. I don’t recommend a stance that’s wider than shoulder width, however the longer the club the wider the stance. As the clubs get shorter, your stance should get progressively narrower. Don’t narrow your stance anymore than inside shoulder width for your short irons. If your stance gets too narrow, it can lead to off balance shots or excessive body motion because your foundation of support is no longer stable.  

I would recommend fanning your lead foot towards the target slightly, while keeping your trailing foot perpendicular to the target line. With your trailing foot square to your target, you are reducing hip turn. A limited hip turn joined with a full shoulder turn, can create coil and torque that leads to more power. By turning out your front foot, you will be helping to create a fuller finish, as it makes it easier for your hips to clear through impact.

For weight distribution, your weight should be distributed 50/50 between your feet for almost every type of shot. For a short iron you might put 5% more weight on your lead foot while swinging a longer club about 5% more on your trailing foot. If you’re a beginner it will be very difficult to distinguish that small amount of weight so just keep it 50/50 until you get more efficient at your ball striking. You may want to experiment with your stance during practice to see what kind of results you get from the different weight distributions.

Finally, your body weight should be distributed evenly between the toes and heels on the fat part of your foot. Meaning from the ball of your foot to the arch. If you start with too much weight on the heels chances are your going to shift to the toes during your swing to stay balanced.  This means you can very well have some off centered hits towards the heel of the club because you compensated the weight to stay balanced. The same goes if you start with to much weight on the toes, you’ll compensate during the swing to get the weight on the heels leading to strikes off the toe of your club.

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