Golf Lessons 101: Swing Center

If your goal is to get the ball started on a straighter line, one of the first things to focus on may be your swing plane throughout the back swing and down swing. A lot of beginner golfers don’t fully understand swing plane, while most professional golfers focus most of their attention on it. There is a reason for that!

In a game designed to hit the ball in a cup that is only 4.25 inches wide, direction plays a huge role. Most beginner golfers think it is all about distance to help lower scores. Although this may be true to an extent, the majority of shots are taken from shorter distances and rely primarily on direction to execute properly. Concentrating on your swing plane and what positions the club is in throughout the back swing and down swing is a great place to start.

Your swing plane relies on two different angles that, if executed correctly, can start the ball off on a straighter line. These two angles relate the club shaft to the target line and the steepness of the club shaft to the ground. The club shaft with relation to the target line affects swing path. This determines what line the ball will start on. The closer the club is to your body during the down swing, the further right the ball will start. The steepness of the club shaft with relation to the ground affects the angle of approach. This determines the trajectory of the ball flight. The steeper you attack the ball, the higher the trajectory. How can you determine what swing plane you are on?

In the back swing you want the grip end of your club pointed down the target line when the club reaches hip height and the club shaft is parallel to the ground. Here you will add a second lever into the golf swing by cocking the wrists. Once the club reaches the top of the swing, the grip end should be facing the opposite direction, while remaining on that target line. I mention this because the club head tends to follow the plane of the grip end of the club. This will be important in the down swing and is easier to accomplish if you start back on the correct plane. The fewer compensations you have to make on the down swing, the easier the shot will be to execute. How do you know if you are where you’re supposed to be at the top?

One way to check where your swing plane is at the top of the back swing is to see if your wrists are bent or not. If they are, you need to get the club into a position where there is no wrist bend, otherwise called a flat left wrist. Keep in mind ‘cocking’ the wrists is the motion you would make if you were to shake someone’s hand, while ‘bending’ the wrists is the motion you would make if you were swatting a fly. You do not want a bend in the left wrist if your intended ball flight is straight. Once you get into this correct position at the top, simply complete the steps in reverse throughout the down swing, keeping in mind that the grip end of the club dictates where the club head will follow. As the club shaft is parallel to the ground, if the grip end is not pointed down the target it will be difficult to execute a straighter ball flight.

These tips are designed to help the average golfer improve their game.  If you have any questions or wish to receive your own personalized golf lessons feel free to contact us.

Advertisements

Golf Lessons 101: Balance Drill

Balance is probably the one fundamental that I would put above all others for developing a consistent golf swing. I firmly believe that most amateur golfers have terrible balance and are completely unaware that they have balance issues. There are a few things that you can check to determine if you have balance issues in your swing.

Ask Yourself These Questions:

  1. Can I hold my finish??
  2. Where is my weight in my golf swing??
  3. Can I stand on my left foot after I finish??
  4. How is my balance when I close my eyes??
  5. What am I doing after I finish my swing?? Fall, Lose Balance??
  6. If you lose your balance, which way do you fall??
  7. Does your finish look like Paula Creamer’s??
  8. Can you hold your finish for more than 5 seconds??
Answers You Should Have:
  1. It should be very easy to hold your finish.
  2. Your weight should be centered and slightly on your right side at address.
  3. When you finish, can you lift your right leg without falling over or losing your balance.
  4. You should feel at ease when your eyes are closed. This should be the same when you stand on either leg with your eyes closed.
  5. Finish with a stable balanced swing with your weight on your left side and holding your balance.
  6. If you fall at all you should be doing some sort of balance drill.
  7. Your finish should be balanced and poised with your weight completely transferred to your left side.
  8. If you can count to 5 while holding your finish, your balance is pretty good and you might want to work on something different than balance.

*These questions and answers are for right handed players- for lefties you should flop which foot you balance on in the golf swing.
Balance Drill
If your answers differed from the answers I have provided then this drill could be an answer to your problems. Hopefully, this video will be a great drill that will help you find your balance in your golf swing. This drill is called the Single Leg Balance Narrow Base Golf Posture. If you wish to see a video of this drill check it out at mytpi.com
  1. Start with one foot off the ground and get into your golf posture.
  2. Get your balance and hold this pose.
  3. After you have your balance, slowly lift your heel off the ground and balance on the balls of your feet.
  4. Feel your “proprioceptors” activate and strengthen your balance muscles.
  5. This drill should begin to slowly affect your balance- you will feel yourself trying to balance as soon as you start this drill.
These tips are designed to help the average golfer improve their game.  If you have any questions or wish to receive your own personalized golf lessons feel free to contact us.

Golf Lessons 101: Knee Action Basics

Knee Action is a key part of the golf swing and an important movement that everyone should learn how to master. Knee Action starts the motion of the golf swing and controls where the center of gravity in your swing goes. Knee Action is also one of the hardest things to master but it is very easy to mess up. I will start by explaining the wrong way to use your knees.

The Wrong Way 

Some people have what I would like to call “Elvis Knees” and they can not seem to keep there knees from moving side to side in their golf swing, kind of like the King doing his dance. This move has a distinct look and a distinct pattern and we will talk about that now.

  1. The knees start severely bent at address and the person usually looks like they are about to sit on the toilet rather than hit a golf ball.
  2. This posture limits the ability to move the knees properly during the golf swing.
  3. On your backswing, with this posture, your right knee (for right handed golfers) will begin to “sway” back and will look like your knee will be over your right foot.
  4. Your left knee will move in and under your body creating a poor base to begin your downswing. It is very important that your base be strong and stable to swing the club around.
  5. During the downswing your knees will shift and slide toward the target making that dancing move that Elvis used to do during his concerts.
  6. This terrible swing fault causes mis-hits, chunks, thin shots, and inconsistent shots that affect your round of golf.

The Right Way

The right way to use your knees in the golf swing is a process and somewhat differs for every golfer depending on their posture and flexibility. This is because the lower body flexibility has a big affect on how easily you can stabilize your knees and center of gravity. I will discuss the “proper” sequence of movements for a standard golf swing.

  1. The hips start to turn back and around by the bending and straightening of your two knees. The way you will know that you start the backswing properly in the lower body is that there will be tension in between your right thigh and right hip flexor.
  2. At the top of your backswing you should notice that your right leg is slightly straightened and your left leg is slightly more bent- However: notice that your posture has not risen, that is to say your head is still in the same spot as it was at address.
  3. It is key to notice that you posture does not move up and down even thought your legs are bending and straightening. It is acceptable to have a little side to side head movement in the golf swing but never up and down.
  4. On your downswing the left knee and hip begin to rotate up and around your body creating the look that you are “squatting” into impact. This is a huge power move the allows for awesome distance if done correctly.
  5. Notice: Tiger’s knees never go outside of his feet which means he is not swaying on the way back and he is not sliding on the way down and through. This is a great picture that shows the knees in perfect action. Take note of Tiger’s performance.

If you have any questions or wish for me to check out your Knee Action please feel free to contact myself or James for more information. Feel free to contact us anytime. 

%d bloggers like this: