Q & A |
Help With Your Problem Areas
BY GEOFF GREIG
Before we explore the practice drills designed to correct our CLUBHEAD PATH, CLUBFACE ANGLE AND ANGLE OF ATTACK (for future reference "The Big Three") it is very important we understand proper timing in the golf swing. Proper timing is essential in achieving "The Big Three" and can also make up for inconsistencies in other areas of the swing. The fastest way to a solid foundation in the game of golf is focused, diligent work on "The Big Three" and timing.
What is proper timing? Let's use an analogy from a movement all of us have tried, throwing. A proper throw starts with windup or coil, equivalent to the backswing in golf. The main purpose of the coil is to store up as much power as possible so we can unleash it on the throw or downswing. The unleashing starts in the legs and goes upward through the body with arms and hands being the last body parts released. When we release the ball our hand should be reaching maximum speed with our weight firmly planted in the front foot and the hand going towards the target. How does this translate to golf? I think it is easiest to break it down into two basic elements. The first involves the maximum acceleration point of the clubhead and the second is the synchronization of the arm swing with the body turn.
In golf, the clubhead should not be reaching maximum speed until just after it has struck the golf ball. At the same time, most of our weight should be already transferred to our front foot and the clubface should be rotating shut while heading toward the target. The general tendency (at least 90% of all golfers) is to accelerate the club too soon in the downswing, which forces us to hold the clubface open and bring the path of the clubhead back towards our body instead of toward the target. This causes fades with the irons, slices with woods and if we rotate the clubhead, pulls and pull hooks.
In order to accelerate the clubhead at the proper time, we must learn to coordinate the swinging of the arms with targetward rotation of the body. Because we hold the club with our hands and arms, we tend to release with our hands and swing with our arms before our torso and legs turn to the target. This is equivalent to serving a tennis ball or throwing a baseball using just the hand and arm which is not very efficient or powerful. The reason good golfers make the swing look so easy is because they use the correct body parts at the correct time for maximum efficiency and minimum effort. Effortless power, not powerless effort. Keep Swinging and Keep Smiling.