Definition of the golf swing: A series of
physical actions that must take place in the proper sequence. In
greater detail, we will see that the body has a predominately rotational
responsibility and the hands and arms have an elevating or levering responsibility.
The key to a good golf swing is to not ask one part to do the others
job. In its simplest form, this is: rotate, elevate and swing.
Set up: With a mid iron, 6 or 7, the ball in the middle
of your stance that is with feet shoulder width apart and your weight
evenly distributed to the back portion of the balls of your feet. Posture
is with a slight knee flex and the body bent forward at the waist to allow
the arms to hang virtually straight down. Put the hands together, this
is where they should be for you when you grip a club. Take a neutral grip
to slightly strong. With the club head placed squarely behind the ball
you should have an angle of approximately 90 degrees formed by your spine
and the shaft of the club.
Takeaway: Strive for a one-piece takeaway
with the shoulders, arms and hands moving as one as you rotate at the
waist keeping the club relatively in front of the body. Remembering that
nothing that takes the club away from the ball propels it forward, there
is no reason to rush it. Think about a low and slow takeaway.
Rotate and turn with both feet on the ground. As you reach the extent
of your rotation to the right you will find the club in a toe up position
at the end of your extended left arm as the right arm has bent slightly
keeping the elbow closer to the waist.
Elevate the arms and hands keeping the left arm relatively straight and
cocking the wrists by lifting the club into the left thumb.
This is not a big move but an absolutely critical one. The
arms and hands will elevate to a point where the extended left arm is
at least horizontal or parallel to the ground. This rotation of the body
and shoulders and the elevation of the arms and hands have taken place
while maintaining the spine angle you started with at set up and virtually
no head movement. It has also taken the majority of your weight over the
right leg in a coiling action. Not by swaying but by turning.
Forward Swing: Begin at the left hip. Think of it as
rotating the body slightly down and around the left leg, which transfers
the weight to the left heel. This action will cause the arms and hands
to be drawn down. You do not have to hit anything. You are creating energy
with you body rotation and the arms and hands swinging. There is even
a club in your hands that adds to the centrifugal force. You dont
have to hit anything.
Just swing! Hold the wrist cocked for as long as possible. As the extended
arms return to the set up position the forearms will turn from right to
left. Imagine your right hand going right to a palm up position then turning
to your left as you extend your hand to a palm down position. As this
rotation of the body takes place to the point that your belt buckle is
now pointing down the line your momentum will cause you to release the
right foot and allow it to pivot up onto the toe as the club continues
up and around to your left. The left arm will bend at the elbow as the
right remains extended. A virtual reversal of positions from the takeaway.
Swing , dont hit!
All of the following are caused by a mistake of thinking you have to hit
Swaying to the right rather than turning or rotating.
Getting to fast on the takeaway.
Turning the hands immediately right at the takeaway.
Trying to get farther back than your body will allow. (This
is usually done by lifting the left foot and changing the spine angle).
Straightening one or both legs, to get it farther back. This
causes the up and down bobbing action.
Starting the forward swing with the arms and hands.
Decelerating the club at or just before impact.
An early release of forearms and hands causing a closed face
pull or hook. Or a late release causing an open face push or slice.
Jim Meisner is is the PGA Director of Instruction at the
Midwest Golf Academy at Cozy Acres Golf Complex in Madison, Ind. Call
him at (812) 273-3137.