Welcome to this weeks tips & tricks. I hope the torrential rain and hurricane winds haven’t put you off your practice! This week we are going to look at controlling the start of the golf swing and how this can help you control your timing. Most people get very quick and tense with their swing so controlling the movements and the tempo are very important.
I often ask people how they start their golf swing. Which body parts? How fast? Lots can’t give me an answer. This is because they want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible. This isn’t always the best answer and often gets worse with the longer clubs. Today we are mainly looking at driving the ball off the tee but this concept can be used all the way through the bag.
Take a look at the following video and watch the difference in the tempo into the backswing. Then look at the curvature on the ball and the carry distance at the bottom of the screen.
Notice how the first swing is very quick on the way back. The start of the second swing was a lot more deliberate and the clubhead stayed lower to the ground for longer. The second swing was a lot slower in the backswing but actually produced 0.1 MPH clubhead speed resulting in more control and a longer carry.
This weeks tip is low and slow take away. With a driver and even a fairway wood try to brush the grass (or mat) for at least 6 inches behind the ball to start the swing. Try to do it very slowly so you don’t snatch at it. The longer clubs are supposed to sweep the ground more than hit down so getting a feeling of brushing the surface in both directions will help.
Try to start the backswing by keeping the hands relaxed and passive. Gently use the left shoulder and left wrist to push the clubhead away from the target. You don’t need to start lifting the clubhead until about a third or halfway through the swing.
Everyone has a different tempo to their swing. Finding one that works for you is one of the keys to success. If you have a very fast tempo and it’s not working for you try to smooth it out. I hear people saying to their pals on the range “slow it down”. This is awful advice. What they mean is either time it better or find better rhythm. We are always trying to accelerate the clubhead through the back of the ball, especially when driving to create maximum speed. It doesn’t really matter how fast your backswing is, it’s how quickly the clubhead travels at impact.
Try to practice really slowing down the backswing then finding the speed through the downswing. Even if its only the first part of your backswing, try to be more precise. Be deliberate in the way that you set the club into the correct positions then from the top really turn fast to get back to the ball.
Golf is about rhythm and timing. A fast and snatchy backswing doesn’t mean you will hit the ball a long way with lots of clubhead speed. With a driver go low and slow into the takeaway. Brush the grass to set the club into position by using the left wrist and left shoulder. When you have found a good position in the backswing turn through the shot to create maximum clubhead speed.
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