Sunday, February 12, 2012

Swing in a Circle

Golf Magazine March 2012

During the 2012 AT&T Pro-Am broadcast, the commentators did a slo-mo on many of the amateur's tee shots on the par 3 16th hole.  Almost everyone of them would have benefited from this article.  It is likely you will too!

In this article, Y.E. Yang makes a simple suggestion that can produce a profound improvement in our golf shots.  His simple suggestion is to change our mental image we have of our golf swing.  For many players, their focus is on the ball.  In those cases the player accelerates the club to the ball.  This results in two frequent problems:
  • the attack angle becomes very steep and the club digs into the ground.  Whereas the path of the backswing was circular, the path of the forward swing is linear.
  • the player unconsciously decelerates the club preparing for it to hit the ground
Yang's suggestion is that our intention should not be to swing the club to the ball but instead to intend to swing the club in a circle until it ends hanging over our left shoulder.  While many players will have the club hanging over their left shoulder at the conclusion of making a shot, only a small number of them intend to power the swing to that end point.  For most of those players the club was swung to the ball with the residual momentum carrying it over the shoulder.

Here are the two take-aways from Yang's article:
  • practice observing the first half of your forward swing (especially the first two feet) and ensure that the swing is circular in motion.  When it is you will probably find the club approaching the ball on a much more gradual/sweeping manner.
  • practice having the end of your swing (club hanging over your left shoulder) be the endpoint of your swing and not the ball.
Bottom Line:  The swing is a circular motion.  The forward swing begins at 11 o'clock over our back shoulder and ends (not at the ball) but at 1 o'clock over our front shoulder.

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