Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Look at the end of your swing to find and fix hidden flaws
To go from Lunger to Langer (as in Bernhard), work on your downswing hip rotation. Specifically, try leading your downswing with your hips instead of your upper body. Place a chair in front of your lead leg and make a few practice swings, being careful to remain in contact with the chair as you turn through impact. Finish with your head directly over your front leg.
The gap finish is not a pretty sight, nor are the shots associated with it. This finish is characterized by a noticeable, if not obvious, space between the knees (when they should be touching at the finish). While gapped knees at the finish is a disease, gapped knees at address is the sickness.
If you start with a wide stance, youll finish with one. And while some may argue that a wide stance sets a more solid foundation and can support a more powerful swing, these individuals fail to realize that the wider the stance, the more difficult it is to rotate. Convince yourself by standing with your feet together and rotating back and forth. Now do it with a much wider stance. Harder, isnt it? A wide stance actually hinders your turning ability and limits your power potential.
Stop Gaps To clear the gaps, erase them at the start. Adopt a stance that features feet placed just outside your shoulders. Perfect. If youve been playing with a wide stance, youve likely lost your ability to turn as well. Relearn the habit of turning through the ball by swinging a club with your only right arm. This drill promotes getting your right side through the shot. Your new narrow stance will help. Look for knees touching at finish.
One of the more sublime poor finishes is the flop, although the faults that lead up to it present concrete frustrations, usually in the golfers disgust in watching pull hooks, pulls and pull slices. Whats flopping is the right (or rear) foot. Golfers who allow their right foot to flop at the finish invariably use too much right side through impact (compared to the gap finisher, who uses too little). Overusing the right side leads to cut-across and roundhouse-type motions that, depending on the position of the face, create the gamut of pulled shots. Its important to note that with the flop finish, the fact that youre flopping isnt the fault. Your excessive right-side action is the culprit.
Flip The Flop
You need to work on your shoulder movement (which should be down and under through impact, not simply over). Address a ball then toe your right foot outward. Hit balls from this stance and sense how the flared right foot keeps your right side from rotating too early and mandates your right shoulder move under and through.
A spin finish occurs when the left (lead) foot spins outward, whereas in a solid finish, the left foot remains planted in the same position established at address. If the left foot spins out and plants in a different position (below sequence), its usually an indication that the body has rotated too quickly on the downswing, a move that often strands weight on the back leg. This is a recipe for pull hooks, which always seem to find the absolute worst spots on a golf course. To correct the left foot spin and to ensure that the left foot remains planted, move weight into the left toe on the downswing and then begin rotating your body.
Ease The Spin
To stop the left-foot spin, you need to work on both your rotation and your footwork. Place a shaft to the left of your forward hip, as pictured. Swing to the top, then try to bump the shaft with your left hip at the start of the downswing. As you bump, feel weight transfer into your front foot. Now youre free to rotate through the hitting area. Focusing on your footwork also may help. In any good golf swing, weight moves from the toes at address, to the right heel at the top, into the left toe on the downswing then, ultimately, to the left heel.
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