Finishing School

Look at the end of your swing to find and fix hidden flaws

Reverse C FinishReverse C Finish
The one-time all-star finish position has been relegated to tragic flaw in the modern era. The reverse-C finish, evidenced by a severely arched back, not only places undue stress on the body, but also is a strong indicator of upper-body hang-back and lower-body slide, neither of which is good.

The golfer who slides his or her legs laterally to the left and too fast through impact suffers the fate of his or her body hanging back (due to its inability to keep up with the legs). And though the legs are sliding forward, weight remains on the rear foot, an awful combination that forces a very handsy impact. Another way to achieve a reverse-C finish is via a reverse pivot. A reverse pivot occurs when you fail to correctly transfer weight to the rear leg on the backswing, instead stranding it on your front foot on the way to the top. From this position, your weight has nowhere to go but to the back leg on the downswing.

To correct the leg drive-fueled reverse C, you need more hip rotation and less slide. To fix a reverse pivot, you need better weight transfer.

Reverse The C
If you have a reverse pivot, try this. Make your ordinary swing while lifting your front foot off the ground on the backswing, then replant it on the downswing. This help transfers your weight to the rear foot then to the front, just like it should. If you’re guilty of leg driving, build more hip rotation in your downswing by making practice swings with a shaft placed outside each hip. In a fundamentally correct swing, your hips should rotate so they never touch the shafts. If you touch, you slid.

Helicopter FinishHelicopter Finish
Some golfers finish with rigid and tense arms that don’t release through the impact zone. Arnold Palmer did well with this helicopter-style finish, but he also had a tremendous amount of strength, talent and practice time. Most golfers who utilize the helicopter finish also try to extend both arms down the target line after impact in an attempt not to hook the ball. However, a rigid left arm past impact and a hold-off of the release tend to bring a lot of tension—and inconsistency—into the swing.

The biggest problem with this type of finish is it doesn’t allow you to fold and release the left arm, which often results in a lot of push slices. Basically, unless you have such a powerful release of the club that you constantly struggle with hooking, the helicopter release won’t produce solid results and very well might cause you some back and shoulder problems.

Cover Up
The main cause of the helicopter finish is a rigid left arm that tries to extend down the target line instead of moving naturally with the rotation of the body. Use the headcover drill to rid your swing of the helicopter finish. Simply take a headcover and place it under your left armpit, then try to hold it there into the finish. In order to accomplish this, you’ll have to finish lower, with your left arm folding down into your side through impact.

While this drill is great for fixing a helicopter finish, you’ll also find it useful for developing one of the great needs of a solid swing: a proper release of the club. Keeping the cover in place and folding the left elbow almost guarantees the correct rotation of the face through impact.


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