Thursday, August 1, 2002
50 Best Swing Keys
What to do and where to be throughout the swing for guaranteed success
Copy John Huston's downswing technique and learn to hit the ball like a Tour pro.
John Huston is a prime example of a golfer who delivers the club with the proper technique. Notice how far back his right hip remains as he begins to bring the club down from the top, and how well he maintains the flex in his right knee. By keeping his knee and hip in these positions, Huston is able to swing the club past his body with plenty of speed and without any restrictions. If he were to collapse his right side into the ball earlier, his hip and leg would block his path, and the club would get stuck behind him. Golfers who get stuck tend to hit hooks and pushes.
1 The left side, including the shoulder, arm, hand, clubhead and ball, are all aligned, a key for solid impact.
2 A flat left wrist at impact is a must for crisp ballstriking. Cupping the left wrist tends to produce weak shots.
3 A good transfer of weight into the left foot is critical. Hanging back will only lead to poor impact.
4 The right shoulder should be a bit lower than the left to promote more solidly compressed shots.
Begin by presetting your body and club at impact (upper left). Your right shoulder should be lower than the left, and your left shoulder, hip, arm, wrist and hand should be aligned with both the clubshaft and the ball. Make sure your right hip has stayed back and that your right knee is slightly flexed. Also, your left wrist should be flat to promote solid contact with the ball, and your weight should be primarily in your left side. Once you achieve this position, take back the club slowly without swaying, then bring the club down to the ball just hard enough to hit a chip shot. After some practice, you should be able to consistently reproduce this position naturally, without having to preset your body or club.
The key thing you’ll notice here is the angle of the clubshaft through impact. It’s very close or just a bit more upright than it was at address. A common trait of better golfers (particularly pros) is a slight deviation between the clubshaft angle at address and impact (usually just a couple of degrees or so).
Stewart Cink illustrates a dead-solid-perfect impact position.
If you’re looking for a solid impact position to copy, look no further than that of Stewart Cink. Check out his body position as he comes through the ball. His right hip is still back (not collapsed toward the ball), and his right knee has maintained the flex it held at address. Only when the ball is gone does Cink allow his right hip to rotate significantly toward the target. Also, pay attention to his perfectly flat left wrist and the straight line created by his left shoulder, arm, hand and the clubshaft. These elements help him produce a consistently straight ballflight. A firm left side, anchored by a solidly planted left foot, allow him to speed the club past his body in a powerful, natural release.
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