Friday, August 1, 2003
Become A Swing Machine
Say hello to Iron Byron. It has the only perfect swing on the planet. That?s why everyone should be copying it
Your torso is motorized by your legs and hips. As you coil back, your weight loads into your right leg and instep, which builds incredible torque to power the uncoiling. If you coil properly, your arms will automatically move to the top of the backswing; you won’t need to help them along by using your arm muscles. When you release the torque by starting to uncoil, your weight will naturally begin to shift to your left leg and foot. This will cause your arms to move automatically on the downswing and follow-through without any help from your arm muscles.
If you wanted Iron Byron to hit the ball a little farther, you’d simply increase the air pressure in its pneumatic motor to make the drive cylinder rotate faster. Similarly, if you wanted to hit the ball farther yourself, you’d use your motor—your legs and hips—to make your torso uncoil faster during the downswing. It’s a simple matter of cause and effect. The faster you uncoil your torso—by either straightening your left leg, or springing off your right instep, or turning your hips to the left—the faster your powerless arms will swing, so the farther the ball will go after it’s hit.
Remember, your arms must remain powerless during the swing. They should only move in response to the coiling and uncoiling of your torso. Don’t worry, I’ll explain how to create proper body rotation in great detail as we move through the book. And, I’m going to break it down so you’ll find it easy to learn.
An Unrestricted Hinge
You’ll notice that at the end of Iron Byron’s fixed metal arm there is a sleeve into which the club’s grip is inserted. This sleeve is attached to the arm by an unrestricted hinge. Consequently, the club can hinge fully at the top of the backswing, unhinge fully at impact and re-hinge fully at the end of the follow-through. Imagine if this hinge were rusty; its movement would become restricted, so the clubface would not be able to return squarely to the ball in time for impact. It would also slow down the incredible whipping action through the hitting zone that generates most of the power in the golf swing. As a result, the ball wouldn’t go as far.
Tension has the same effect on your wrists as rust does on the Iron Byron’s hinge. The harder you try to hit the ball with your arms, the more tension you create in your wrists, which slows down the unhinging process. This makes the clubhead swing slower and keeps the clubface open at impact. Now you know why most of your shots end up short and to the right whenever you try to hit the ball as hard as you possibly can!
You have to keep all the tension out of your arms and wrists in order to generate maximum clubhead speed and to keep the clubface square through impact. To do that, you have to keep your arms powerless, and you have to have the proper grip. These are important fundamentals, and are key to producing consistent and acceptable golf shots.
Constant Forward Tilt
The third and final element to the perfect golf swing is keeping the forward tilt of your spine at a constant angle. As you can see in the illustration, Iron Byron’s drive cylinder is mounted on an angle that allows the club to reach the ball. Once the machine is set on this angle, it never raises its drive cylinder up or down during the swing. This is why it hits the ball in the same spot on the clubface (the sweet spot) shot after shot.
Remember, your torso is equivalent to the drive cylinder of the machine. When you bend from the waist to assume the setup position, you set your drive cylinder on an angle. Just like the machine, you have to maintain this angle throughout your backswing, downswing and followthrough. This will maximize your chances of being able to hit the ball on the sweet spot at impact. During the backswing, you must avoid standing taller. During the downswing, you must avoid bending forward. And, on the followthrough, you must resist the temptation to look up early to see where the ball is going before you’ve even hit it. Changing your spine angle in any of these ways can cause a myriad of bad shots, like heeling, toeing, topping and hitting thin. Within the book, I’ve devoted an entire chapter to self-diagnosing these flaws.
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