Give Your Swing A Tune Up

Fix your swing faults and lower your score in 30 minutes

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I turned my body first rather than starting with a lateral hip shift.
A proper golf swing is one that stores up a lot of power in the backswing and then releases it in the downswing. Unfortunately a lot of golfers tend to get off path in the downswing and lose power. This happens when the shoulders turn too quick in the start of the downswing, often causing the clubshaft to go outside the ideal downswing path, which often leads to an open clubface producing a high, weak sliced shot—not a winning combination.

Turning the body first in the transition before bracing the left foot will cause a loss of clubhead force. To hit with power, start your downswing with a lateral hip shift instead, keeping your back to the target until your left foot is braced. As you do this, feel a slight increase in your knee flex. This creates a slight downswing squat that all great players have. It also stabilizes the upper body in the transition and allows your hands, arms and shoulders to follow in the proper downswing sequence. As a result, you'll have a firm left side and deliver the clubhead into the ball from inside of the target line and create a down and out swing path with maximum clubhead force. So shift first, then turn—just like throwing a ball!

Anytime you make a swing that's out of balance, your rhythm and tempo get disrupted. And when that happens, it's very hard to make solid contact.

To remedy this, you must first set up properly so that you're in balance. To do this, tilt from your sternum as you see me doing in the top two color photos. This places your head, shoulders and arms in front of the balls of your feet while your hips, thighs and lower back tilt behind your ankles. When you're in this position, you're counterbalanced. A good way to check your balance is to lift up either the heels or balls of your feet without changing your knee flex. If you can do that, you're in good shape.

For a visual check, use a mirror or a sliding glass door and picture two vertical lines, one that runs up from your ankle, and the other from the balls of your feet. What's in front of your forward vertical line is counterbalanced by what's behind the back vertical line. Once you're balanced, hit some ½ to ¾ wedge shots. Swing the club, turn the hips and finish in balance facing the target. The correct blending of hands and hips while in balance will establish the correct rhythm and tempo. Remember that feeling when you transition to full swings—just stay in balance until the ball lands!


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