Hacks, Lies And Videotape

A step-by-step guide to improving your swing, one frame at a time


Face-On View  
AddressAddress: In the face-on view, the vertical line on the left of the screen runs from the right shoulder to the ground, while the vertical line on the right side of the screen runs through both the left shoulder and the left leg. This illustrates the proper spine tilt, which will allow the shoulders to rotate on the proper plane. Notice that a line drawn straight up from the ball runs through the emblem on the shirt— this indicates the proper ball position for an iron. The shaft should be perpendicular to the ground. TakeawayTakeaway: As the body moves the arms and the arms move the club, the head should also begin to move away from the target, as indicated by some lateral motion in the template circle. At the same time, the hips haven’t moved laterally and the right hip is staying inside the template line. There’s no one part of the body taking control of the takeaway; it’s a quiet motion powered by the proper pivot of the body. There should be no noticeable dragging of the club or excessive hinging of the wrists. The legs should act as a foundation.  

Halfway BackHalfway Back: The head has moved laterally in the circle and the right hip should now be inside the template line. This creates the proper movement of weight away from the target with the upper body, while creating the necessary room for the arms to work correctly as a result of the hip turn. The right forearm should still be seen above the left while the right shoulder moves behind the head. This shows the hands and arms have been passive in the takeaway, helping to get the club “up” on-plane while the shoulders continue to turn. At The TopAt The Top: There’s a noticeable space between where the right hip began and where it is at the top of the backswing. The head also has maintained its lateral drift at the top. These changes are critical to making a proper turn with the hips while moving the weight away from the target with the upper body. The clubshaft is still short of parallel to the ground, with the hands well away from the head, a sign of great width in the backswing. There’s still space between the knees, indicating a quiet and stable lower body.

DeliveryDelivery: The left shoulder has now returned to its original location from setup as the upper body moves toward the target. The head also has begun to shift and is almost all the way back to its original position. The right hip has created even more space than it had at the top from its original line. A strong angle is still present between the left arm and clubshaft, illustrating stored energy. (Be careful not to create too sharp an angle here, as it will affect your accuracy.) Also, the body should be in a solid, stacked position. ImpactImpact: The head is just slightly behind its original position while the left shoulder is now closer to the target. This moves the hands directly under the left shoulder, creating a straight line between the left shoulder, arm and clubshaft at impact. Notice how the right hip is much closer to the target at impact than at setup. Moving the body into the correct position at impact puts the bottom of the swing slightly in front of the ball. This creates consistent contact between the club, ball and ground at impact.

ReleaseRelease: The chest begins to pass the line originally occupied by the left shoulder while the head begins to move toward the target. This shows that the body is relaxed and the momentum of the club passing the body is pulling the body through to the finish. The body remains stacked up, with the right side of the torso from the shoulder to the knee still perpendicular to the ground. This eliminates any tendency to create a “reverse C” and cause possible injury to the back.  

PGA Professional and Golf Tips® Senior Instruction Editor Brady Riggs is the Director of Instruction at Woodley Lakes Golf Course in Van Nuys, Calif.



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