Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Match your swing to your body type for maximum performance
Not all athletes or golfers have an extreme body type. Instead, a great number of players fall into the in-between category, meaning they have a relatively average build with a solid combination of flexibility and strength. If you have this type of body, you need to develop a swing that takes advantage of both attributes, not just one or the other. This body type is best suited to a Leverage swing.
Golfers come in all shapes and sizes, as well as body types. Though not all players successfully match their swing type to their body type, most better players do. Sometimes this matching comes about by instinct, but often its necessary to do some objective analysis to get the right fit. If youre relatively thin-chested, with long arms, your swing should be long and flowing like that of an Arc player.
The typical image of a good golf swing is one featuring a long, smooth, flowing motion that appears to produce effortless power. This type of swing is nice to look at and can be very effective, but it simply doesnt work for everyone. If your body type is one that features a thick chest and upper body, with shorter arms and somewhat limited flexibility, your swing should be short and bursting like that of a Width player.
Matching Your Plane Angle And Body Type Is A Must
One of the most basic relationships in the golf swing is between body type and plane angle. Regardless of what other elements make up the game of golf, the swing is about geometry. The lines, angles and arcs of the body and the club must all have a proper relationship to one another if the swing is to provide solid, consistent results. One significant part of this geometry is the angle the club assumes at address in relation to the body and the ground. More specifically, the relationship the sole of the club has to the ground at address (the static lie angle) is important because it needs to be re-created relatively closely at impact (dynamic lie angle) in order to produce straight shots.
Its essential to note that each club in your bag has a different lie angle, due to their varying lengths. For example, the 5-iron might create an angle with the ground of 62 degrees at address, while the 9-iron might create an angle of 66 degrees. Since your body posture and the plane angle of your swing are largely established by the tilt of the club at address, its not truly possible to swing on the exact same plane with every club in the set. Instead, every swing plane will be the slightest bit different. However, you must remember that the simple goal is to return to impact with a similar tilt (although not identical) to that which you established at address. Since the nature of golf club design demands slight variances in the measurement of this angle, its critical to tailor your method of re-creating your address angles at impact (and your golf club specs) to your body type.
The three basic body types are Ectomorph, which features a great deal of flexibility, Mesomorph, which combines strength and flexibility, and Endomorph, which features strength and thickness, but significantly less flexibility.
With hands high, the thin-chested and flexible Ectomorph should make whats called an Arc swing. The position at the top of the swing for this type of move should have the hands and club over the plane and the front arm slightly over the shoulder line. The dominant power source for this type of player is the length of the swing and a high level of flexibility. This golfer is a hitter. If youre an ectomorph, think about your swing plane in two distinct parts. On the backswing, you should try to reach a high-hands position by taking the club back on a fairly steep plane; on the downswing, the club should flatten to get back on the proper plane. Its basically a loop that gathers speed along the way.
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