Saturday, February 1, 2003
Unlock The Magic
Solve golf?s toughest puzzle by widening your swing
In golf, there are the “haves” and the “have-nots.” The “haves” are blessed with an uncanny ability to achieve the perfect plane through the impact zone, regardless of what occurred before it. Indeed, the ability to “get it all right” on the way down is a puzzle very few golfers have been able to solve.
The legendary teacher Harvey Penick believed the ability to recover was rooted in the “Magic Move,” in which the player’s weight should shift to the left side while bringing the right elbow back down to the body. This remarkable sequence of moves invariably presents itself in the swings of the game’s best ballstrikers.
Do you own this move? If so, you’re probably a pretty good player. If you don’t, follow along in this article and you’ll find the key to unlock the magic hidden in your swing.
Keys At The Top
The key to unlocking the magic is to transition from a wide backswing to a narrow downswing (slotting the club) and ultimately achieving a wide, powerful release. It all starts with a takeaway that establishes the critical wide elements at the top, most important of which is maintaining the width between the hands and right shoulder established at address.
The secret to Harvey Penick’s Magic Move is to transition from a wide top position to a narrow downswing. This “slots” the club and puts it on the perfect delivery plane. If you’re narrow at the top (left), that is, hands and arms too close to the right shoulder, you can’t get narrow on the downswing. You can only cast the club outward.
A wide backswing not only allows you to achieve the Magic Move and unleash stored energy, it also guards against weak impact positions. If you fail to achieve width on the backswing, you’ll be forced to start your downswing with an outward motion. This will restrict your impact position and, more often than not, cause your clubhead to race ahead of the hands through the hitting zone.
In order to help you find the magic, think of your golf swing as a one-and-two motion. Your backswing is the “one,” your transition is the “and” and impact is the “two.” The “and” (your transition) is the “magic,” which is what’s missing from most amateurs’ swings. An easy way to build this “and” into your motion is to create a wide backswing.
A wide backswing enables you to transition into your downswing and strike the ball like magic. Practice the Brush The Ball Drill to help develop a wider backswing. As you “brush” your clubhead toward the second ball, refrain from lifting or “picking” the club off the ground. Your shoulders and your arms should work in sync to move the club in a low, brushing motion. A key element to brushing the clubhead is to keep the wrists or elbows from hinging during the first moments of the takeaway.
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