1 And 2

Swing with a tempo like the pros and you'll learn to make solid contact every time

This Article Features Photo Zoom

1 And 2The main difference between good iron play and poor iron play is quality of contact. Everyone that plays golf knows the difference. We all can hear the difference and we certainly can feel the difference. And while we all know that striking the ball with a descending blow is a must, most of us just can’t get it done consistently.

Poor iron players generally have what I call a one-two swing. This is an everything back, everything through type of motion that doesn’t lead to an efficient, powerful swing and doesn’t provide the opportunity to strike down and through the ball,  which is a necessity in iron play. In contrast, the best, most efficient swings have a one-AND-two tempo. The “AND” is what’s missing from the poor iron player’s swing. This “AND,” or pause, occurs when the arms are near the top of the backswing and the lower body shifts and rotates before the arms and club begin their downswing motion.

1 And 2This type of motion (also known to some as creating lag) allows many good things to happen. First of all, it gets your weight on your left side prior to impact. This is a must. Secondly, it allows for the narrowing of the bend in the right elbow and right wrist that we all need to deliver a powerful blow to the ball. This sequence of events allows your legs and hips to reach their maximum speed before your shoulders and arms reach their maximum speed. It also allows your shoulders and arms to reach their top speed well before your wrists and club do, maximizing the transfer of energy and overall power.

Good Vs. Bad Iron Shot

(See Photos Below) As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of bad results from a 1-2 swing, and at the photos below (top line) you can see several of them clearly illustrated. Since a 1-2 swing features a move that has everything (the entire body) moving together without the proper sequence, the club tends to get overly steep at the top of the swing as well as on the way down. You can see in the photos at the far left that the club is much flatter in the swing on the bottom, which was made with a 1-AND-2 swing. Because the 1-AND-2 swing is initiated by the lower-body pivot, the arms and club can lag behind and naturally become flatter and travel more on-plane.

In the bottom photos (below), you can see how much more “on-top” of the ball I am. My body has gotten out of the way by rotating and my right elbow is still flexed and able to deliver plenty of power. In the photos on top, my body is moving more laterally and my arms are being thrown at the ball independently of my lower body. There’s little transfer of power here, and it’s much more difficult to make clean, ball-first contact from this position.

At the near left, there’s a dramatic difference in my positions through impact. In the top photo, my body is completely stalled out and the club is popping out from my neck. In the bottom photo you can see my entire back and the club is coming out of the side of my shoulder. This is a solid swing!

Fat, thin and topped shots aren’t fun, and all are caused by a swing that doesn’t drive the clubhead down and through the ball. Only a 1-and-2 swing will get the job done.


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