6 Piece Golf Swing
Put your swing together correctly
#3 THE TURN
The second half
of the backswing should comprise mostly of a turning motion. The shoulders should start to rotate, which allows the shaft plane to round out. See the down-the-line photo of my shaft pointing at the golf ball? That's an indication I'm on the proper plane. Also, as the shoulders turn, your weight should move into the inside of your back foot. In fact, approximately 80% of your weight should be on your right foot at the top of the backswing. Also, it's important to maintain a bit of flexion in your right knee. Creating a good turn will allow you to transition properly, which is the next puzzle piece.
#4 THE TRANSITION
if the takeaway isn't the most
misunderstood piece of the golf swing, then it has to be the transition. The best players in the world transition in this order: lower body bump, torso rotation, arms dropping and wrists unhinging. Transitioning from the top of your swing toward the finish position in this order will allow the club to swing down on-plane or in the proverbial "slot." Most amateurs start down with the arms first, instead of with the lower body and then the torso. If you do that, it will create an over-the-top move, causing you to slice or pull your shots. If you transition properly, you have a better chance to maintain some lag (wrist hinge) in your swing, which then releases a split second before impact.
This puzzle piece
encompasses the delivery of the golf club to the golf ball. The best players in the world create ideal impact conditions, which include forward shaft lean, weight moved into the left leg even though the head should be behind the ball and a relatively square clubface. The right arm should be straightening at impact, and it's crucial to have separation between your hips and shoulders, meaning the best players in the world at impact are relatively square with their shoulders, but their hips are opened to the target. This separation helps create room for your hands and arms to deliver the club properly, and by the way, the driver is the only club that you want to consider hitting level-to-up on. For all the other clubs, the clubhead should be moving down into the back of the ball.
Wow, you made it!
If all the previous pieces are done properly, the finish will fall into place on its own. The keys to the finish are simple: Make sure the majority of the weight is on your left foot (up to 95%) and that you're in a good, balanced stance. You should be able to hold your finish until the ball lands. As you can see, I'm all the way into my left side and the entire sole of my shoe is visible. Also, you can see my lead leg is fully extended as there's no more flexion in my left knee.
Now that you're educated on each puzzle piece, I challenge you to put them all together. You'll see your golf swing come alive like a completed puzzle and your scores will go down dramatically!
John Stahlschmidt, PGA, is the Senior Head Instructor for the TOURAcademy TPC Scottsdale. To comment, email John at
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