Monday, March 5, 2007
Stay In Your K
Once you establish the Special K at address, your goal is to maintain it all the way through your swing until after the ball has been launched. In order to do so, you’ll have to start your swing by shifting your weight into your trailing hip so you can make a level lower body turn. If you fail to make this crucial weight transfer, your trailing hip will likely float upward and destroy your Special K.
A second key occurs as you start back down to the ball. Here, establish your front hip as the rotational center of your swing. By focusing on the right hip, you’ll better prepare it to receive your forward weight shift and also allow you to maintain your back leg flex through the impact area and beyond.
In the Special-K setup, the body has that athletic look common to many sports—a posture ready for action. At address, flex your back knee to discourage any up-and-down body motion while you swing. If you prepare yourself correctly, you won’t have to make any adjustments once your swing begins—all you have to do is rotate. Check your lower leg to make sure that it’s straight up and down (note that the crease in my pant leg is vertical). When the crease points toward the shaft, you know your lower leg is slanted at a bad angle. The reason the Special-K position is so important is that it unlocks the hips so they’re free to rotate. When the back leg locks and straightens at the knee, the back hip freezes, causing the body to tilt rather than turn.
When you keep the Special-K position during your backswing, it allows your elbows to stay level near the top of your swing. This, in turn, keeps the clubface from twisting out of position. Staying in your K makes your backswing more rounded and, instead of elevating the clubhead suddenly and tearing it off of its swing arc, the clubshaft travels on the correct swing path with a gradual, power-gathering ascent of the club.
Notice how just before impact, the lead hand is below the waist, yet the trailing elbow is still folded at a near-90-degree angle. This retains the power until the last moment and is possible only from the Special-K position.
Through impact, the trailing arm snaps straight, releasing power into the ball as the back knee kicks toward the target, still in its Special-K flex. Just after impact, both arms are straight, with the clubhead below the hands and the butt of the club pointing toward the middle of the body.
PGA teaching professional Dr. T.J. Tomasi is regarded as one of the top 100 instructors in America. He is the director of instruction at Lyman Orchards GC in Middlefield, Conn.
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