Thursday, March 1, 2007
Many popular swing tips and equipment theories are just plain wrong
The correct way to get your swing in motion is to move your golf club, hands, arms, shoulders and chest together. The key concept is that your club, during the takeaway, moves back and across—not around you. When your arms swing across your body, youll get the feeling that theyre moving directly back from the ball, and the clubhead stays outside your hands to the waist-high back position. The body and arms have separate roles during the swing. The arms provide the up-and-down swinging motion while the body provides rotation. When the two are properly blended, the clubhead travels on a path gradually back and up, and you have the best chance to deliver the clubhead on the proper inside path back to the ball on the forwardswing.
Equip Myth: Forged Clubs Are Difficult To Hit
The reason most players assume forged clubs are harder to hit is because, until recently, most forged clubs were limited to blade-style designs due to the difficulty in manufacturing a perimeter-weighted cavity-back from a chunk of steel. Today, however, high-tech forging methods allow for forged clubs that reside securely in the game-improvement category, with plenty of forgiveness and feel. Regardless of how a club is made, the shape, cavity size and center-of-gravity position are the most important factors for determining iron playability, not whether its forged or cast. Plus, forged metals typically are softer than cast metals, thus making them slightly more pliable and better suited for fitting purposes. Some argue that the forging process also produces a greater consistency in weight and density as opposed to cast metals.
Myth #5: To Hit A Good Shot, You Must "Get Under" The Ball
Golfers who try to get the clubhead under the ball typically create a forwardswing mistake where they scoop at the ball by flipping their hands and wrists. What you get is a series of topped and fat shots with the low point of the swing too far behind the ball. If youre lucky to catch the ball just right, it typically goes sky high because youve added a tremendous amount of loft by flipping the clubhead under the ball with your hands and wrists.
To hit a crisp iron shot with the proper trajectory and distance, you need to hit the ball with a descending angle. Let the club work down into the ground through the hitting area as your body unwinds to the target (photo above). This produces the correct impact position where the ball is contacted first, and a slight divot occurs on the target side of the golf ball. When you let the clubhead work down into the ground through the hitting area, the ball contacts the clubface high enough to take full advantage of the loft and the face grooves that combine to send the ball on the proper trajectory.
Equip Myth: Larger Heads Have Larger Sweet Spots
First, the sweet spot isnt an area of the clubface; its actually a pinpoint on the strike area where the CG is optimized. Manufacturers cant really increase the size of the sweet spot, but they can increase the forgiveness of the area around it by using variable face thicknesses, increased perimeter weighting and backweighting—elements made possible by increased head volume. However, since the sweet spot is so small, sometimes having a smaller-headed driver will help you become more adroit at hitting the sweet spot more often. To some, increased forgiveness perpetuates off-center strikes.
LPGA teaching professional Lana Ortega is the director of instruction at the McGetrick Golf Academy (www.mcgetrickgolf.com) in Denver, Colo. Special thanks to professional clubfitter John Tudor of Savile Row Golf (www.savilerowgolf.com) in San Diego, Calif., for the Equip Myths and photo model Michael Young.
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