All of the quality golf coaches I have spent time with stress the importance of starting your swing with a good movement. They attribute many of their student’s swing issues to poor set up and first move, and spend considerable time and effort in trying to teach and train improvements in these areas. The GravityFit TPro can help with this crucial movement.
The takeaway is something that seems easy but in reality is very difficult to repeat on a consistent basis without practicing the correct movement pattern. Getting this part wrong happens to me all the time, so I’m very familiar with this problem. This is demonstrated in the video clips throughout this article, taken from a lesson delivered to me by Richard Woodhouse. They have been selected to deliver practical examples of how changing set up and early backswing movement can have a really positive effect on the rest of the swing.
The start of your swing is a bit like hitting a putt towards the hole; if you start it off on the right line, the chances of it going in are greatly increased. If you start your backswing in the right way then better positions will be achieved throughout your swing, leading to a much simpler downswing and more consistent strike.
In the video above you can see Richard using the GravityFit TPro to firstly help set my right shoulder better. Richard sees this shoulder position as critical in helping me achieve better rotation from my T-Spine and Ribcage, taking the first steps toward making a better start to my swing. What Richard is aiming to achieve is essentially a backswing that starts with more arm-body connection, moving the arms and body together in the takeaway. All too often people move their arms independently of their body, creating a mismatch and getting off track early.
As you can see, it’s quite a different feeling for me to be rotating my upper body over a quiet lower body. Richard felt it was important that we established the new feel for an improved movement without club in hand. Even though the change is quite subtle, the presence of a club and golf ball could distract me from focusing on how this new movement feels.
It wasn’t long until we move on and starting rotating to a fully completed backswing from the new and improved connected takeaway. I found it much simpler to complete the backswing, once I was better established in set up and first move. It felt like I was on track and simply had to continue turning and everything would fall into place. So often in the past, I have had the feeling of not knowing when and where to complete my backswing and start the move down.
Finally you can see in the video below, we put club in hand and got back to a live ball scenario, where we started to see some nice improvements in contact and ball flight. This all stemmed from focusing on doing a better job with key postural muscles that control the shoulder blades and upper back, critical to developing the stability and feel for the arm-body connection. This led to making a better first move from an improved set up position, thus allowing the rest of the swing to work from an improved foundation.
If you would like to try out the featured drill, follow these simple steps:
- Push handles out in front of your body, keeping slight bend in elbow
- Stretch tall, feel green spikes in your middle/upper back and shoulder blades on the paddles
- Hinge forward into golf posture
- Slowly turn chest into backswing, keep arms out in front of body, and maintain pressure on the spikes and paddles.
- Keep the lower body quiet as you continue to turn and complete your backswing.
- Return the start position and repeat for 10 reps.
- Rest for 30 seconds and repeat. You can then go on to introduce a club and ball with the aim of transferring the new move to a full swing scenario.
The aim is to firstly establish great golf posture and then practice that connected takeaway movement detailed above. This should lead to a more complete backswing with good width and turn, which can facilitate a quality downswing move and strike. Hopefully this drill, over time, will have a similar positive effect that it did for me during the lesson with Richard.
For more on the featured GravityFit TPro, click here.
Richard Woodhouse is Director of Instruction at KDV Sport on the Gold Coast, Australia. KDV Sport is a state of the art Golf and Tennis facility that offer facilities and instruction to suit every level of golfer. Find out more.