One of the most common full swing mistakes amateur golfers make is leaving the right side (trail side) of the body “behind” through impact and the follow through, with no release. This is why many players feel the need to strengthen their grips in order to square the clubface and hit straight golf shots, even though the results are usually poor.
Here’s why: the squaring action of the club face has to be performed by the turning and pivot action of the whole body as opposed to “throwing” your hands at the ball. This is also why, no matter how strong a player might grip the club, he or she can slice the ball terribly by sliding on the downswing. And if body releasing does happen to occur, the dreaded duck hook is the result.
The first thing to do is to make your grip more neutral by letting both hands face each other when you grip the club, as I’m doing above. You want to see a 2.5-knuckle grip of the front hand, and a two-knuckle grip of the back hand.
The key here can be equated to the simple act of walking. Think about the physical act of advancing with your feet and legs: you simply impulse your body weight without stopping it. You let it go. If you do not do this, then you are not moving dynamically. It would be like walking on stones to cross an arroyo, making sure the next stepping stone is firm enough for secure footing. This is not dynamic. You don’t walk on pavement like that, right?
The golf swing is no different. You have to let go with that same “free-transporting-ride” from the top of the swing all the way through to the finish. And the key is the rounded motion of the trailing knee, hip and shoulder.
A good check point is to get onto the big toe of the trail foot with no effort, in one single motion, from the top of the backswing to the finish.
If you focus on the rounded motion of your right side, you can now swing as far left as you want from the top of the backswing and fully release the club with confidence. You will find your body performing the much-desired “forward body weight shift” in the correct way.
Antonio Reynante is Head Golf Professional at Quivira Los Cabos in Mexico. Visit the resort at www.quiviraloscabos.com.