Sometimes the simplest way to improve your golf game is to concentrate on basic fundamentals. This means honing in on your rhythm, timing and coordination, much as a dancer would do in rehearsing his or her steps. If I had to pick, I’d say the golf swing best resembles a sophisticated waltz, with a series of related moves that must be done in sequence to maintain the proper flow and control of the dance.
I have just the drill for you to help you rehearse your swing. I call it the “Dance the Waltz” drill. Grab an iron (any will do), and get ready to make a few practice swings. As you initiate the backswing, allow your forward foot (left foot for right-handed players) to lift off the ground and come to rest by your right foot. This should happen just as the club reaches the top of your backswing, at a count of 1…2… “One” represents the clubhead/hands, which start the backswing. Two represents the rotation of the upper body away from the golf ball. Once your lower body fully turns, you should reach …3.
Now that you’re at the top of the swing with your feet together on your right side, it’s time to swing down and through. As the downswing begins, lift your left foot off the ground and place it back in its original position at address. As you do this, you should be swinging the club through the impact zone. You should feel your body weight shifting as the club passes through the downswing, and you’ll begin to develop a sense of proper tempo and balance in your swing. This is where you need to reverse your steps and count 3…2…1 as you move your left foot forward and swing down and through the impact area.
As you practice this drill, both physically and verbally, go ahead and give it a try and strike some practice balls. You’ll quickly feel the proper rhythm for your golf swing (we all have slightly different rhythms), and hopefully be on your way to making better swings and crisper contact and, ultimately, shooting lower scores.
_È_Charlotta Sorenstam is the Director of Golf Operations at the Annika Academy in Orlando, Fla. Visit theannikaacademy.com for info.