There are a lot of things wrong with golf instruction today, of which, I think much of the emphasis is put on the parts of the swing that happen too fast. You’ve probably heard of the “impact area,” which is the point during the swing when the clubhead is reaching full velocity and whips its way into the golf ball. Realistically, how are we supposed to make adjustments in the impact zone when, by the time you get there, you’re in the middle of a motion that’s over in less than the blink of an eye?
There’s a way to improve your impact with the ball, as well as improve the rest of your swing. But it’s not by focusing on impact. It’s by looking at what happens before impact (when the club is moving slowly) and after impact (again, where you can manipulate the club freely). I call this the “L to L” concept. To start improving one’s ballstriking, let’s look at where you are at the top of your swing. In the top left photo, my body has rotated away from the target, my left arm is straight, and the clubhead and my right forearm form a perfect L shape. Once I get to this position, I don’t think of anything else during my backswing!
From the L I’ve formed at the top of my swing, my downswing is driven by thinking of where I want my body position to be long after impact. This means I want to form another L, this time through the finish of my golf shot. In the top right photo, notice what’s happened. My body weight has transferred to my left side, and my hips have rotated and are facing the target. And finally, my right forearm and the club have again formed an L shape. This, folks, is what I call swinging from L to L. By not thinking or worrying about what happens during the swing, you’re better able to concentrate on where you start your downswing and where you finish. Give this a try the next time you practice. Emulate my backswing L and forwardswing L. Copy these positions and don’t worry about the impact zone. You’ll find it’s easier to swing more freely, make a better body turn and, hopefully, hit straighter, longer shots more often.
Randy Chang, PGA, teaches in Southern California. For info, visit randychangpga.com.
|FIT TO HIT
By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about how important it is to get your irons fit for your swing. And while that’s always going to be important, what about getting yourself fit for your swing? Ever considered that?
In case you were wondering, one of the common faults most men have in their golf swing is a lack of flexibility (shocker, huh?). It’s not that we aren’t strong enough or coordinated; rather we lack the flexibility we need to get our body into the proper positions during the swing. Two of the most unfit regions of a typical male golfer’s body? The hips and abdomen.
The hips and abdomen, even the glutes, are areas of the body that many golfers would benefit from strengthening. By having stronger and more flexible hip flexors, the body is more prone to rotate through the shot and not pop up, causing the arms to overswing and try to lift the ball into the air. Having a stronger abdomen can increase your torque, meaning you can whip through the hit with more speed. So, the next time you hit the gym, lay off the bicep curls and bench presses for a while and focus on adding strength and flexibility to your hips, glutes and abdomen areas. After a few sessions in the gym, you’ll likely see some improvements in your golf swing, making it easier to get into the right positions at the top of your swing, at impact and into the finish. –Staff Report