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Drills To Capture The Perfect Golf Swing

 

The Perfect Swing

As we discussed in biomechanics of the golf swing, the perfect golf swing is one that develops maximum torque at the top of the backswing and maximum speed at the point of impact. This takes precise bio-mechanical posture and swing plane.

The first step to develop the perfect swing is the develop perfect swing plane muscle memory. The best way of attaining this muscle memory is off -course exercise drills.

The following exercises are based on right-hand golfers. Reverse positioning as required for left handed golfers.

Complete drills at 25% speed of your normal swing.

 

Drill One – Weight Shift

This drill is to gain a sense of shift of weight and shoulder rotation. You do not need a club for this drill. Throughout this exercise, imagine your upper body is inside a tight cylinder, hence you cannot move sideways or bob up or down during the turn.

  1. Adopt your address stance.
  2. Place your hands on opposite shoulders making an "X"
  3. Fix your eye on the ball, and keep it glued to the ball during the entire rotation, without moving.
  4. As you move your weight to your right foot, rotate the shoulders into the backswing position until you feel a slight tension in the body. Your hips will turn slightly but aim to keep your hips as close to the target line as possible. At the end of the rotation more than70% of your weight should be on your right foot.
  5. Check your left shoulder is near or over right foot and that you have not swayed your hips sideways in the turn. Check your eyes are still fixated on the ball.
  6. Turn back to finish with at least 90% of weight on left foot.

Repeat 10 times, feeling the weight transfer and balance in the legs and lower body.


Drill Two – The Address Stance.

  1. Place a golf ball on the ground in front of you.
  2. Position the golf club behind the ball, then let the grip fall to rest on your left knee.
  3. Bend forward from the waist, with arms dangling straight down, very relaxed.
  4. Take hold of the golf club, and maintaining the angle of the upper torso, address the ball. This is your natural stance at address.

Repeat this exercise 10 times.


Drill Three – Half Swing

This drill gets you started on the correct backswing plane.

 

  1. Place a golf ball immediately in front of a full length mirror or window in which you can see your reflection.
  2. Address the ball as above.
  3. Imagine that your upper torso is bound by the sides of a tight cylinder.
  4. Transfer your weight 70% to your right foot as you take your club back in a straight path from the ball, turning your shoulders around so that you maintain the same relative position of your hands to your chest that you had at address. This is known as the one-piece takeaway. As you turn your wrists are also starting to cock back.
  5. Stop when your left arm is horizontal. Continue cocking your wrists until the club pointings directly up to the sky, 80-90 degrees to your arms. The grip butt end should be pointing towards the ball.
  6. Hold momentarily as you check your alignment, your left shoulder should be approaching the point under your chin.
  7. Check that you have not moved your hips sideways.
  8. Now reverse the path, through the ball and mirror to the left side.
  9. Imagine you have a slot is the wall that the club head must pass through immediately down the target path of the ball. Slowly guide your golf club to this slot, until you reach the horizontal position.
  10. Return to the start.


Once these movements are thoroughly ingrained in your mind and muscle memory, repeat them on the range, starting with chipping and pitch shots. Keep to the half swing.

Your will gain more from maintaining the correct plane of the swing and direction of the ball, rather than explosive driving distance.

Hit 100 balls:

  • 20 pitch shots,
  • 20 approach shots,
  • 20 driver hits,
  • 20 approach shots,
  • 20 pitch shots.


Reasons For Specific Techniques

Half Back Swing - Apart from being easiest to maintain the correct plane during a shorter backswing and downswing, the reason we do these exercises to the horizontal half swing only is the get you used to accelerating the club in the lowest part of the swing, immediately before you hit the ball.

As you no progress to a full back swing, you simply drop your arms into the slot you have become familiar with at the horizontal position, then continue from there. The extra rotation you gain through turning the full back swing can now be harnessed at the bottom of the swing and NOT at the top which is a common fault.

Once the hands have dropped to this position, THEN your hips come into play, and along with them, the power.

Maintaining a straight path back on the takeaway, helps prevent your hips from turning too soon and widens out your back swing.

Slower Speed – using a slower speed gives you AND your muscles a chance to ensure you are in the correct sequence and position at each point of the swing. It also helps to train your brain for controlled speed instead of the ego taking over for maximum. This is important at later points, at the top of the back swing, where you will pause and then start a slow controlled downswing by dropping the arms into the slot position.


Using an extra club on the ground for guidance.

You may find it helpful to place the grip end of a club from the mid-outside of your right foot extended out to your right, parallel to the target line. Use this line to check the start of your swing path before the wrist cock.

Pumping for muscle magic

At the end of the half swing, bring the club up another foot or so above horizontal, then pump at the ball with the butt end. The back of your shoulders are pointing towards your target. Watch the line from the butt end to the ball

  • If it points inside the ball [to the right] at any time, you are tending over the top resulting in a slicing move.
  • If it points outside the ball [to the left towards the target] you are laid off and will tend to flip or mishit the ball.

This slot a foot or two above the horizontal position is THE most important part of your swing plane. It is commonly called “the slot”.

 

Advancements

Add speed - Start with swings at 25% speed, then at 50%, 75%, and full speed. Full speed should only be 85% of maximum exertion; go back down 75%, 50%, 25%, and then back up. This drill will ingrain the proper feeling of the plane and will improve your rhythm as well.

Focus more on the plane drill rather than hitting the ball perfectly.

Hit balls – off a tee first, then when you have the direction nailed perfectly, off the ground.

You are aiming for an in to out path and a slight push draw

Golf Swing Terms

You will often hear terms on the driving range or course about the swing plane or ball path.


Address Stance

  • Closed - turned away from the target line
  • Open - turned towards the target line

Grip

  • Strong grip – left hand dominant
  • Weak grip – right hand dominant

Ball Path

  • Push - A ball whose flight path is straight, with negligible sidespin, that ends up right of the target. Results from an in to out path of the swing plane.
  • Pull - The opposite of push: A ball whose flight path is straight that ends up left of the target. Results from an out to in path of the swing plane.
  • Fade – A straight shot with some sidespin, with slight left to right travel by the ball at the end of its flight.
    Occurs with the forward energy is much greater than that of the sidespin. When the ball slows
    near the end of its flight, having used up the forward direction energy, the sidespin takes over and gives the ball its left to right 'fading action'. Results when the club face is open a few degrees at impact, but the club path is straight along the intended path (directly at the target).
  • Draw - The opposite to a fade. A straight shot with a minimum of sidespin, and noticible right to left travel by the golf ball at the end of its flight; a 'drawing action'. Results when the club face is closed a few degrees at impact, but the club path is straight along the intended path (directly at the target).
  • Slice –  A curving shot from left to right. Occurs when a severe sidespin has been imparted to the ball, of a great enough rate to govern its direction in a more left to right than straight. The clubface is open several degrees relative to the club path.
  • Hook – The opposite of a slice. The clubface is closed more than a few degrees relative to the club path.

 

Golf Swing

  • Coming over the top – swinging outside the swing plane, too far away from the body, on the other side of the correct swing plane. Ball flight will pull to the left.
  • Inside to Out Path - The incidence angle of the clubface is x degrees to the right of the target , and where the PATH of the clubface is also x degrees to the right of the target (inside to outside path).
  • Outside to In Path - The incidence angle of the clubface is x degrees to the left of the target, and where the PATH of the clubface is also x degrees to the left of the target (outside to inside path).
  • Blocked swing - Need to keep elbows together and not let the right arm swing back behind the body on the backswing. Instead let the arms roll over to keep on the swing plane. Don’t keep right arm too stiff so that you block the shot.

For the perfect golf swing, think – In front, wide and behind.

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