Recreational golfers spend endless hours trying to get their club into the right position at impact.
They read in instructional magazines and are told by teaching professionals that their swing plane is off, that they are swinging inside to out or outside to in, that they are guilty of a myriad of other actions that cause their ball path to be inconsistent.
Part of the reason for this is that many golfers don’t understand a club is designed to automatically be in the correct position at impact, if the arms and hands are properly extended through natural body rotation.
In a nutshell, the concept is when you rotate your body, the centrifugal force created automatically causes your arms to extend. When your arms are extended, the club will fall naturally square to the ball when it gets to impact.This relationship between body rotation and arm extension is often ignored.
Golfers focused instead on manipulating their club into the right position do not let their arms extend naturally, as a result ending up in precisely the wrong position.
It is important to remember that swinging in a relaxed, easy manner will promote natural body rotation and therefore proper arm extension, which will in turn force you clubhead down through the ball naturally. When you’re tense, you work counter to your body’s natural rotation, focusing mistakenly on the force of your arms and hands. As a result, you punch at the ball or try to scoop it into the air.
Here’s a simple, but illuminating exercise. Stand up straight with your arms hanging at your sides. Pivot your lower body to the right, then to the left. Do this repeatedly, gradually increasing the speed of the pivot. Let your heels come off the ground a little, which you’ll see will increase the pivot even more.
Observe how your arms lift as a result of the centrifugal force created through body rotation. They don’t lift and extend through some voluntary exertion. The movement is a natural response. Remember this the next time you prepare to swing.
Focus on creating body rotation, thereby creating centrifugal force, in turn causing your arms to extend. When this happens, the clubhead will follow the path it’s designed for and the clubhead will arrive at impact square to the ball.
A former PGA Tour Pro and US Open record holder, Doug Weaver is the Director of Instruction at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy and conducts “Where Does the Power Come From?,” a free golf clinic and demonstration, every Monday at 4 p.m. (843) 785-1138, (800) 827-3006 or palmettodunes.com.
By I.J. Schecter with Doug Weaver.