Through technology, research and empirical evidence for over 17 years of my own instruction, I can prove that some of the best ball strikers swing with the mechanics that I have been describing. (In the near future, I plan on starting a youtube video to further explain what I'm teaching, however in the meantime please refer to my instagram to find the correlating videos. I have 3 world class players i.e., Mcilroy, Stenson, and Woods who I refer to for this post)
This article is a continuation of an earlier post entitled "Golf is a System of Gears." In the previous article, I talk about how the correct swing is achieved by the rolling of feet and the hips in the golf swing and how it creates a gear and lever type of feeling as if you're pedaling a bike rather than a spinning type of feeling in the golf swing such as a merry go round. See, my assumption is that the explanation of the golf swing has been misinterpreted in many ways throughout the history of golf instruction.
This article will attempt to explain the nuances in common golf instruction as well as common misinterpretations of the golf swing that has kept people from getting better at this game and sometimes even have gotten better players to get worse! Over the years, people have misinterpreted the common language used to describe the swing with words such as rotation, turn, pivot, lag, etc. It is imperative that one understands that these descriptions are not a means to an end, but the end itself! To further clarify, rotation, turn, lag, torque, staying in your spine angle, getting into "The slot," "Shallowing out the club path," "Squaring the clubface," I mean you name it.. Whatever term you have heard to describe how you should swing is something that happens as a result, not something you purposely do.
To further clarify, let me try to explain some of the most common mistakes golfers make in their swings.
Swing Misinterpretation #1. "Turn your shoulders." This misinterpretation is probably responsible for 90% of all incorrect golf swings. it most often leads to a a too flat of a shoulder turn.
Correction: "In your backswing, let your lead arm swing underneath your trail shoulder so that your lead shoulder will create leverage against your shoulder and chest early on in the swing, further your shoulder will create leverage against your trail hip creating a slight tilt down of your lead hip accordingly." Get this move right and it will appear as if your shoulders are turning and here's the difference, you'll look like Pga Tour Player. this move is not to be confused with the reverse pivot which is just way too much left side bend on the backswing in combination with too much weight into the toes of your trail leg.
Swing Misinterpretation #2. "On the downswing, swing the club to the inside to purposely shallow out the golf swing, get it into the slot!" This one most often goes hand in hand with, "Clear you hips!" as well as, "Lay Down the Club!" This one is killing golfers, you think PGA Tour players are purposely doing this? You think Tiger was intently doing this when he was toddler striping it everytime? No, but I'll tell you what he was doing..
Correction: On the downswing, feel your lead leg, hips and arm working downward. Feel an enormous amount of pressure toward your lead side on the downswing, planting your lead leg into the ground with a tremendous amount of force. The thought here is downward pressure, not an outward motion at the ball. If you do this correctly the club look as though it's coming into the inside like a PGA Tour player.
Misinterpretation #3. The very famous, "Stay in your spine angle." "Do not early extend in your golf swing." Otherwise known as "Goat Humping." You'll probably find hundreds of videos out there trying to show you how to correct this swing flaw, usually by sticking some apparatus behind your lead butt cheek and trying to turn around there. In fact, it will probably cause more injury and will feel forced. The more and more you try to keep you spine angle, the worse it will get!
Correction description: Your backswing and downswing has to feel more linear. The backswing and downswing is a combination of a pressure shift to the trail leg toward the heel followed by a pressure shift toward the lead leg toward the heel. This, to most golfers who are not will feel like a sight sway in the hips. However, if this motion is extended the the arms and shoulders correctly, the arms and body feel more like a lever and when the lever drops, the body appears to be rotating and creating the look that all the professionals have i.e., "Clearing of the hips," "Open body and impact," "Maintaining spine angle," "Shallowing club path," etc. This one is definitely a littler harder to describe, but the feeling is more that that the left side slips away through impact.
I tried to do my best to describe a just a few of the misinterpretations in the golf swing that I've been finding online. I highly recommend that you follow my instagram for more updates on my students progress as well as some interesting clips I've put up that challenge the common teaching methods that are still prevalent today. Hopefully it will be eye opening and lead you to a more fun filled type with this sport!!