Posts Tagged ‘backswing’
A common complaint I hear from golfers is that their swings are too fast or aggressive. They just have a sense that they are quick either in the transition or the downswing.
Rhythm and pace are very important elements in the golf swing. When a golfer feels quick the first thing they do is try to ‘slow down’…and in an attempt to get some rhythm in the swing they often go overboard and end up slowing everything down a little too much. This can lead to an overly slow start to the swing, which in turn leads to a rapid change in pace during the transition and on into impact. It is this drastic change in speed that conveys the sense of quickness and aggression in the swing.
The PGATour average time for the backswing is right around 0.75 seconds, with an additional 0.25 seconds for the downswing. Notice that ideally there should be something close to a 3:1 ratio of backswing time vs. downswing time. That means that on average a Tour golfer will strike the ball in about a second from when the swing starts. Ernie Els, one of the smoothest swings out there, takes just over a second to strike the ball while Nick Price, who has one of the faster swings, takes around 0.8 seconds. Far too many of golfers I teach take well over a second to complete just the backswing. In watching Els or even Price, most golfers believe they swing a whole lot faster than either of those two top players – that is not the case.
Each of the above golfers are able to maintain a good rhythm in their swing because they maintain something close to a 3:1 ratio in their swings. When a backswing takes over a second to complete the golfer is now faced with a 4:1 or even 5:1 ratio which feels way out of rhythm.
Here are a few pointers when trying to get better rhythm and pace back into your swing:
- Don’t try to speed up your backswing up too quickly – take one pill a day and not the whole bottle…
- The body should not feel hurried; the wrists and arms will create much of the necessary increase in speed.
- Try a few shots with the clubhead starting 2-3 feet ahead of the ball and then flow into the backswing in one motion. This gives the club a moving start and gradually increases the pace.
- Remember that rhythm does not have to be slow…
- Stay patient and gradually build up to it; try to build the speed in your downswing from the transition.
There are not many ways to track your timing ratio, but SwingCatalyst software does it for you.
Another factor to consider is that the less time your swing takes the less opportunity you have to get your body out of position. This is a very important factor and cannot be overlooked – keep the motion concise and it is more likely to be consistent. Give it a try….
The most interesting discovery I made when studying the top golfers of all-time for Its All About Impact was the 84 degree secret. It is uncanny how different all their swings are yet the vast majority of them find a way to obey this important element in the swing.
Please keep in mind that the 84 degree line is only important as it pertains to impact. It serves to position the weight correctly throughout the swing so that the body can easily glide into the proper impact position.
As you view the picture above picture a line running up this golfers right side (left as you view it). The line forms an 84 degree angle off of vertical (90 degrees). The line should run up the outside of the right leg, cut through a portion of the shoulder and just barely graze the side of the head. When studying swings I started to use this line to isolate body movement and quickly found it to be a good guide for the address position and as a player approached the top of the backswing.
At address the head should not break the line. I noticed with golfers who had too much tilt at address this was quite prevalent and they all had a difficult time assuming the proper impact position once they had started poorly. Notice the picture below.
Another common fault was breaking the 84 degree line in the backswing with too much lateral motion. This fault very often originates with too much tilt at address. Try to feel centered over the ball throughout the backswing. Keep in mind that this can be done while still maintaining a sense of loading into the back side or leg. Notice the picture below….
I have found that an excellent drill that conveys the appropriate feel is the ball drill pictured below. Position your back foot up against a wall and place a basketball or soccerball between your head and the wall. Crossing your arms across your chest, pivot into your back side feeling the wind and torque in your core muscles. Hold the position at the top to absorb the sense or feel you have. This is what the body should feel like when it is correctly positioned to compress the ball at impact!
I often hear golfers speaking about ‘turn’ and getting their lead shoulder ‘behind’ the ball. In my opinion these thoughts very often cause a golfer to pivot the body incorrectly; thus making it difficult to get into a sound impact position.
Is Charles Howell really that bad with the putter?
Boo Weekley will win the Players Championship!
Jerry Kelly pulled an Angel – he vanished for most of the final round and then slipped back in the back door. Well done!
How does Sabbatini play the way he does with that move of his?
I played Callawassie Island for the first time yesterday and would highly recommend it to anybody in the area!