Posts Tagged ‘body pivot’
There are many ways to swing a golf club, but only one way to hit a golf ball correctly.
The whole idea behind my philosophy is the above statement. When looking at the top players of all time, there are no two golfers that swing the club the same way, however they all manage to impact and strike the ball in a similar fashion. How is it possible that Lee Trevino, Ray Floyd and Nancy Lopez can make the ball get to the target the same way that Ben Hogan, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods do? The only answer can be impact. A position where the weight is well on the front foot, the handle leads the clubhead into the ball while the head remains over or slightly behind the ball.
Today I will identify a few key factors that facilitate a sound impact position. Swing the club any way you want, but obey these few simple points, because the vast majority of the greatest golfers follow them.
Almost every champion golfer has a grip that favors the strong end of the spectrum vs. the weaker side. I can only find one legendary golfer that utilized a weak grip and that would be Ben Hogan – all the others were strong, with a few being neutral. A strong grip encourages the hands to lead the clubhead into the strike – an integral part of a proper strike on the ball.
At address it is important for the head to be centered between the feet. This will leave the spine relatively verticle and the shoulders fairly level. Stance width should favor narrow over wide and the ball should never be too far forward. Keep in mind this set-up is in place to allow the golfer to get into a proper impact position as simply as possible.
There are two important points to note in the pivot motion: the plane upon which the shoulders pivot and whether or not the body stays within the 84 degree line. The plus here is that the better the shoulder pivot, the less likely the body is to move laterally (sway) and get across the 84 degree line.
In the shoulder pivot, the lead shoulder must move down and then across vs. simply turning across and behind the ball.
As the body winds to the top and just before transition begins, the back side of the body should be flush up against the 84 degree line. This loads the energy in the swing efficiently and prepares the body to glide effortlessly into a sound impact position. If you do happen to break the line with your hips or upper body here, you will be challenged to get to the proper impact position.
Notice how all of the above factors are in place to facilitate the body being able to get to impact in an efficient manner. This is the secret to all of golf’s greatest players’ swings: they all had different swings, but everything they did allowed them to get into the proper position to deliver the club onto the ball correctly. You would do well to incorporate a few of these elements into your swing.
The manner in which the body works through the swing is integral to achieving a proper and productive impact position. In fact, body motion is the prime fundamental for striking a golf ball correctly. By pivoting and loading the body correctly in the backswing, you set off a chain reaction that automatically directs your body to where it should be at the moment of truth: impact!
Let’s start with the prime objective: To have your body weight 80% or more forward at impact while delivering a downward blow (at least with the irons and fairway woods) with your head over the ball.
In researching the great golfers, it quickly became apparent to me that there was something eerily similar about the manner in which they all pivoted or rotated their bodies to the top of the backswing. Their arms and clubs, however, were doing quite different things. I drew a straight line up the outside of each player’s back side. This way, when each player approached the top of their backswing, I could focus purely on their body movement.
The result was uncanny. Not only were the majority of the back side lines I drew at exactly 84 degrees – almost every player stayed not only inside that line, but flush up against it just prior to initiating the downswing. They were flush up against the 84 degree line prior to any part of the body initiating the downswing.
A few interesting points:
- In the past I taught golfers to get the weight into the back foot in the backswing. The 84 degree line does not advocate a reverse pivot, or moving the weight to the target in the backswing; it merely encourages keeping the weight centered throughout the wind up.
- I do believe the 84 degree line to be vitally important to any player’s game, because it keeps the body from straying too far from its final destination – impact.
- The more the body moves away from the target in the backswing the greater the distance it must travel in the downswing to get the weight onto the front foot.
- The 84 degree line also allows a player enough space to develop the necessary power for the shot without driving too far forward and in front of the ball.
The 84 Degree Secret is applicable only to iron swings. The reason for this is, as the stance gets wider, the line remains at 84 degrees, but that line gets pushed further from the golfers’ center, making it very difficult to get the full back side to press up against it.
With my new understanding that the golf swing is — or should be – all about impact, I now see that getting the body into proper position at address and at the top of the swing allows it to then glide down into a sound hitting position.
Set that chain reaction and allow the rest to happen.
Thanks for reading and I would love to hear your thoughts on the 84 Degree Secret.