The 84 Degree Secret

84 address
84 address

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 discourages the weight from moving too far off the ball 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 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.

84 Degree Secret
84 Degree Secret

Thanks for reading and I would love to hear your thoughts on the 84 Degree Secret.