The Golf Swing

After listening to a golf commentator indicate that Ian Poulter's back leg was way too straight this week I just about fell out my chair. Did he not notice that Poulter was in the process of picking up his inaugural US win and $1.5 million! Two weeks ago I heard similar comments about Dustin Johnson and his arm and wrist position at the top of the backswing. Perhaps they did not notice that he happened to win his 3rd event as an under 25 golfer. Sam Snead at the Top

What would most golf instructors do with the swing of Sam Snead?

As a golf community we get so caught up in the "correct way" to swing that we lose sight of what is the correct way to hit. All that seems to matter to us is the look of the swing and golf's greatest champions are proof that looks have nothing to do with results. (Just like in life actually!) Function will always trump form and substance always wins out over style! Let's start to focus on what makes the golf ball go and get to work on that. There are many elements in the golf swing that are negotiable, like straightening the back leg, or lifting the left heel - just look at Sam Snead above. The key is being able to know which elements are non-negotiable, which are the key parts to the swing where the laws of physics must be obeyed. They all happen to occur in and around impact. Here are the most important ones:

  • Get the weight onto the front foot (80+%) at impact.
  • Keep the head over or just behind the ball at impact. This means that the weight shift onto the front foot must occur by driving/shifting the hips and mid-section towards the target. This move leads to what I call body curve.
  • If the body is positioned correctly, the hands will lead the clubhead into the hit creating a downward blow.

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