LAUREL — 11.20.19 — Lesson No. 7 — Back to the Basics
Today, we spent most of our session reviewing the basic fundamentals of golf with the aim of moving Laurel’s golfing ability to the next level. I’ll provide several graphics to illustrate the basics.
GRIP: We used a special training club with a built-in devise that requires the hands, fingers and thumbs to be in the correct position. We concluded that she was already using the proper grip, but also agreed that she should continue practicing the proper grip every time she lifts a golf club. Laurel’s grip is the overlapping Vardon.
FEET: Feet are shoulder with apart, square to training rod with left foot turned one-quarter toward the target line.
LEGS: Legs form a triangle between the feet and her hips and separately have different duties during the golf swing and are firmly connected to the hips. The left should be prepared to bend slightly toward the right knee while the right leg remains stationery in the address position, grounded and firm against the turning of the upper body…preventing the body weight from getting outside the right ankle.
HIPS: Hips are square to the training rod. The upper body bends forward from the hips in order position her over the ball. The knees are moderately bent.
SHOULDERS: Shoulders are square to the training rod and in a slightly rounded position so that her arms have adequate room to move freely like a pendulum from her shoulders.
ARMS: Arms drop down from the shoulders in order to grip and freely swing the golf club.
ELBOWS: The elbows are married, and we don’t want to separate them throughout the swing. Keeping the elbows together eliminates many problems that arise from separating arms and flying elbow, which is where the elbow moves away from and behind her body. Her right elbow bends in the upper part of the swing and remains vertical close to the left elbow.
WRISTS: The wrists remain neutral and supple while connecting the arms to the hands.
HANDS: The hands grip the club as discussed above under the GRIP header.
HEAD: Head tilted up enough to maintain a good view of the golf ball.
BODY: Body takes a reverse K position, which assists in setting the clubhead behind the ball while the grip is forward of the ball.
TAKEAWAY: The takeaway in the backswing moves the clubhead low and slow away from the golf ball. The movement is initiated and controlled by the shoulders, which prevents prematurely “lifting” the clubhead. The club moves up and around her body while remaining in front of her chest, or sternum to be more precise while arms maintain a triangle by keeping the elbows close together. Her hips must resist the shoulder turn and remain in the original set up position with only a slight turn when the left leg moves toward the right leg…but not overly turned, which we also reviewed. This allows the body to torque from her feet up through her upper body.
HAND EXTENSION & WRIST HINGE [or wrist flex]:
Hand extension continues to about when the club shaft is horizontal with the ground and the hinge or flex should begin there and become fixed at the the top of your swing.
TOP OF THE SWING [Backswing Rotation]:
The top of the swing is when she has completed her turn with her shoulders and when the left leg bends in toward the right leg. This is apex of her swing and she should not swing past this point. In my analysis, this looks like well before the club shaft reaches horizontal so that the shaft is angled back toward but not over her head. The reason to limit her backswing is to avoid her body breaking out of her swing arc radius, which can create in number of swing issues.
The downswing begins after she initiates her hip shift toward the target line. The shoulders respond by starting the tighter swing arc down toward the ball. The right elbow drops down to her right hip while her shoulders thrust the club toward the target, the ball. The wrists remain hinged through the ball location as they pass the ball ahead of when the clubhead impacts the ball. This technique will lead the clubhead from the top on and inside path towards the ball and the club face squares fractions of a second prior to impact.
MOMENT OF IMPACT
The flat or bowed left wrist passes the ball fractions of a second before the club face impacts the golf ball.
To finish the swing through the ball, she needs to release her wrist hinge and allow the forearms to rollover each other while the entire arms remain fully extended and ending high above her head and body in balance. To achieve balance, she must remain over her center of gravity by not thrusting body too much forward at the end of her swing. We’re looking for what is known as a reverse C to remain steady at the end of the swing.