What works for John Daly will not work for the recreational golfer. If you are trying to break 100, 90 or 80 —- you need to focus on a GREAT GRIP and a CONTROLLED RIP. Training with GOLFSTR for a straight leading arm in the back swing and through impact is the right starting point but your GRIP and HINGE gives you the POWER.
Blog readers have heard me say this before: THIS IS NOT BASEBALL. Recreational players often grab their club like it is a baseball bat. This causes you to lose about 15 degrees of club angle in your back-swing and mobility at the point of impact — where club head speed is so important.
I am not going to give you a lesson on the GRIP as I am not the pro but I want to point out the key component that Sergio Garcia (and all other pros) use in their grip to get maximum power:
A baseball bat is gripped through the center of your hands next to the fat muscle at the base of your thumb. A golf club needs a gentle but firm grip along the base of your fingers. The difference in this grip gives you 15 degrees more angle from your leading arm to your club and allows you to hinge your club head 15 degrees further in your back swing. [BENDING YOUR ARM IN THE BACK SWING IS THE WRONG SOLUTION.]
The wrist hinge (not a bent elbow) in the back swing is where your power comes from. Holding the 90 degree angle (from your straight arm to the club) through the down-swing is called LAG. Instead of “casting” the club out at the start of the down swing you need to hold the 90 degree hinge or lag angle. Only release your wrists (like cracking a whip or skipping a stone) at the bottom of the downswing. CLICK FOR VIDEO: Rory McIlroy displays an amazing example of this swing in slow motion.
GOLFSTR just reminds you to keep your leading arm straight throughout the swing until impact. Practice the grip and full swing in slow motion at the driving range or in your practice swing. Get the feel for holding the hinge and lag until you release your wrists through impact.
Straight leading arm at the point of impact is critical but if your swing is off-line, so is your ball. So why not choose a swing that you know will give you a consistent long hit. A slight draw with some top spin is the goal for your longest hits.
NOTE: The drive is the only shot where you are trying to hit UP on the ball to impart topspin (the same way you want your putter to roll the ball over). Limited topspin will allow your ball to cut through the air and roll for extra distance.
1/ A straight leading arm is required to contact the ball on the sweat spot, near the top dead center of the club face. This just makes sense. You need to bring your club head back to the point of impact which is exactly the same point when you addressed the ball. This is the point when your wrists are unloading and the head of your driver is firing through the ball.
2/ Bending your arm in the back-swing causes you to “swinging over the top” and to attack the ball at too high of an angle. Hitting down on the ball and from the outside will cause a slice. GOLFSTR is the brain trainer which reminds you to keep your leading arm straight. By keeping your lagging elbow near your side and hinging your wrists in the back-swing you can attack the ball with a lower plane and swing up on the ball. That’s why you setup for a drive by teeing the ball up so that the top of the driver is in line with the equator of the ball. You also place the tee in line with the heel of your leading foot allows the radius of your swing to travel up on the ball at the point of impact. Voila . . . . TOPSPIN . . . . for distance.
3/ The final component of the impact is side-spin. For distance and control you want to draw the ball. You want to be swinging from the inside to outside at the point of impact. Previous blogs in GOLFSTR: YOUR Swing Support Center have presented Sergio Garcia’s “Power Swing Plane”, wrist lag and impact from the inside of the ball. To learn the feel for this motion, move your back leg an inch or 2 back from the swing line. This stance will force you to swing from the inside.
Use these 3 areas of focus and make adjustments as you learn this new motion. What a joy it is to see that sweet shot floating for extra distance.
GOLFSTR is a wonderful Brain Trainer that helps you learn the straight leading arm swing in the takeaway, at the top and through impact. Enjoy.
If you want to improve your game you need to recognize how to “Swing like a Pro” and make changes to your swing. Lessons will help you find the flaws. Tiger Woods changed his swing 3 times by first recognizing problems and then committing to make corrections. Of course he had his father, then Butch Harman and now Sean Foley to help him along the way.
For recreational players, learning the correct swing is a starting point. Watching the Golf Channel, watching swing tip videos on the internet and reading golf magazines all contribute to your swing knowledge to finding a reasonable swing to help you “Swing like a Pro”. So what’s missing? Why do you make some amazing swings at the practice range and then fall apart on the course?
Changing to a more consistent powerful swing requires repetition of the correct motion over and over again. Recent articles and blogs are highlighting the importance of completing the same motion a thousand times or even 10,000 times before your brain reprograms. They refer to it as developing MUSCLE MEMORY.
GOLFSTR is a simple training aid that will only help you —IF YOU USE IT —- to retrain your brain. Of course that’s why we call it the Brain Trainer. Understanding the correct swing is the starting point. Giving your brain a reminder to keep the leading arm straight in the back-swing (and forward swing through impact) is one of the best ways to learn to swing like a pro. Repeating the straight leading arm motion over and over again when you drive and make fairway shots or chips is the only way that you can change a forced motion into a learned motion.
Practicing with GOLFSTR is a great starting point but using it for practice rounds of golf is so much more important for your long term success. After you learn the right motion on the practice range, you need to continue playing 18 holes while wearing GOLFSTR to see your game improve. Do this often and your game will change for the best. Focus on Fairways and Greens in Regulation (FIR and GIR). Mark them on your score card with a mark on the upper left and upper right corner as you enter your score. Focusing on improvement is the only way to improve.
Repeating success over and over will give you the true joy of playing this wonderful game.
NOTE: These blogs are intended to motivate you on a weekly basis. We hope you will email them on to your golfing friends.