Many times during a round of golf we find our distance to the pin in the 40-80 yard range. The distance is not scary as we don’t need an excessive length of swing or excessive club head speed. Yet, our memory bank of past performances may remind us of a push, pull, chunk or topping of the ball. WHY?
The common theme for mis-hits is usually found in one or all of the following:
1. AIM AND ALIGNMENT 2. BALANCE 3. RELEASE 1. AIM AND ALIGNMENT
Aim=clubface square to the target
Alignment= clubface and body on parallel lines
Parallel lines are like railroad tracks. They point in the same general direction but the lines never converge or point exactly to the same spot. We stand on one track and the clubface points along the line of the other track. We often mistake the line our feet and shoulders point as the line the ball should also travel. Improper aim and alignment usually force the hands and arms to try to compensate and swing across the body creating a disaster in swinging the clubface to the target.
Lay two clubs on the ground in parallel lines. Point the far club at a specific target. Place the clubface perpendicular to the far line and stand with the toes and shoulders lined on the near club/line. The vision over your shoulder may look different, however your will be perfectly aligned to the target. 2. BALANCE
Balance is a basic requirement for any athletic endeavor. Good balance allows the arms and shoulders to swing the club comfortably toward a target and good balance promotes proper rhythm and timimg. The finish of a balanced swing will find us standing firmly and comfortably on the lead foot.
Once we are sure aim and alignment is in place take several practice swings releasing the club to the target and allowing the momentum of the club head to bring us to a standing balanced finish.
Allow several swings to gain the feel of this and give it some time to become part of your new swing routine.
Changes do not happen over night so be patient and give the hands, arms and shoulders time to feel their new motions. 3. RELEASE
Release refers to the arm motion of bending on the backswing and straightening on the forward motion.
Just as we throw a ball, the wrist and elbow bend during the backswing and straighten and release the clubface to the target on the forward swing.
A drill to feel the release-take a half backswing and on the forward swing point the shaft to the target.
The direction the shaft points or releases to is the direction the ball will travel.
The name Bob Epperley may look or sound familiar to you as he was one of the Teaching Professionals featured on The Golf Channle’s Natural Golf Makeover Challenge. He is currently the Golf Pro at Antelope Greens Golf Course and may be contacted at 916 334-5764. Bob’s experience has taken him through four other outstanding courses as Head Pro/General Manager, etc. including Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz.