instruction: Mastering the Various Movements of the Body During the Swing Can Pay Huge Dividends
With the amount of technology in the game of golf these days it is easy for an instructor to get excited about something that will actually present limited advantages to the student. When it comes to knowing exactly how, how fast, and in what sequence a golfer moves their body the benefits to the student are infinite.
Having used the MySwing Professional system over the last two months, I am convinced that this single piece of technology is the most powerful I have employed to date. The system places 17 sensors on the golfer, plus one on the golf club, to measure precisely how the player creates his or her golf motion. I have successfully used data collected from the system to increase clubhead speed with a number of golfers, increased consistency with others, and even helped to reduce lower back pain in some.
The graph below is an illustration of the “Kinematic Sequence.” It shows the order and speed in which the club, lead arm, ribcage, and pelvis move through the swing. To summarize what I would consider an ideal sequence, the transition of the swing, when these four segments change direction, would be pelvis first, then ribcage, then lead arm, and lastly the club. The order of the deceleration is also important. Here, I like to see the same pattern with the pelvis slowing down first. Many golfers are surprised to hear that movement of the various parts of the swing should be slowing down prior to impact.
But, the slowing down of segments in the proper order is how you can create a “whip-like” effect. Indeed, this is how the great players can hit the ball as far as they do while “making it look easy,” at it allows the golfer to attain the highest clubhead speed with minimal exertion and strain on the body.
The ability for a golfer to achieve the above is, in fact, a combination of physical ability and a learned pattern. Physical ability is not to say that golfers either are or are not born with the that ability, but rather in many cases will need to train their body to do have this ability. A common example of this is an older golfer that does not have the ability to rotate the pelvis towards the target at the start of the transition sequence without having the ribcage move with it.
Acquiring an ability to separate these segments, along with learning the motor pattern, represents a potential for a huge increase in both distance and consistency.
George Connor is the Head Golf Instructor at Farmington Woods Country Club in Avon, CT. 860-830-6969 or George@ConnorGolf.com