1# Problem: Snatch The Club
I have always thought that the idea of “hitting” the ball was very dangerous in golf. When a player’s intention changes from “swinging the club” to “hitting the ball”, the problems are not far behind.
One of them is the tendency to use the hands to move the club away from the ball. In most cases, the clubhead is abruptly torn off the ground. Hence the frequent observation of “snatching the club at start-up.”
Solution: Go Well, Chase The Second Ball.
Getting started is essential. It determines the form and rhythm of the movement. Here’s an image to help you: At address, imagine the arms and shoulders forming a triangle. For a smooth, one-piece start of the movement, twist this triangle back with your chest and stomach at the belly button.
You should feel the control of the start of the arms and club at the level of the large muscles of the shoulders and chest, maintaining this “triangle” until the hands are facing the right thigh: these large muscles are easier to handle. Control only the small muscles of the hands and forearms.
If you use them correctly, the clubhead will start on a low trajectory, and the climb will be as full and wide as it should be.
To check that the starting is done correctly, place a second ball one foot of the first (a little inside the line of play) and chase it with the club when the triangle goes backward. You will then be sure that the club head has gone along the ground, on the correct path.
2# Problem: Too Much Interior Climb
While a good start to the swing offers the best chance of hitting a good shot, a bad start ruins your chances. Bad starts can be different, but one of the most common mistakes is raising the club too fast inward (behind you).
This fault usually stems from a misinterpretation of one of these two clichés: “turn away from the ball” or “swing from the inside to the outside”.
The first causes you to pivot brutally from the start of the backswing, and the second causes you to exaggerate the inside side of the backswing in the illusion that you will be better able to play inside-outside on the descent.
Whatever the reason, too much inward movement results in a very flat swing or, more often than not, forces the arms to rise sharply to bring the club up the backswing. This not only destroys a good pivot of the body but, for an inside/outside player, it results in a reverse movement, i.e., an “inside loop”.
Solution: Grip Inward, Clubhead Outside
Let me explain to you the precise nature of the starting movement. During the first few centimeters of the swing, the clubhead gradually moves towards the inside of the playline. But, at the same time, it can be placed “in front” of the hands. This hands-to-club head ratio puts the club on the right plane and encourages the arms and body to stay coordinated to the top of the backswing.
The key to performing this movement correctly is to start the swing from the top of the grip, not the clubhead. By bringing the top of the grip towards the right thigh, you will keep the clubhead in front of the hands-on on the correct path more easily.
This more in-line start will allow the club to come back down to the correct inside path for the outside inside player.
Such an error reduces the arc of motion and causes a steep descent, which no one would want.
3# Problem: Closing The Clubface
As I said before, the fewer offsets in the swing, the better. Since I like fairly straightforward swings, I try as much as possible to help players eliminate fundamental mistakes that force them to compromise.
Consider the example of a player who tends to close the clubface at the start of the swing. I’m not saying it’s impossible to play good golf with a closed clubface, but it’s more difficult.
To bring his clubface square back into the ball, the player must (somehow) learn to manipulate the clubhead at any point during his movement.
To achieve this, he must spend hours at the driving range. Why go to so much trouble?
If you are making irregular strokes and believe you are guilty of closing the clubface at the start of the swing, bring the club up to mid-right thigh level. Then turn to face your club; if it is still in the same position as the address, fine. If the toe is in front of the heel, you effectively close the clubface at the start of the swing.
Solution: When Turning, Turn The Clubface
First of all, check the grip. He is sometimes responsible for closing the clubface. If not, set yourself a very simple mental picture: From the address’s position, imagine that the clubface is a door that opens slowly, in harmony with the rotation of the body.
Fix your attention on your left arm, slowly turning it clockwise, note the effect on the
clubface as it gradually opens, watch as it remains square to the body. Be careful, however, to keep your arms and hands flexible.
Another exercise to keep the clubface position neutral at the start. Place a tee in the slight gap between the leather and velcro of your glove, which will help you observe the arm’s rotation and left-hand rotation. As you work your start, the tee should point straight ahead, and the tip of the club should point skyward when the club comes to level.
Repeat this movement several times, then hit a few balls. At first, they will probably start off to the right but keep going. It won’t take long for you to have a more orthodox club stance, with much straighter shots.
4# Problem: Climb Too Flat
When an amateur speaks of a “flat” swing, he usually refers to the left arm’s plane at the top of the backswing. But this plan can be misleading.
The problem with a swing plane is that it can change dramatically between the middle of the climb (where it can be flat) and the top (where it can be vertical). By reversing the problem, what we see at the top is not necessarily representative of the real fault.
Therefore, when I search for the reason for a backswing problem, I never look beyond the middle of the climb.
Usually, at mid-climb, if the end of the grip points towards the goal line or beyond, the climb is too flat, the club has folded.
Quick check: when the club goes this way, you will feel the clubhead very heavy; the club is not balanced.
This error often comes from misinterpreting ideas such as “get in” or “keep your elbow straight against your right side.
Laying down or rotating the clubhead in the open position is another possible cause. Either of these misunderstood ideas (or a combination of the two) can lead to a very passive position mid-climb.
Solution: Check The Plan Halfway Up.
Halfway to the top, your goal should be to keep the club “in balance” to be in harmony with the pivot of the body. At this time, your left arm should be tied to the bust, the right elbow slightly released, the wrists cocked.
Here is an exercise. Take a medium iron and lower your hands to the grip. Bring the club halfway up, the wrists cocked, and the left arm lightly pressed to the bust. Make sure the left elbow is facing the floor. This promotes the vertical ascent of the club and prevents excessive rotation of the left arm. The end of the grip should now point roughly halfway between the ball and the tip of the toes. You should now feel the club lighter. As you have placed it correctly, it is in balance.
If you have suffered for a long time from a too flat climb, you will feel this vertical position. But trust me, this is the right plan. From there, completing the backswing is easy. Keep turning, and you will place the club in a solid position at the top.
5# Problem: Rotating The Body Too Quickly
Like many players, if you suffer from this problem, the best way to be aware is to watch your swing in the video in slow motion.
You will find that some parts of the body (the hips, shoulders, or both) complete their rotation long before the arms reach the top of the backswing: in the illustration, notice the body’s full rotation while the arms are still halfway to the top.
With the video, you will see in several images that the arms work independently of the body. In short, the climb is not well synchronized.
The consequence of this premature rotation: all connection between the arms and the body is destroyed. And it’s, of course, the same on the way down. The body goes into action too quickly. The hands and arms have to “run” to catch it and hit the ball correctly.
Solution: Coordinate Moving Parts
Imagine that the arms and the body complete the backswing simultaneously, even though it does not quite happen so in reality. To achieve this, the right side of the body must control the amount of rotation at the start of the swing: some resistance is needed to slow the rotation of the knees, hips, and shoulders.
This resistance restricts the extent of the start of the rotation the, but it promotes the synchronization of the arms, the club, and the torso, the engine of your swing.
Halfway up, the body’s rotation should now be reduced. From there, the large core muscles can complete the climb along with the arms.
You will get a glimpse of it with this simple exercise: at address, remove your right hand from the club and let it hang down in front of you. Bring the club back a little, the left arm passing under the right arm. Do you feel the resistance? Rest your right hand on the grip and finish your backswing. You should now feel a great unity of arms and body.
All the elements working together, the descent will also be better coordinated. The hands, arms, and body will be able to “free themselves” simultaneously. No need to run anymore.