Designing The Perfect Golf Swing

Most of us bring our A games to the course about 10 percent of the time. The rest of the time we bring our B, C, or D games. Sometimes, we even bring our F games.

This variation in games is based on inconsistency. We’re inconsistent because most of us learn our swings through trial and error, not by taking private golf lessons or attending group golf instruction sessions. As a result, our swings are a hodgepodge of adjustments that make consistency elusive and kill our golf handicaps.

But what if you could design the perfect golf swing—one that encourages consistency. What would it look like? Of course, it would have to be flexible, so it could be adjusted to your body type and to your other attributes, like flexibility and height. But the swing would still contain certain key elements that would promote consistency.

Not long ago I read an article by a noted golf instructor who addressed this issue. Here are the elements of his perfect swing.

Fade Over Draw

The ideal shot shape is the fade. We’re not talking slice. A fade curves just at the end of its flight, falling softly to the right only a few feet. A slice has a much more violent curve to it. It starts curving much earlier because it has so much sidespin. The advantage here, according to the instructor, is that a fade is easier to hit under pressure.

You can hold onto your release a little longer and still get a decent shot. That compensates for our natural tendency to hold onto the club a little longer under pressure. Low To High The average golfer plays the swing from high to low. In other words, before the golfer’s hands drop down into the slot of the swing, his shoulder and chest spin out toward the ball. This early upper body rotation forces a steep, cut-across path.

Other golfers do the opposite. They go from low to high, keeping their backs to the rotation while the hands drop toward the back foot. It’s not until the hands drop to waist high that the majority of rotation takes place. It’s this “late” turn that carries the hands into a good position.

Passive Over Active Timing, as I tell students in my golf lessons, is a poor foundation on which to build your swing. But that’s what happens when your hands are active instead of passive in the swing. Active hands try to open or close the clubface. Passive hands don’t try to manipulate the club at all.

With a passive release, the hands are responders, not initiators. It’s the lower body that sets up the release of the angles of power, removing the need for conscious timing. Thus, there’s no need to time the release because the move is timed for you by the correct use of your lower body—a much easier process under pressure.

Right Before Left

There are three “miss patterns” in golf:

(1) You know exactly where the ball is going;

(2) you know where the ball isn’t going (Jack Nicklaus used this pattern); and

(3) you’re unsure where the ball is going (majority of golfers).

The first two you can count on. The third has a variable miss pattern—both right and left. So you don’t know where the ball is going. Right misses (left for left-handed golfers) are soft. They hang in the air.

When you’re not playing well, you can go all day missing to the right. Thin Before Fat You can miss a ball either fat or thin. With a thin shot, the club contacts the ball at its equator. This is a better miss pattern because the ball goes almost as far as a normal shot, while the side spin provides a sliver of control when it lands. Fat shots, where the club hits the ground, are to be avoided at all costs.

They not only cause major distance loss, but they also mess with your confidence. The pro’s thinking makes sense. Personally, I still favor the draw over the fade, if the draw is your natural shot. If the fade is your natural shot, then go with that. You’re more likely to revert to your natural shot under pressure anyway.

But overall the approach is conducive to creating consistency in your swing. Once you have a consistent swing, you’re sure to knock strokes off your golf handicap.

Continued here:
How To Break 80

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