Golf Swing Mechanics – A Simple Technique to Improve Your Downswing!

Teaching golf students the fundamentals of golf swing mechanics is a very challenging task.

A great deal of the instructor’s advice is misunderstood by their students.

Golf students could better translate their instruction on golf swing mechanics if they attach and associate imagery to the words.

In his book, “Golf Can be An Easy Game”, author Joe Novak illustrates the power and value of using imagery methodology in golf swing instruction. In the book Novak brilliantly uses imagery to better explain the golf swing mechanics of the backswing. He reduces all the complicated instruction to one simple image – the motion of a “ferris wheel”.

Novak writes;

“What actually happens in the properly executed golf shot is that the body produces or goes into a distinctive, diagonal stretch action—on the upswing and again on the downswing and follow through. This stretch action keeps the player centered on the ball at all times, whereas, a turning action takes the player off the ball on the upswing and throws them out and over the ball on the downswing. No wonder there are so many balls struck with the neck of the club (causing bad shots and broken clubs).

I think I can make myself clear on this subject of stretching versus turning by utilizing a comment made by one of my pupils. The pupil in question had a pretty good sense of footwork, but he had an excessive action with his left side on the upswing—in fact, he turned so much that he actually turned his back on the ball as he took the club away on the backswing. Such an action tended to swing the club low and around his waistline leaving him in a very difficult position from which to hit the ball.

I call his attention to this excessive turn. I pointed out the very low around the waistline position to which he was taking the club, and I also indicated his inclination to swing out and over the ball as he came through. I suggested that instead of turning he should use his body in a diagonal stretch action, which would come quite naturally on the backswing if he would learn to use his right, rather than his left, side. If he did this, the club would travel to a much more upright position and would then be higher and over and around his neck rather than low and around his hips.

Almost before I had completed my explanation, he said, “I see, I see—you want me to get off the merry-go-round and get on the ferris wheel.”

“Yes,” I answered, “that is a very good way to explain the difference between a turning action of the body as compared to a stretching action.”

Yes, the action of the body in a golf shot is a stretch, not a turn. The action of the body on the backswing originates in the right hip. As that hip is drawn back, it involves the entire right side from hip to shoulder and it bends and contracts the right arm. At the same time it kicks and throws the left knee straight forward towards the ball. Much instruction has suggested bending the left knee sideways so that it points sideways toward a spot in front of the right toe, but that is an error and is what happens when one turns too much.”

Teaching golf swing mechanics can be just as difficult as learning golf swing mechanics! A great deal of instruction can get lost in translation.

Try using your own imagery methodology and techniques to get more out of your next golf lesson!

Check back soon for more articles and posts on golf swing mechanics!

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