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Finding the bottom of your swing arc with weight shift

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adam_scott address

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again. One of the most popular tips in golf is for players to “keep their head still.” This is a broad term that’s better understood by looking at what I call the three posts in the golf swing.

These “posts” represent where your head and sternum should be at the top of your swing. As you can see in the photo above, I have drawn the the three posts that a player can rotate around during the backswing. What post you are — front, middle or back — will determine if your head remains still or moves slightly away from the ball on your backswing. There is no single post that is right for every player, but each player will fall into one of the three posts. The best way to find what post you are is to test all three and see which one allows you to make your own best personal swing.

So many players think that the head must stay centered on the middle post to produce the best results and this is not at all true. Again, it depends on the player. The one thing that we do know is that on the downswing all great players move to their front post before impact, or at impact and through impact to the finish.

Adam Scott

Here we can see Adam Scott at impact and how his weight and sternum have gotten over his front post. His head is in motion and following his turn. At the finish, he will be rotated fully around his front post.

A test that will help you choose which post is best for you

First, swing to the top and try to keep your head on the back post. That will mean that your head will not go back behind your back leg. If it does, you have moved well to far back. This will cause a mad race to catch up on the downswing and will have you trying to get over your front post at impact. If you are behind that front post at impact, the result will be a thin shot or a fat shot.

Next try the middle post. Swing to the top and keep your lower body quiet, keeping your head and sternum where they were at address. If you move behind the middle post, you will again have a tough time getting back to the front post.

Trying the front post will feel almost like “Stack and Tilt.” As you move to the top, your head will move forward slightly and it will feel like your weight has stayed on your front foot. You will remain there, then rotate around the same front post that you felt at the top of your backswing.

One of the three of these posts will work and feel the best to you, so fool around with all three on the range to see which one clicks. Once you find it, make sure that you don’t go back past that post on your backswing, and remember to always rotate around your front post on your downswing. This will allow your swing arc to bottom out in front of the ball, resulting in the forward swing bottom that we all desire.

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Bernard Sheridan is the owner and founder of Par Breakers Golf Academy and Indoor driving range located in Golf USA Limerick, Pennsylvania. Bernard is a certified in the following golf instruction methods: Golf Channel Swing Fix Instructor and Impact Zone , Putting Zone, Body Balance Fitness, U.S. Kids Golf, Eye Line Golf 4 Elements putting and certified Mizuno Club fitter. Bernard is now in process of acquiring his biomechanics golf certification. Bernard is also the founder of Par Breakers Junior Golf Camps and that was voted Best Golf Camp in the Philadelphia area by Main Line Life magazine in 2008 along with Best Golf teachers Honorable mention by U.S. Kids Golf 2009-10. Find out more at http://www.parbreakers.com

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Pingback: Crucial Fundamentals of Golf: Mastering Golf Swing Mechanics – GoodLife

  2. Josh

    Dec 21, 2014 at 6:22 pm

  3. Pingback: Posting Posture- Poised To Swing Better - The Golf Shop Online Blog

  4. Andrew Cooper

    Oct 11, 2014 at 8:25 am

    “His head is in motion and following his turn.”?? Looking at the impact photo his head is more or less exactly where it started-right on the middle post-behind the ball.

  5. dapadre

    Oct 9, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Nice, though would have been nice to illustrate (with pics) the different test positions.

  6. JW

    Oct 9, 2014 at 4:40 am

    Good stuff. EA Tischler inspiried?

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Instruction

Right Knee Bend: The Difference Between PGA Tour Players and Amateurs

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The knees play an especially important role in the golf swing, helping to transfer the forces golfers generate through our connection with the ground. When we look closer at the right knee bend in the golf swing, we’re able to get a better sense of how PGA Tour players generate power compared to most amateur golfers.

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How to eliminate the double cross: Vertical plane, gear effect and impact location

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One of the biggest issues teachers see on the lesson tee is an out-to-in golf swing from a player who is trying to fade the ball, only to look up and see the deadly double cross! This gear effect assisted toe hook is one of the most frustrating things about trying to move the ball from left to right for the right-handed golfer. In this article, I want to show you what this looks like with Trackman and give you a few ways in which you can eliminate this from your game.

Below is the address position of a golfer I teach here in Punta Mita; his handicap ranges between scratch and 2, depending on how much he’s playing, but his miss is a double cross when he’s struggling.

Now let’s examine his impact position:

Observations

  • You see a pull-hooking ball flight
  • The hands are significantly higher at impact than they were at address
  • If you look at the clubhead closely you can see it is wide open post impact due to a toe hit (which we’ll see more of in a second)
  • The face to path is 0.5 which means with a perfectly centered hit, this ball would have moved very slightly from the left to the right
  • However, we see a shot that has a very high negative spin axis -13.7 showing a shot that is moving right to left

Now let’s look at impact location via Trackman:

As we can see here, the impact of the shot above was obviously on the toe and this is the reason why the double-cross occurred. Now the question remains is “why did he hit the ball off of the toe?”

This is what I see from people who swing a touch too much from out-to-in and try to hit fades: a standing up of the body and a lifting of the hands raising the Vertical Swing Plane and Dynamic Lie of the club at impact. From address, let’s assume his lie angle was 45 degrees (for simplicity) and now at impact you can see his Dynamic Lie is 51 degrees. Simply put, he’s standing up the shaft during impact…when this happens you will tend to pull the heel off the ground at impact and this exposes the toe of the club, hence the toe hits and the gear effect toe hook.

Now that we know the problem, what’s the solution? In my opinion it’s a three stage process:

  1. Don’t swing as much from out-to-in so you won’t stand up as much during impact
  2. A better swing plane will help you to remain in your posture and lower the hands a touch more through impact
  3. Move the weights in your driver to promote a slight fade bias

Obviously the key here is to make better swings, but remember to use technology to your advantage and understand why these type of things happen!

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Master your takeaway with force and torques

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Most golf swings last less than 2 seconds, so it’s difficult to recover from any errors in the takeaway. Time is obviously limited. What most golfers fail to realize is that the force and torque they apply to the club in the initial stages of the swing can have major effects on how they are able to leverage the club with their arms and wrists.

Our research has shown that it is best to see the golfer as a series of connected links with the most consistent golfers transferring motion smoothly from one link to another and finally to the club. Approximately 19-25 percent of all the energy created in a golf swing actually makes its way into the motion of the club. That means the remaining 75-80 percent is used up in moving the body segments. This emphasizes the fact that a smooth takeaway is your best chance sequence the body links and become more efficient with your energy transfers.

In the video above, I give a very important lesson on how the forces and torques applied by the golfer in the takeaway shape the rest of the swing. There will be more to come on the subject in future articles.

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