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How to Simplify the Arm-Body Connection

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Making an efficient, yet consistent golf swing is like painting a masterpiece. I don’t believe that anyone can master the golf swing… at least not with 100 percent consistency. Just as with the greatest painters in history, perfection is elusive. Physical inconsistencies, psychological distractions, fatigue, course conditions and weather conditions make it almost impossible to always perform at your peak in golf. But masterpieces aren’t meant to be perfect, and neither is your golf swing. That’s probably why we love golf so much.

With that said, we can still do some things to improve our consistency. I like to call it “damage prevention.” I’ve found that the fastest way to improvement is not to make your best shots better, but to instead to make your bad shots less bad.

The Building Blocks

There are many things that affect how you make your golf swing, but none are more important than what I like to call the building blocks: setup, posture, and grip. They are like the frame, the canvas and the paint that will assist you in creating your masterpiece.

To learn more about the building blocks, please check out some of my earlier content that I have produced for GolfWRX. I go into more detail and explain other factors such as how physical limitations and having the right mindset will affect your golf swing and your game.

My 2 Favorite No. 1 Tips to Improve Consistency

What does that even mean, right? Well, I like to give a little variety to my clients. What works for one golfer may not work for another, and vice versa. Therefore, I have two No. 1 tips to help with consistency. With a little luck, one of these two exercises will mesh well with your swing, too.

Golfers that are struggling with consistency are often all over the place with their body and their arms. The only way they can recover is by compensating — they’re trying to save the shot in some enormously awkward way to get back to the ball. This usually leads to inconsistency and — from what I hear and see on the course — the feeling of having it one day and losing it the next.

The two tips in the video are my favorites because they generally offer the most bang for your buck. They pretty much force you to use your body to move more efficiently in order to swing the golf club in balance. And moving your body more efficiently can only mean one thing… improved shot consistency.

The first exercise really simplifies how you make your golf swing. It should provide you with a certain feeling of confidence as you make a simple turn back and through with your arms connected to your body.

The second exercise is a real game changer. By trying to prevent the hinging of your wrist in your backswing, your instincts will take over and say, “Hey, if I can’t hinge my wrists I’d better use my body to swing the club back and up.” The wrists, as I mentioned in the video above, are an incredibly important part of the golf swing. I see more golfers struggling with consistency simply because they become too “wristy.” So by taking the wrists out of the swing, or at least making them more passive, golfers are simplifying the swing.

My personal experience when using this tip with clients is that the movement of the wrists becomes delayed, which is what I am trying to encourage. The wrists will set as the body transitions from the backswing to the forward swing, which usually leads to more consistent ball striking as the club follows the turning of the body through impact instead of the opposite happening.

If you like these tips and you want more, then be sure to follow my YouTube channel. My mission is to help you bring back the fun to your performance!

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Adam is a PGA Professional and TPI Certified Fitness and Medical Coach. He enjoys working with golfers of all ages and levels of expertise, and his approach is to look at every golfer as an individual to try to help them achieve their goals as effectively and efficiently as possible. He is also the author of two books: The Golfers Handbook - Save your golf game and your life! (available on iTunes and Amazon) And his new book, My Mind Body Golf Please visit the links below to find out more about Adams books. http://mymindbodygolf.weebly.com http://www.golfers-handbook.com "The golf swing may be built from the ground up, but the game of golf is built from the head down" - My Mind Body Golf Aside being an author, Adam is also a public speaker, doing workshops and lectures introducing concepts of athletic movement for golfers of all ages and levels of expertise.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. RBImGuy

    Jun 13, 2018 at 11:52 am

    to difficult

  2. Geohogan

    Jun 8, 2018 at 9:43 am

    In order for wrists to be ‘free hinges’, the thumb and index finger need to be loose on the grip.
    Using thumb and index finger like pincers will lock up the wrist.

  3. Kyle

    Jun 3, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Tip #1 = Jim McLean ‘connection’
    Tip #2 = Homer Kelley TGM

  4. acew/7iron

    Jun 2, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    My wrist are naturally resistant to becoming involved in my golf swing…Matter of fact, my swing has been as he described in the second drill for over a decade. Im playing more golf in retirement and trying to coax my wrist to be a bigger part of things by exercising them regularly with a weighted club and trying grip variations. My point is…when my wrist play along in tune to everything else the results are magical. Its like a watching a ball flight someone else hit and it soars many yards past my usual distance.
    Ill keep working on wrist movement because IMO it separates a great shot from a good one.

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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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Learn from the Legends: Introduction

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There is a better way to swing the golf club. I’d prefer to write that there is a correct way to swing the club, but I know that really freaks people out. People love to talk about how everyone’s swing is different. “There are lots of ways to get it done,” they say. “Look at Jim Furyk’s swing – it’s not what you’d teach, but it works for him.”

To some extent, they’re right. Elite swings do have different looks. Some take it back inside (Ray Floyd). Some cross the line (Tom Watson). Some swings are long (Bubba Watson). Some are short (young Tiger). But these differences are superficial and largely irrelevant. When it comes to the engine – the core of the swing – the greatest players throughout the history of the game are all very similar.

Don’t believe me? Well, let me prove it to you. In this series of articles, I will do my best to show you – with pictures and videos and data – that the legends all move a specific way. Focusing on these elements (while ignoring others) and practicing a certain way is the surest path to improving your golf swing and lowering your scores.

So, let’s get into it. There are a number of important elements that all the legends have, but the biggest and most important of these elements is rotation. Every great player throughout the history of the game has had elite rotation. It’s the most important thing they do, and it’s easy to see. When you’re looking down the line at all the great players at impact, you’ll see hips and torso open.

This is what the legends look like at impact:

1Hips open
2Torso open
3Both butt cheeks visible
4Left leg extended and visible

And here’s what some very good players with less good rotation look like at impact:

These are very successful players (one of them is a major champion!), but they don’t move like the legends of the game.
1Hips and shoulders not open
2Left leg not totally visible
3Can’t see both butt cheeks

Now, there are plenty of nuances to how great players rotate. They do it while keeping spine flexion, for example, and they do it with very little (or no) lateral movement toward the target (lateral movement impedes rotation). I will discuss these things in detail. My hope is that at the end of this series you will have a much better understanding of what separates the legends from the very good… and from the rest of us.

You will understand their “engine,” and hopefully this understanding will help you begin to create your own legendary swing!

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