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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 Coach Adam also offers online lessons and offers a monthly membership to help golfers stay committed to the process of improvement. All this and more can be ordered through his website www.golfadamstevenson.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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Me and My Golf: The difference between long and short irons

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Long irons vs. short irons. In this week’s Impact Show, we discuss the differences between long irons and short irons. We talk through the different ball positions, postures, and techniques for both irons and give you some golfing drills to help you differentiate both irons!

 

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Walters: Avoid these 3 big chipping mistakes!

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Chipping causes nightmares for so many amateur golfers. This s mainly due to three core mistakes. In this video, I talk about what those mistakes are, and, more importantly, how to avoid them.

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The Wedge Guy: The importance of a pre-shot routine

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I believe one of the big differences between better recreational golfers and those not so good—and also between the tour professionals and those that can’t quite “get there”—is the consistency of their pre-shot routines. It is really easy to dismiss something that happens before the ball is even struck as irrelevant, but I strongly urge you to reconsider if you think this way.

To have a set routine to follow religiously before every shot gives you the best chance to execute the shot the way you intend. To do otherwise just leaves too much to chance. Indulge me here and I’ll offer you some proof.

It’s been a while back now, but I still remember an interesting account on this subject that used the final round of the 1996 Masters—when Nick Faldo passed a collapsing Norman—as his statistical proof. This particular analyst reviewed the entire telecast of that final round and timed the routine of both players for every shot. What he discovered was that Norman got quicker and less consistent in his pre-shot routine throughout his round, while Faldo maintained his same, methodical approach to every shot, not varying by more than a second or so. I think that is pretty insightful stuff.

A lot of time has passed since then, but all competitive tour professionals pay very close attention to their pre-shot routines these days. I urge you to watch them as they go through the motions before each shot. And notice that most of them “start over” if they get distracted during that process.

While I do not think it is practical for recreational golfers to go into such laborious detail for every shot, let me offer some suggestions as to how a repeatable pre-shot routine should work.

The first thing is to get a good feel for the shot, and by that, I mean a very clear picture in your mind of how it will fly, land and roll; I also think it’s realistic to have a different routine for full shots, chips and pitches and putts. They are all very different challenges, of course, and as you get closer to the hole, your focus needs to be more on the feel of the shot than the mechanics of the swing, in my opinion.

To begin, I think the best starting point is from behind the ball, setting up in your “mind’s eye” the film-clip of the shot you are about to hit. See the flight and path it will take. As you do this, you might waggle the club back and forth to get a feel of the club in your hands and “feel” the swing that will produce that shot path for you. Your exact routine can start when you see that shot clearly, and begin your approach the ball to execute the shot. From that “trigger point”, you should do the exact same things, at the exact same pace, each and every time.

For me (if I’m “on”), I’ll step from that behind-the-shot position, and set the club behind the ball to get my alignment. Then I step into my stance and ball position, not looking at the target, but being precise not to change the alignment of the clubhead–I’m setting my body up to that established reference. Once set, I take a look at the target to ensure that I feel aligned properly, and take my grip on the club. Then I do a mental check of grip pressure, hover the club off the ground a bit to ensure it stays light, and then start my backswing, with my only swing thought being to feel the end of the backswing.

That’s when I’m “on,” of course. But as a recreational player, I know that the vast majority of my worst shots and rounds happen when I depart from that routine.

This is something that you can and should work on at the range. Don’t just practice your swing, but how you approach each shot. Heck, you can even do that at home in your backyard. So, guys and ladies, there’s my $0.02 on the pre-shot routine. What do you have to add?

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