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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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Stickney: Sit on it (for a better backswing)

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As we know golf, is a very tough sport and one that involves many moving pieces. Whenever something overreacts or moves too much on the way back, you end up playing catch-up on the way down. One of my favorite things to watch is how the head moves or doesn’t move on the backswing. Sure, you can have some movement, but you can’t have too much or you put yourself behind the eight ball.

I have charted the head position of a tour player at address and we can see that this is a very normal set up position. It is one that looks positioned to do great things.

However, en route to the top, you can see that this player has put himself into a position where his rear knee straightened too rapidly off the start of his backswing. When this occurs the pelvis “runs out from under” the upper body on the backswing the hips will react and begin to slant downward. (You can see a -10 degree tilt versus 3 degrees the opposite way at address for you number people.)

This causes the head to move out in front of where it was at address. This is not a bad position for the irons but for a driver we have a pending issue. If you don’t make a compensation from here then the player will have an angle of attack that is too much downward through impact with their driver.

As the player moves into his transition, the hips have leveled as the rear shoulder lowers the club into delivery but the head and pelvis are still too far out in front of the ball. The only thing you can do from here is fire the lead side upwards and hope that your head falls back into the correct position. If so, you will have the correct angle of attack, if not, you will chop down on the ball causing your launch conditions to be faulty.

And as we see here that this is precisely what this player did at the very last minute…not the easiest way to swing the club but it is functional IF you make the right correction. So, now that you understand how simple things like the action of the lower body can cause your head to move and your angle of attack to become faulty, what is the secret to controlling your lower body?


Just “sit” on the rear knee flex slightly longer during the backswing as you see here. This will slow down the tilting of the pelvis on backswing and thus your head will stay more in position en route to the top.

Personally, I teach both flexion and extension of the rear knee to the top, depending on what the player is wanting to do, so it really does not matter. However, what does matter is the rate at which it begins to straighten for those of you who do allow it to lengthen. I try to make most of my students hold the most of their address flex until the club moves between belt and chest high, any sooner and you risk the faulty pivot we saw above.

Therefore, take it from me and “sit on it” slightly longer for more quiet head motions as well as a more balanced backswing—your angle of attack will thank you!

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Davies: Training the trail elbow in the golf swing

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Alistair Davies shares with you how to get the correct trail arm and elbow action in the downswing. He shares some great drills that can be done at the range or at home to help lower your scores.Get the correct training for the trail arm here today!

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The important lessons you can learn from Peter Senior’s golf swing

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He may not be a household name in the United States, but Australia’s Peter Senior has a swing for the ages. At 60 years old, Senior has 34 worldwide professional wins including the 2015 Australian Masters beating a competitive field with several top-ranked players in the world. Turning professional in 1978, his career has spanned over 40 years.

Senior’s game and swing have stood the test of time, and the longevity of his career should be recognized. Senior formerly worked with Australian instructor Gary Edwin, and the structure to this swing taught to Senior paved the way for a future of consistent, high-quality professional golf.

Having a great golf swing isn’t the only key to becoming a great golfer, one must learn to play the game. However, you can learn a lot from Senior’s swing.

The origin to Senior’s swing lies in his set-up. Senior sets up in what I call his “hitting angles” or a position that mirrors impact.

From this position, Senior is able to simply keep these angles he established at address throughout the swing. This is why the set-up is so critical. The further he deviates from these “hitting angles”, the more he will have to find that impact position with his body in the backswing and downswing. In other words, more movement. The goal of his backswing will be to maintain these original starting angles.

From the picture, Senior has maintained his original body shape that he established at address. From this position, it will be much easier and repeatable to return the club to impact.

Note how his impact position now mirrors his original address position. All his original angles were maintained with a slight bump of the body towards the target. From impact, he can simply fold up his arms as his right side of his body rotates around his left side, keeping the clubface square to the body.

This standing tall finish position with the head following the torso is much easier on the back. His body has come forward and around beautifully, covering the ball for a proper strike.

The beauty of Senior’s swing lies in its simplicity. The changes Senior made to his swing can apply to anyone. Let’s look at two simple drills to make your swing more efficient and powerful.

“To a large extent, my backswing is a product of my set-up position” – Tiger Woods, Golf Digest 2020

To get into these impact angles simply practice pushing into an impact bag with the head and shaft of the club. Make sure your trail arm is tucked, lowering the trail shoulder as you pressure the bag.

To get the feeling of the proper coil from this set-up position, grab an impact bag and hold the bag in front of you.

From here, swing the bag around you with your arms keeping the top of the bag level. You will feel the trail side of your body move back and the lead side move out, coiling around your spine angle.

The trail glute will also move back and around with this drill, a key move the great Ben Hogan used to pivot his body. To develop an efficient swing and a long, injury-free career, take note of Peter Senior’s key moves.

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