Connect with us

Instruction

The Swing in Pictures: The Transition

Published

on

Over the next several weeks, Tom Stickney will be presenting a series called, “The Swing In Pictures” on GolfWRX.

Each Monday a different swing position will be coupled with thoughts you (as the player) should pay attention to based on your current handicap level. I would suggest printing each of these articles out and placing them in a binder, as the series will take you from address through the finish from the front and down the line views.

Click here to view Tom’s previous articles.

PLEASE NOTE:

This article is meant to be used as a general reference for the most common swing model used in today’s game. As with any golf swing, there are personal idiosyncrasies that will alter the look and/or actions of the club shaft and body motions back and through so there will always be exceptions. Please keep this in mind as you read each section. As Homer Kelley identifies in ‘The Golfing Machine,’ there are 446 quad-trillion stroke patterns, or ways to swing the club. You only need to find the one that works best for you.

The Transition (Forward View)

Tom Stickney

The transition is the period of shoulder acceleration that guides and directs the club shaft into its downstroke motion; this is the most critical portion of the downswing as it sets up your delivery through the ball.

For the Beginning Player:

  • The legs and hips are beginning to leave the shoulders behind as the weight begins to move from the rear foot to the forward foot in a lateral fashion.
  • The feet are firmly planted on the ground allowing a firm foundation at this point.
  • At this position you will find that around 50 to 60 percent of your weight has moved back into your forward foot via a lateral hip “bumping” motion.

For the Intermediate Player:

  • The lateral downswing motion of the legs and hips should begin slightly before the club reaches the end of the backswing.
  • At this point you are rebalancing your weight from the rear to the front foot.
  • The proper sequencing is vital for transitional success — resist the temptation to “jerk” it down from the top.
  • Lateral side bending is increasing as the hips pull the base of the spine toward the target, causing the top of the spine to tilt away from the target, lowering the rear shoulder.

For the Advanced Player:

  • The transitional motion can be felt in many different ways, however, we know the most efficient kinematic sequence begins from the ground up.
  • The hands are passive allowing the angle formed between the forward arm and the club shaft to become more acute.

For the Professional Player:

  • Hold your shoulders and hands at the top as long as possible to allow the forward hip to move as far away from the hands as possible — this X-Factor Stretch is the catalyst to increase transitional lag.
  • The more upright your backstroke plane the more you have to re-route the club during this transitional phase
  • Increasing transitional lag is a product of two factors:
  1. The lateral leg drive in the transition as the shaft is left behind (the X-Factor Stretch).
  2. The loading action used during the backstroke — the later the “wrist set” during the backstroke the greater the transitional lag in the transition usually.
Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (www.puntamita.com) He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email: tom.stickney@puntamita.com

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Instruction

A simple formula to figure out the right ball position for you

Published

on

In this video, I offer my simple formula on ball position that has seen my students produce more consistency. Watch to see how you can adapt your ball position to hit more shots on target.

Your Reaction?
  • 12
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP3
  • OB1
  • SHANK5

Continue Reading

Instruction

How to fix the root cause of hitting your golf shots fat

Published

on

Of all the shots golfers fear, hitting the ball FAT has to be right up at the top of the list. At least it heads the list of commonly hit poor shots (let’s leave the shank and the whiff out for now). After fat, I’d list topping, followed by slicing and then hooking. They are all round-killers, although the order of the list is an individual thing based on ability. Professionals despise a hook, but club golfers by and large fear FAT. Why?

First of all, it’s embarrassing. Secondly, it goes nowhere — at least compared to thin — and it can be physically painful! So to avoid this dreaded miss, golfers do any number of things (consciously or subconsciously) to avoid it. The pattern develops very early in one’s golf life. It does not take very many fat shots for golfers to realize that they need to do something differently. But rather than correct the problem with the correct move(s), golfers often correct a fault with a fault.

Shortening the radius (chicken-winging), raising the swing center, early lower-body extension, holding on through impact (saving it), running the upper body ahead of the golf ball and even coming over the top are all ways of avoiding fat shots. No matter how many drills I may offer for correcting any of those mistakes, none will work if the root cause of fat is not addressed.

So what causes fat? We have to start with posture. Some players simply do not have enough room to deliver the golf club on a good plane from inside to inside. Next on the list of causes is a wide, early cast of the club head. This move is invariably followed by a break down in the lead arm, holding on for dear life into impact, or any of the others…

“Swaying” (getting the swing center too far off the golf ball) is another cause of fat, as well as falling to the rear foot or “reversing the weight.” Both of these moves can cause one to bottom out well behind the ball. Finally, an excessive inside-out swing path (usually the fault of those who hook the ball) also causes an early bottom or fat shot, particularly if the release is even remotely early. 

Here are 4 things to try if you’re hitting fat shots

  1. Better Posture: Bend forward from the hips so that arms hang from the shoulders and directly over the tips of the toes, knees slightly flexed over the shoelaces, seat out for balance and chin off the chest!
  2. Maintaining the Angles: Casting, the natural urge to throw the clubhead at the golf ball, is a very difficult habit to break if one is not trained from the start. The real correction is maintaining the angle of the trail wrist (lag) a little longer so that the downswing is considerably more narrow than the backswing. But as I said, if you have been playing for some time, this is risky business. Talk to your instructor before working on this!
  3. Maintaining the Swing Center Over the Golf Ball: In your backswing, focus on keeping your sternum more directly over the golf ball (turning in a barrel, as Ernest Jones recommended). For many, this may feel like a “reverse pivot,” but if you are actually swaying off the ball it’s not likely you will suddenly get stuck with too much weight on your lead foot.
  4. Setting Up a Little More Open: If your swing direction is too much in-to-out, you may need to align your body more open (or feel that way). You could also work with a teaching aid that helps you feel the golf club is being swung more out in front of you and more left (for right-handers) coming through — something as simple as a head cover inside the golf ball. You’ll hit the headcover if you are stuck too far inside coming down.

The point is that most players do what they have to do to avoid their disastrous result. Slicers swing way left, players who fight a hook swing inside out and anybody who has ever laid sod over the golf ball will find a way to avoid doing it again. This, in my opinion, is the evolution of most swing faults, and trying to correct a fault with a fault almost never ends up well.

Get with an instructor, get some good videos (and perhaps even some radar numbers) to see what you are actually doing. Then work on the real corrections, not ones that will cause more trouble.

Your Reaction?
  • 143
  • LEGIT21
  • WOW6
  • LOL5
  • IDHT4
  • FLOP6
  • OB2
  • SHANK14

Continue Reading

Instruction

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

Published

on

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.

Your Reaction?
  • 26
  • LEGIT9
  • WOW5
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP4
  • OB3
  • SHANK15

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending