Several years ago a friend of mine wanted to learn how to play golf. We went to the golf range and he started hitting. He hit some erratic shots, chopped the ball into the ground a couple times, bladed a bunch and almost hit me once when he shanked one sideways. He looked at me and said; well what do you think? I remarked; your golf swing looks just like Norman. He beamed with a smile and said; Greg Norman? I shook my and head and said no, Norman Bates! You know from the shower stabbing scene in the movie Psycho. Your kidding he remarked. Yes I am however your swing is a little choppy.
We went on to discuss and learn how to smooth out a choppy swing and develop a smooth accelerating one. The following steps will help.
|1||Get rid of the thought of hitting at the ball and develop a swinging motion as if the ball was not there. Swing at the daisies was Percy Boomer’s suggestion. The ball only weighs 6.2 ounces, 5.9 in the Pro V, so let the steel of the club impact the ball naturally without added force.|
|2||Maintaining a constant swing arc by bracing your arms together at address forming a triangle down to your grip will help diminish any independent chopping at the ball. Be sure to draw in your biceps toward your thorax and maintain a feeling of straightness in the elbows to establish a fulcrum or leverage effect that will insure a constant and controlled swing arc.|
|3||The next essential step is to power your swing through a rotary pivot of the torso, hips, and shoulders. If you were good at the Hula Hoop it may help. Percy Boomer coined a phrase turn in a barrel. I personally like the drill drill which is the image of twisting your body like a drill back and forth digging your spikes into the ground. This powering the swing from the ground up will generate the centripetal force that will travel up through the legs, body, shoulders, arms and hands whipping the club head through the ball as a centrifugal swing.|
|4||This fundamental power key of turning back and twisting through with the torso, hips, and shoulders allow the arms to swing up on plane automatically virtually free of strain in the shoulders. There should be no independent lifting or abrupt steering, guiding, or hitting at the ball that will interfere with the constant whipping action of the club through the ball. Bobby Jones coined the phrase Free Wheeling through Impact which is exactly the sensation you are looking for.|
|5||If you don’t want to swing the club like Norman Bates, power the club through a rotary pivot and let the club swing upon the back swing and down on the through swing sensing the momentum of the club head swinging throughout.|
A quote that was made from teaching great, Percy Boomer, states it best in my mind:
“If at the moment of impact you stop the forward pull of the left side, which is what you will do if you hit at the ball, the power is not available and club head cannot, as it should, continue accelerating in contact with the ball until the ball rebounds from it.”
Rick Bradshaw 2004/2006 North Florida Section, PGA Teacher of the Year Director of instruction Dent/Bradshaw School of Golf Heritage Isles Golf Club