Friday, 8 April 2011

Support in Motion.

The golf swings only purpose is to deliver the correct contact between club and ball. The game of golf is ball control and controlling it is determined totally by the conditions you create at the point of impact. 

As detailed in many of my earlier blog posts, the key to controlling impact is best applied through the correct application of the fundamentals in the setup. So what about the swing? If there are key elements to the setup then surely there must some that apply to the swing. Well you would be correct and this is what this piece is all about.

What you set is what you get!
Setup correctly and you increase your opportunity to successfully execute the correct blend of simple elements found within everyone of the games most successful golf swings.

When performed correctly the key movements in the golf swing can be broken down into three key elements or fundamental motions. 

The hands and arms will SWING the golf club.

The shoulders will TURN and the torso and hips will follow.

And finally your weight will SHIFT or transfer to the right foot as a natural response to the arms swinging and the upper body turning. 

This simple process is highly evident in all of the games most effective golf swings of the past and for the largest part present. Take one of these three elements away and the swing becomes an inconsistent array of compensation's that throws the swing into complete disarray. 

So, let's think logically about what's happening here and why such moves must happen for us as human beings to successfully strike the golf ball consistently. 

Try to imagine an everyday activity you readily find yourself involved with. It can be anything from driving your car to opening a door, throwing a stone or kicking a ball. For the purpose of this piece I would like you to think back to the last time you opened a door. You're stood before it and about to reach for the handle, which part of your body is moving first?

Your hand.

Then what?

Look closely.

Your arm.

Then what?

Think logically?

Your shoulder.

That's right, you can see the smaller muscles, the faster moving hands are the first to respond to the task of opening the door. From this the arm naturally moves and then one by one the larger body parts move to it. The bigger muscles move in their role to first support the hand and arm then eventually add the extra power demanded of a closed door. So you can begin to see the natural process of moving and supporting within all of our bodies make up. 

So in golfing terms and the act of swinging a golf club you can see how the smaller muscles of the hands and arms govern the swinging of the club and the bigger muscles of the shoulders and torso act naturally to support. 

Now think back to the moment you first set eyes on that door you wanted to open. What did you do? Even before you reached for the handle to open it? 

You positioned your feet to best prepare yourself for the simple act of opening it. Your feet allowed it all to happen in balance and were placed accordingly to best support the entire body above it. Now because of their position on the ground you were able to turn the handle, pull the door and successfully open it without falling over or wasting any energy in the process. Your hand and arm started the process (swing), your upper body moved to support (turn) and your feet supported any movement of weight (shift).  

Each of these simple elements combine in the correct order to provide maximum potential for power, balance and consistency. All one has to do in their quest to master them is first adopt and create the correct position and balance of body angles and weight distribution in the address. Apply the correct fundamentals first and the swing will become three very simple sequential movements second. 

In successfully creating this vital sequence of motion, you have successfully set your body up to create maximum power and ultimate consistency in the down swing. What you set in the address is what you potentially set at the top of the golf swing, so set it up correctly and you will begin to experience a natural unwinding of the swing, turn and shift as the golf swing unfolds into and through the ball at impact. If you have to think conciously about any part of your down swing then Im afraid you have issues to attend to in the back swing which can be typically rectified in the setup. 

To conclude, the art of striking the golf ball towards a target is a graceful act of speed, supported in motion. Never lose sight of the hands and arms swinging the golf club as freely as possible as the body turns and the weight shifts to support. The hands and arms create speed while the body turns and the weight shifts to add power in support, if when you reach the top of your back swing you fail to complete your turn or the weight shifts towards the target, then Im afraid you have some issues to attend to in the address. 

Get to your pro and ask them which is lacking, is it the swinging arms, turning shoulders or shifting weight?

But never forget, what you set is what you get, and solving the swing starts by sorting the setup.

Enjoy the game./

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