December 18, 2019- by Steven E. Greer
I have touched upon this before in my experimentation and am revisiting it. Now that I am turning my torso better and less of a flipper (i.e. keeping a vertical spine, not sticking to the right, etc.), I am realizing that there is a crucial moment in the swing where you are either going to fail or succeed.
It is the magic moment. It is elusive. Only the best players can achieve this.
When the hip and knee joints are square to the target line in the downswing, if you have about 50/50 weight on each foot and the feet are planted in the ground, then your spine is nice and vertical from the front. You have good center of gravity. You have not jumped to the left side too soon and lifted the right heel.
From this point, you are almost guaranteed to hit a good shot if you keep the eye on the ball.
When this point is reached in a fluid swing, that is when you feel the maximum pressure from the ground pushing up. It is like you are about to jump up to a basketball rim.
In my swing, I know right away from the feel in my feet when I am off balance and not achieving this. I think it’s common for people to do what I do, which is to have “fast hips“. In other words, their hips get out of sync with their shoulders and then the torso topples off-balance to the right.
Of Course, the fast-moving club has physical forces pulling you that way too. So, to reach this magic moment halfway down, where everything is balanced, you have to do some tricks. Some people sway way to the left in the transition, like Sam Snead or Nicklaus. Other people like Tiger and the new-swing kids flex their legs and use the weight of their body to push down.
Try this drill:
1) Go to the top and pause
2) Flex the knees and squat like a baseball catcher or defensive back. This is a position of power.
3) Then, think about squaring up the knees, shoulders, and chest (i.e. square relative to the target line)
4) Then, complete the swing by visualizing pulling the club down with the left shoulder.
Rock back-and-forth and do it as a rocking drill. You will feel that tremendous power coming from the ground. But more importantly, your body has a center of gravity, which means you won’t hit the ball fat or thin.