Question: I only take a 75% backswing because I find I lose control when I take a full swing. My friends laugh at my goofy half swing, not to mention I'm probably losing significant distance. Do you have any pointers that may help me gain control with a full swing.
Answer: It’s common to focus on the position of the club at the top of the swing but pay little attention to the position of the hips & torso. I want a student to make as full a rotation of their torso as possible, and pay no attention to where the club is. Too many people think they have to get the club to a position parallel to the ground at the top of the swing. They consider this a “full” swing. As such, people tend to get the club into the parallel position by lifting it with their arms, instead of making a full rotation with the large muscles of the torso and shoulders. When you move your chest, the arms (and club) will have to move as well. So focus on rotating your left shoulder over your right foot on the backswing, and if the club gets to parallel—great, but if not—don’t sweat it. The main focus should be to rotate your torso behind the ball at the top of the swing.
If you look at the top players on the world, you’ll see that several do not get the club all the way to parallel at the top of their swings, but all get their weight transferred to their right side at the top of the swing. Think of a baseball pitcher winding up and loading his weight back and then transferring it forward toward his target. It’s much more powerful than using arms only. The golf swing is the same way.
Question: The majority of my game I've figured out, short game, putting etc. However, when it comes to driving the ball off the tee, it's anybody's guess as to where it'll end up. Are there things I should be doing differently with my set up with a driver compared to my irons. Thanks.
Answer: No, there should be no difference in the set-up with the driver, but there usually is a difference. It’s my experience that people tend to set up with their weight on their heels, and reach out for the ball when hitting a driver or the longer clubs. They lose their spine angle which often leads to an exaggerated slice. So the key is to make sure your posture and balance is the same with the driver as it is with all the other clubs. Make sure you tilt forward so your arms hang down naturally and your weight is over the middle of your feet. Do not reach out for the ball with the club. Let the length of the club determine how far away from the ball to stand. Stance should be the same with the driver as with a 7-iron, but the driver is longer, so naturally you’ll be a few inches farther away from the ball.
A consistent posture and set-up is key to consistent ball-striking. Every golfer’s goal is consistency and repeatability, and how is that possible if you have a different swing for each club?
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