Completing the Back swing, turning movement into power
As you pass through Key Stage 1 turn your shoulders to complete the backswing.
As you do this the position of the clubhead should now begin to travel slightly behind the hands and the arms should lift with some very gentle clockwise forearm rotation.
This will give the feeling that the shaft is now pointing slightly to the left of the target (laid off) and the hands opposite the right shoulder.
This is an ideal position to deliver the driver on a powerful path towards impact.
The farther I swing back = the longer the ball will travel
This is a common misconception.
The length of the backswing is really relevant to your bodies’ flexibility, mobility and strength.
So the length of your swing should not be going any further than your body can cope with.
Let’s imagine your flexibility is fairly limited.
Your swing starts ok, it gets halfway back then as you try to swing that little bit further another part of your body gives in to compensate.
The back knee might loose its flex and straighten up. Your head and torso lift up higher than the level it started at address.
Both of these movements will allow you to swing further but at a cost. Suddenly you have lost your power generator. The turning of you top half against a stable lower half with good ground force.
What I mean by ground force is that it’s the pressure pushing down through your feet into the ground.
Without this build up of resistance their will be no effective energy to transfer towards the target as it will dissipate even before you have completed your backswing. I will go into this in more detail shortly.
It’s also very easy to fool yourself into thinking you are making a good upper body turn in the backswing.
When in fact all you are doing is allowing the shoulder blade or blades to move forward within the backswing and rub on the chest wall, known as scapular protraction
To test this, put the club behind your back to bring your shoulder blades into the correct position.
Then attempt to make a turn. Feel if there is any difference to your normal motion.
Most things we constantly do day to day doesn’t help this correct shoulder position.
Sitting at a computer or driving a car for long periods of time promotes the shoulders to come forward, often making the muscles between the shoulder blades to become elongated and weak.
A quick test to check if this might be an issue is to stand relaxed in front of a mirror with your arms down by your sides and check to see how turned in your hands are.
The more you can see the back of your hands, the more the shoulder blades are protracted forward.
Reverse ‘K’ Verses Reverse Spine Angle
The swing generally works in opposites.
Allowing the spine to fall back on it’s self towards the target during the backswing will encourage the opposite to happen on the through swing.
This seesaw motion can cause long term damage to your body, often resulting in topped and erratic shot patterns, with any energy dissipating up towards the sky rather than towards the target.
The Reverse K can also be a difficult position to swing through from as the body gets too far behind the ball in the back swing leading to two main problems.
The first is that the opposite will happen during the through swing. Where the torso is moved forwards towards the target, loosing all the elastic energy build up between lower and upper parts of the body.
This type of motion requires amazing timing as it is difficult to move the hub or breastbone of your torso the exact amount from behind the ball and then forward to return to where it started at the same moment you make contact with the ball.
It’s easy to get your upper body in front of the ball much too early before impact.
Secondly from this Reverse K position, it is easy to also allow the lower half and mid portion of your body to lead the downswing with too much lateral movement towards the target.
Again long term injury and erratic results will follow.
The ideal spine position would be a midway point between these extremes where the spine stays relatively centralised.
A great way to achieve the feeling of this position is to stand on your left leg only and use the toe of the back foot by resting it on the ground to help keep balance.
Make a backswing and use this to get the sensation that you are now more on top of the ball and centered, which is neither a reverse spine angle nor a reverse K.
As you reach the top of your swing with a good shoulder turn and gentle forearm rotation, your back elbow should appear check in a mirror that your right elbow is slightly lower than your front one.
This will provide the link to Key Stage Three