Hello Golf Friends:
I’d first like to send kudos out to the local Postal Carriers Union for putting on a great MDA event this past Sunday at Heritage Isles Golf and Country Club in Tampa. My group was very impressed at the organization and quality of the event in only its second run.
Welcome to this month’s blog. I’m doing my first video/instructional blog of a drill that many of my WI/MN golf students will recognize. It is a great at-home and winter drill when you can’t find the time to play and practice as much during the holiday season and shorter daylight hours.
In the video you will see me demonstrating what I call the “Ball Drill”. I’m not a fancy name guy. I try to keep my instruction simple and to the point. When used regularly, I know this drill can help improve your game. I speak from experience as I used this drill to create width, pivot, flexibility, strength, rotation, and speed in my own swing. It is a great “sensation” drill to feel how the body moves in the golf swing. Start with a light ball and move into different weight medicine balls. Use a mirror or deck door window as your camera to check your positions. After you master the ball drill, grab a club and see if you can mimic the drill.
In Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons (pages 29 and 49) you will notice how his elbows are turned in. This gives us the feeling of CONNECTION and TRIANGLES at set up. I like to teach getting the arms in front of the body; triceps attached to pectoral muscles; and a feeling of squeezing the air out of the tops of your armpits. Be in a balanced set up position with slight knee flex, good bend at the hips, and a fairly straight spine angled over the ball.
Takeaway and Backswing:
The triangle formed by the chest, arms, and shoulders is going to lead the takeaway and backswing as the body and core pivot into a solid right side. The right leg is your post that absorbs the energy and creates resistance to explode into the ball. Notice in the video that I have a full pivot into my right side and my arms are still maintaining the triangle creating width and power (It is perfectly ok to have a slightly more bent right elbow in the top of backswing position). RULE: Once the shoulders stop turning, the arms stop lifting. Lifting the arms off the body is a death move in golf. You can have your spine remain more centered and stacked on the ball in the backswing (which I am currently working on in my own swing) or you can have your spine leaning slightly away from your target at the top. At the top of my backswing, the arms are still in front of my body making it easier to square the clubface at impact and create optimum power and compression. Notice the thumbs up position I have on the ball. Swing Key: At the top of your backswing, see the ball over your left shoulder.
Transition and Down Sequence:
The downswing sequence starts with the lower body. What starts the downswing has been explained many ways but simply put: The downswing starts from the ground up, not the top down!!!! It is an unwinding of the pivot and stored energy built into the backswing. It is momentum and release of energy into the impact zone and a transfer of energy from right pivot to left pivot. You can see that my lower half is going to start the sequence coming down with the body and arms following. Notice at impact I have cleared by left side and got back “On top of the ball” for contact. My thumbs face out on the ball. Swing Key: Get back on top of the ball with a steady head for impact.
Most of my finishes with short and mid irons are at the 3/4 position. I want to square the clubface with my body getting full rotation and extension. If the club stays in front of me throughout the swing, it is more easily done. I tell every one of my students: “Your belly button doesn’t lie. Turn your core, belt buckle, belly button through to the target in every swing.” A full finish will have you up on your right toe and weight shifted over your left leg. You can see that my body has rotated through the shot to return to a “thumbs up” position.
I hope this drill helps you in your quest to become the most “Complete Golfer” you can be.
Have a great Holiday Season!
Heritage Isles Golf & Country Club