Warren Grant CPGA 2001 Teacher
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Technial Tips

Table of Contents

This section will be updated regularly with new tips. Note that all tips assume a right handed golf swing.

Setup

Ball Position

Takeaway

Top of Swing

Flying Elbow

Setup

For your body to move as tension-free as possible, you have to start in balance. To get set:

  1. Set your feet so the toes are pointing out to the side away from the ball.
  2. Push your hips back.
  3. Angle your spine forward - a short club has about a 30% angle away from the vertical.
  4. Flex your knees slightly.
  5. Position your weight in the middle of both feet - both side to side and front to back.
  6. Tilt your shoulders slightly to the right.
  7. Set the club correctly in your hands and then move the club face behind the ball.

Steps 2 and 3 set good posture. Step 4 and 5 give you stability. Step 6 makes sure your right side is lower than your left.

Ball Position

Ball position is determined by where the bottom of your swing is at impact. It is influenced by the width of your stance but should be calculated relative to your upper body. As you increase the width of your stance with longer clubs then the ball moves left of center to align with the weight transfer to your front foot. Here are some guidelines:

  • Wedges - ball position depends on how much loft you want.
  • 9 to 7 iron - ball position is under your nose.
  • 6 and longer - ball position is under your left ear.
  • woods - ball position under your left armpit.
  • driver - ball position under the outside edge of your left shoulder.

Takeaway

If you turn incorrectly from the ball it is hard to turn correctly back to the ball. Start your swing by rotating your shoulder plane at 90 degrees to your spine angle. Turn until the left shoulder comes in line with the ball, then STOP. A bigger shoulder turn will not help generate more power, only increase the likelihood of moving off plane.

Your hips will have rotated about 50% of the amount the shoulders. Your hips do not shift, they stay centered under your shoulders.

There may be a very slight shift of the head to the right. But make sure it doesn't shift left as this will result in a reverse weight shift caused by your left shoulder dropping which means your spine is now no longer aligned.

Your weight stays on the inside of the right foot and slightly towards the heel. You should feel some tension building in your right thigh as you turn.

Your left foot should remain on the ground with weight on the inside .

Your right knee should should remain flexed and absolutely quiet but your left knee should move slightly to the right.

Your left arm should be relatively straight but relaxed, not rigid.

Your head remains level. Imagine a line across the top of your head parallel to the ground at setup, the top of your head should remain exactly at that line all the way through the backswing. It may shift to the right a bit but it should not move left.

Your shoulder plane is 90 degrees to your spine. When your left shoulder comes in line with the ball stop. A bigger shoulder turn will not help you generate power/

Top of Swing

Being on plane at the top of the backswing means your arms and shoulders are working together to create a swing that will help you get the ball in the air more consistently.

Your right forearm, right upper arm and spine are all in the same plane. This means your back is to the ball and your right elbow is not sticking out.

The left wrist is flat or slight bent forward.

Your elbows and arms form a tight triangle with your chest.

Both legs have the same amount of bend as in your setup position.

Your right knee is still pointing directly forward (i.e. it hasn't moved).

Your weight is on the inside of the right foot and slightly towards the heel.

The club is pointing toward the sky - not the horizon (or lower!)

There's no tension in your upper body, your arms, or your grip, though you may feel a bit of a stretch in your shoulders.

Your left heel is on the ground, lifting your left foot is a unnecessary motion that contributes nothing to the speed of the club

Flying Elbow

Stop Your Slice by eliminating the Flying Elbow.

Some great players swing with their back elbow flying out, while others keep it tucked in, proving that itís possible to hit great shots with either method. However, biomechanical studies indicate that a flying elbow at the top of the back swing position favours a fade ball flight while a tucked elbow promotes a draw.

If you struggle with slicing or have always wanted to develop a power-rich draw, then the back elbow may hold the answer. Plus, when you let the back elbow fly, it has the tendency to raise the back shoulder skyward, which almost always causes an over-the-top move during the downswing and an array of bad results.