Key Concepts and Golfing Down Under

Sports - June 4th, 2004
tokyoweekender_The 14th Hole at Moonah Links, Victoria

by Paul Jones

Most golfers struggle with certain key concepts.This month we focus on impact and balance, then look at Australia’s best courses and what you need to golf “Down Under.”

As we get into the heart of the Japanese golf season, its important, not to forget the key areas of the swing that will make your next round memo­rable both on the course and the scorecard.

Golf swing

IMPACT

The first key for the average golfer is to realize that the address position (the set-up position you achieve before the swing) and impact are different. Some points to look for in correct and incorrect positions are as follows:

Sweep the ball through impact: Avoid the club head “lift­ing or scooping” the ball. Note the golf club head’s loft will give you the ball flight you require.

Get off the back foot: Most golfers stay on the back foot during weight transference. The result is a loss of power and control.

Turn  those hips: An important and common flaw for the average golfer is the inability to turn the hips towards the target at impact.

Impact line: In photo two, note the position of the lead arm (left arm) and the club shaft. This straight line at impact is ideal.

Sweep the ball: All good impacts include the correct hitting sequence then a divot following contact. Note the golf club is posi­tioned above the ball in the photo, which shows that topping the ball is not a result of lifting your head, as is commonly taught. Also note the head is in a neutral position looking at the ball.

BALANCE

A lot of golfers fail to finish the golf swing. The important differ­ences between photos three and four are as follows:

Rotation: Remember the four main body parts (feet, knees, hips and shoulders) should all rotate through to a balanced position. Many golfers complain of back soreness and tightness. The strain can be seen in photo three with the upper and lower body rotation during the swing.

Weight forward: Keeping the weight forward is an essential ingredient for power and to ensure the body weight moves in the direction the ball is traveling. Also, make sure your body weight fin­ishes mainly on the front foot.

Trust it and look the part: Many golfers are either afraid or lack trust in following through to a balanced position. The key to a good swing is making a full body turn and achieving a balanced position. Be sure to try to hold the position, as in photo four, for a minimum of two seconds — or, if you can, until the ball comes to rest.: Keeping the weight forward is an essential ingredient for power and to ensure the body weight moves in the direction the ball is traveling. Also, make sure your body weight fin­ishes mainly on the front foot.