For some people the golf swing feels uncomfortable and awkward. For those of you who fall into this category you may want to try this drill until you start feeling better (more comfortable) about the golf swing.
In a previous article (Golf Basics Part 2), I said you should probably be spending less time thinking about what your arms are doing and where they’re going? Once my wrists are cocked, I really don’t think much about my arms.
This golf swing drill consists of practicing your golf swing without using a golf club. Why would anyone want to do that you say? By doing this, you’ll be able to concentrate on the feeling of your muscles coiling up and releasing without being confused or distracted by the movement of your arms. It’s very important to master this muscle movement prior to actually hitting a golf ball.
This swing drill is also a good opportunity to practice keeping your feet on the ground. Some beginners tend to raise their left heel (for right handed golfers) during the back swing and their right heel during the follow through. First things first, practice having your front (left) foot roll inward on the back swing and try to memorize that feeling. Take your time with this drill because it can make all the difference in creating that perfect swing.
I particularly like this drill because you can practice it anywhere or anytime.
Here’s how we start.
Begin by getting into your regular basic golf stance. You can place a ball down in front of you or imagine where it would be if that helps. Now instead of holding a golf club, cross your arms in front of you so your left hand is on your right shoulder and your right hand is on your left shoulder. It’s like giving yourself a big hug!
Here are some important tips:
· Try not to do this drill fast or slow
· Do it at a steady tempo
· Do this drill frequently
· Memorize the movements and how they feel
· Do these movements without thinking (muscle memory)
Again, the golf back swing starts at the top (your shoulders and arms) and works its way down to your hips and legs. Remember, your head will move to the back but should not bob up or down. It should stay level.
Of course, in this drill you don’t use your arms, so you begin by turning your shoulders. For me, it is more beneficial to think of turning my midsection (Let’s say about six inches above your bellybutton.) away from the target. Now, when you do it this way your shoulders will also turn (automatically). For some, it may be difficult to get comfortable because of the feeling the torque building through your body creates. Don’t worry. This is normal and will become less uncomfortable as you practice.
As your shoulders and hips turn, remember to not let your right (back) knee turn outwards (towards the back). This will have the feeling of pushing that knee inwards and/or keeping your body weight on the inside of the back foot. If this is difficult for you, try placing a book (1″ thick) under the right side of your right foot. You will immediately feel the difference.
You should feel your front knee turn inwards and the front foot roll towards the inside but remain on the ground. Take the time to concentrate on this part.
Start from the bottom.
Now that you have accomplished a good solid back swing, this golf swing drill is a good time to practice the down swing. Try to begin moving your front knee towards the target as a trigger to your down swing. Don’t start the back swing by moving your arms or shoulders. As an advanced technique, try to start that move (moving your front knee) before the back swing is complete. At the same time, try to get comfortable with that low, squatty feeling.
Turn your hips by thinking about turning your belt buckle to the target. You will feel like your hips are leading the rest of your body. The shoulders will naturally follow as you pivot on your front leg.
You can use this drill to commit to memory, or muscle memory, any movement that isn’t a swing thought.
In a slight variation of this drill, you could start the golf back swing with your arms (no club). Practice hinging your arms at the shoulder and cocking your wrists as your arms cross your chest near the back arm pit triggering your shoulder turn.
And that’s the basics of the golf swing. You won’t get any better unless you practice. If you can maintain good solid mechanics in your golf swing, you will have the beginning to a great game!