I hope that my suggestions from our last couple of articles have improved your aim and grip. Now let’s get you into an athletic starting position that will facilitate the most efficient swing possible. A balanced starting position is a prerequisite in order to initiate an athletic swing.
When you make a golf swing, the club head describes an arc in front of your stance and the very bottom of this arc is the position where the ball needs to be for a solid strike. This position also requires that the target side arm be fully extended and straight from the body at contact. For me (being right handed) that position is towards the left side of my body and approximately one club head width from the inside of my left heel. This position remains consistent as long as the terrain is level.
Your back foot can now widen for the desired balance and length for club being swung. The width of the back foot placement will determine the length of the back swing. A chip shot requires a short swing (narrow stance) and the driver needs a longer swing (wider stance) to control the balance of your swing.
When the slope of the ground changes then the bottom of the arc will change as well, so you must find a new bottom of that arc and relate to the ball at that spot. This spot will typically move towards the back foot or the right side, and the steeper the slope the more the ball is played towards the right foot. A couple of practice swings will help you see were the precise bottom of the swing is for solid contact.
Posture is defined by the distance between you and the ball which is maintained during the swing for solid contact. We need to have a tall, athletic balanced posture with a slight flex of the knees and a slight bend at the hips. The chest and head must be up; that’s right, the head is up! The familiar phrase “keep your head down” is one of the worst bromides in golf. The arms should hang free and loose from the shoulders. With a properly fitted club the hands will be able to grasp the grip naturally, without tension.
The best way to get a feel for this is to swing the club head about a foot off the ground. It is important that individual players find their own balanced, ready positions. Balance positions in all sports are very similar and you may relate your ready position to any other athletic endeavors in your experience. Remember, that if the lie of the terrain changes then your ball position and posture must adapt in order to maintain balance.
The set up is the numero uno key in maintaining a balanced swing. You’ll want to feel that you are dynamically poised on both feet and legs with your upper body balanced over them. Then with your arms hanging loosely beneath your shoulders, you will make the best possible athletic swing.
I hope the last few articles have helped your fundamentals. These are the backbone of making a balanced athletic golf swing and if you refine your fundamentals you’ll realize your greatest potential to improve your golf game.