Blog - Category: Swing
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The fluid motion of the club and body during the swing encapsulates the brain and body working together in harmony.
When it feels this good, the brain is telling you something.
There are a number of key scientific papers that back up our intuition on this topic; Focus on temporal (timing related) and rhythm aspects of our movement promote peak performance. The nature of this focus is low in cognitive load while being rich in movement cues.
Like most of my coaching, training the optimal movement with a driver revolves around having a clear concept of the end point; in this case, the sweeping motion of the club through strike. You have probably heard this before but let's be clear on our main objective:
"To maximise distance and accuracy the driver needs to hit the ball in middle (or slightly above centre) of the club face
It's no wonder that the world of movement science is so heavily represented by research undertaken in golf. Hugely POWERFUL, yet GRACEFUL to the point of exhibiting fine CONTROL and massive SPEED. This does not occur overnight. Well done David Griffiths (swing model above).
For many golfers this shot represents the toughest of the sloping lies and it is certainly a shot that took me a good few years to get to grips with. I knew the basic swing adjustments listed below but the key understanding for me was that stability is paramount and that I was better off taking more club and staying balanced throughout the swing.
Key Swing Adjustments
Easier to Learn
Prominent research into skill acquisition suggests that learning by analogy frees up the mind from specific extrinsic instructions and allows us to perform without the over thinking associated with technical change. Rather than the learner having to compute the individual elements of a new movement, they can tap into a larger, exhisting motor program and adjust and adapt from that.
Don’t Re-trace Your Backswing!
This is a concept taken from the Everyday Golf Coach Power app which covers the dynamics of the swing in great detail. In the ‘Width in Back Swing’ video we emphasize the importance of not trying to re-trace your back swing in the downward movement. It’s clear from these screenshots how the downward arc is pulled to the left and closer to David’s body.
The idea of a constant swing radius is a good model to help learn the the swing shape but it is not entirely true and can lead to really poor dynamics.
This is a much overlooked skill with woods. We need to be able to feel where the bottom of our arc is to strike the ball from the middle of the club face (on both a horizontal and vertical plane) and also to create the optimum launch conditions.
This is taken from an article I wrote for Today’s Golfer magazine
Keep it Simple with a ‘Straight
A lot of golfers overcomplicate the bunker shot when a straight forward approach can give fantastic results. If your goal is to break 100 then you need to be able to get the ball out of the bunker every time with a consistent strike. This is without doubt the best way. In this method we are not opening the club face so make sure you are using a sand wedge or even your lob wedge.