The Best Golf Swing For You: Universal Mechanics With Individual Technique
Getting the right golf swing for the individual can be one of the most frustrating experiences for any golfer. The issue becomes new golfers wanting to hit the ball like Jordan Spieth or Jason Day without developing the technique that works for themselves. After learning the mechanics that are almost universal in every swing, a golfer can start to figure out their natural swing. The Sports Techie community blog thanks Phil Oscarson for sharing his blog about swing mechanics with you in hopes it helps readers and followers improve their golf game. Oscarson also wrote a #SportsTechie guest blog last month about technology changing the face of golf.
Relax the Wrist
The wrists are key to great club-head speed, but they’re also one of the easiest things to mess up. When a swing coach is telling you to let the club do the work, they may very well be pointing out that your wrists are tightening up before impact. This creates undesirable results for a few reasons: tightened muscles take away from the flexibility needed generate speed, and they can alter the position of the club face prior to impact.
Use the Shoulders
Proper shoulder rotation is where a lot of a shot’s power is generated. Of course, common sense says twisting the hips will generate more, but resist the urge as this will lead to more botched swings. Think of the shoulders as a whip trap coiling up to be released. The trick is for a golfer to keep the forward arm, the one that is closest to the hole, straight (left arm for righties, right arm for lefties). If the timing is right, everything will be lined up when impact is made.
Backswing to Downswing
This is the release of the whip trap. The weight of the club head is felt at the moment direction is changed. It is in this moment that a golfer needs to keep in mind that they are only moving their shoulders to prevent from dipping their hips. In the split second where the club connects with the ball, everything needs to line up. It’s a matter of timing. If a ball is slicing, the golfer may have to turn their wrists over sooner or slow down their swing. In the event of a hook, try speeding up the swing or turning over the wrists later.
The Three Main Releases
There is no universal swing, and the betting odds are with the golfer who not only uses the release that comes most natural to them, but works to include different releases into their playstyle.
The Slap Hinge Release—Just as the name implies, this release give the ball a slap. Prior to impact, the wrists are beating the hands to the ball. At the moment of impact, the wrists cross each other, generating club speed.
The Crossover Release—In terms of what a golfer is trying to achieve in this swing, there are a lot of similarities to the slab hinge release. The main difference is how the timing and club speed acceleration are achieved. The crossover release resembles more of a side-armed approach, where the golfer’s main hand will rotate much more as will their offhand. Ernie Els uses this release regularly to really generate a lot of club speed.
The Push Release—This release is quite a bit different than the other two. It doesn’t come with the satisfaction of “smoking one,” but when done right a golfer can find a lot of strategy in a release like this. First off, everything isn’t lined up straight at the point of impact. The arms forward, and fight to keep the club fair square. By doing so, the loft of the club is reduced, and the ball’s trajectory will remain much flatter than with the other releases.
At the end of the day, it’s best to do what feels natural. Think of a swing as an exercise, something that is repetitive, a little awkward, and repeatable. The idea is to get the same motion over and over again regardless of whether a ball “gets in your way” or not.
Sports Techie, golf is a finicky sport because many long standing traditions are competing with the advancement of technology to the chagrin of players and fans that wish for the “authentic swing” taught by Will Smith as Bagger Vance to Matt Damon in Savannah during the movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance, without any sports tech and science behind it.
Tiger Woods fall from grace is attributed to many different factors and most swing experts agree his mechanics are not right. A free and easy swing is harder to achieve and maintain than it looks. Proper body mechanics and swing maintenance are critical to immediate and long-term successes on the course if you don’t have a Bagger Vance to instruct your technique during practice and play.
Inside each and everyone of us is one, true authentic swing.
See y’all later in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world.
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