Power Leaks Part 2: First Move Down
Continuing the topic of power leaks, the second most common I see is a very inefficient first move from the top of the swing. Almost all recreational golfers of mid- to high-handicap begin the downswing with a move of the club with their hands — more typically, their right hand (for right hand players). What this does is make the body turn follow the attempt to move the club with the hands.

Exactly backwards.

What counts most in generating maximum clubhead speed through impact is a progressive application of power from the top of the swing through the ball. A good follow-through is the result of that action.

At the top of the backswing, you should have coiled your body with a sequential backwards extension of your arms ... which turns your shoulders, which turns your hips and shifts some of your weight to the inside of your right/back foot. To swing properly requires a slight pause at the end so that you can reverse this entire action.

The first move from the end of the backswing should be a lateral slide of your body core to get "stacked" over your left foot. This will drop your hands and the club inside, where your upper right arm is close to your side. The knees remain flexed.

From this position, you can begin to rotate your body core, from the hips to the shoulders, because your mass is centered over your left foot. The arms and hands, and therefore the club are pulled down and through the impact zone.

I use the analogy that the golf swing is a pulling motion, because you have — in effect — a chain with several links. And you cannot push a chain!!! The club is a fixed link, as are the forearm, upper arm and chest. The connections — wrist, elbow and shoulder joint all are variable. If you push the middle of this chain with your right hand, what has to happen? It breaks down. So if you pull this chain through impact, from your torso, the other links have to follow the first more consistently. Does that make sense?

If you want to add power to your golf swing quickly and easily, get that grip right, then focus on holding on lightly, primarily with the last three fingers of the left hand, and pull the club through impact. Thinking that way will encourage your body to lead that entire action and you will generate more clubhead speed with less effort than you ever believed imaginable.

To get the feel of this, do it on half wedge shots. Get your pitching or gap wedge and make half swings, feeling the end of the backswing. Start down by shifting your weight to your left/lead side and turning your body core through. Let the body lead the arms and the arms lead the hands. Hold on lightly and just let it happen. You'll feel the sensation of effortless power that might get the light bulb to go on.
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[ comments ]
Kurt the Knife says:
for some reason this seems to be a pretty illustrative passage.
I got my SkyPro yesterday so Im gonna go try this out n see what it looks like.
5/7/13
 
Kurt the Knife says:
poo.

I meant to edit out the "for some reason" bit
5/7/13
 
larrynjr says:
though it is a "basic" and fundamental concept, apparently I keep forgetting it, but yesterday I started keeping my eye on the ball all the way through impact until my shoulders automatically pull my head up. My slice has gone away and now I seem to either hit it straight or a straight pull left. Distance is back up where it was last year too.
5/7/13
 
onedollarwed says:
Ever watch a hockey player shoot? Where is their right foot? Where is their left foot?
This applies more to the first part of power leak.
Here's good question.... Assume you're standing still with feet shoulder with apart. How do you walk? Don't look ahead to the answer. This is from my experience with OT and people with severe dysfunction or motor planning issues.




If you said put one foot out, you're wrong. Try it. You'll fall over. What you need to do is shift your weight onto one foot first/ and or lean forward. These are the same kinds of body physics that we are unaware of. You can appreciate what toddlers have to learn. Golfers are notoriously unaware of their body mechanics. Too busy trying to hit the ball!
5/7/13
 
windowsurfer says:
I always find that a mechanical reference is hard to execute, a visual one easier. I *think* I make a better move when I try to look like Johnny Miller here: bit.ly/15AYbPk --- it feels like this image helps me to do technical stuff described above, without thinking about "pulling" etc. I know I look a lot more like Mr. Spackler than Mr. Miller, but you know what I mean.
5/7/13
 
windowsurfer says:
But it is good to know what the "technical stuff" is, right? Thx Wedge Guy.
5/7/13
 
Kurt the Knife says:
used my SkyPro yesterday. AAAAAGH!! I keep looping over the top and can't figure out how to stop it!!!!
5/8/13
 
Kurt the Knife says:
Terrrrryyyyyy!!! Help Meeeeeeeee!!!!!
5/9/13
 
Kurt the Knife says:
lets see what happens
5/9/13
 
DougE says:
I totally agree with Terry on this one. However, I might add, trying to work on this move on the course, without first getting comfortable with the timing of the sequence on the range, might result in some very awkward swings. In general though, understanding the weight shift hip slide and fraction-of-a-second pause at the top to allow the shift to get started and to create more lag will help to bring your game to the next level if you are a mid to high handicapper. And lighten that grip! It really makes a huge difference.
5/10/13
 
Gromit5 says:
Here's something fun to try if you're having trouble feeling the sequence of transition from the top. First, you have to pretend that you're Santa and it's Christmas Eve. Address the ball, and imagine that the club is your big bag of toys. Sling it straight out toward the ball and up over your right shoulder. Really exaggerate, letting the "bag" feel as if it's going to hit your back. Loosey goosey. Then, a slight bump/shift to the left, planting the left foot, and feel the accelerating power as the club zooms through the ball and out to the target. (Start with a 7-iron and the ball teed up). Merry Christmas!
5/10/13
 
onedollarwed says:
@gromit; mmph... psptt... that darn beard got stuck in my mouth!
5/10/13
 
Tim Horan says:
Terry, I disagree on one fine point. Your swing should never stop at the top. If you stop you are likely to jerk back into motion most likely with an arm movement only releasing the coiled energy too early.
The transition should rather be a lower leading leg movement towards target in anticipation of the top of the backswing ensuring that the club drops into the slot without a casting motion. The chain analogy is sound! I imagine the shaft to be Indian rope that you have to let finish it's movement before pulling it through on the downswing. It gives a focus for the lag that has to be achieved.
5/13/13
 
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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