As a golfer you know that one of the barriers to improvement is consistency in your swing. We all make some great shots that keep us coming back, but to often we mix those up with poor ones. If we were swinging the same way on every shot we should always get a similar result. Sometimes this comes from hitting on different terrain (slopes or poor lies), but frequently this is because of physical limitations in our body’s movement patterns.
The easiest way to have a more consistent swing is to have an ideal full turn. This allows you to have one movement (rotating your trunk) to get your club back toward parallel to generate the power you need to hit the ball with distance. The problem for many golfers is they either have poor mobility, which forces substitutions to get the club back far enough, or poor control and stability, which causes over rotation and changing your swing for your club to “catch up” with your body. In this post I am going to talk about the people with poor mobility. Next time I will talk about stability.
The first thing to understand is what a proper turn entails. Generally, an ideal swing would have you rotate your body somewhere between 80 and 90 degrees, while not altering your spine angle (this is the angle your spine starts out in your set up). Turning this far will get your club back near parallel and help you generate power.
Problems occur when we can’t get this far, but still want to get the club to parallel. There are a number of things golfers will do to get their club further back including becoming more upright by changing spine angle or straightening the back knee, doing a reverse pivot swing, bending the front elbow, or releasing the front shoulder. All of these movements add more variables to the swing. More variables are harder to reproduce consistently.
To check for some of these variables, video can be very helpful. Going to the range and videoing 5-10 swings, facing you and down the line, can quickly show inconsistency. If you are consistent each swing should be fairly identical. But, many golfers are using variable techniques to get around a poor turn. These are hard to reproduce and each swing will look different as the body alters various movements to make up for variability to get the club head back to the ball. Sometimes successfully. Sometimes not quite. The not quite shots turn into our hooks, slices, and other poor shots.
A couple of weeks ago we talked about some things to improve your golf swing. Mobility was a big area. Check out this post to look at how you can look at and improve your mobility. http://ascentpt.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/4-physical-things-to-improve-your-golf-swing/ Next time we will focus on moving too much.