How To Build Your Golf Swing
This process is multi fold 1. Learn what YOUR neutral grip is 2. The CORRECT ball position for every club 3. The CORRECT swing shape 4. How far back YOU can take the club 5. How to play within YOUR style You will have many options to choose from and I'll show you how to find the ones that will work for you.
Once you have all of your "components" you won't need to experiment any longer! WHERE TO START - GRIP AND POSTURE While this may be obvious to some you would be surprised by the number of people that work on their swing without starting with their grip. There is only ONE neutral grip for any golfer! That grip is where YOUR arm hangs down from the shoulder socket and the angle of YOUR target side hand. It makes no difference whether you use an overlapping, interlocking, and ten-finger (baseball) grip. What IS critical is the angle the club lies in your hand. To find YOUR neutral grip, first take your address position, but without a club, and let both arms hang downward from the shoulder sockets with NO TENSION.
Most golfers will find that their target side arm hangs somewhere between the middle of the target side thigh to the inside of the thigh (depending on the width of stance and/or the width of the chest). As you look down at your target side hand pay attention to the angle it hangs. Some of you will see two knuckles of the hand, some will see three, and some may even see four. It doesn't matter how many you see! Whatever the number, this is YOUR bodies way of telling you its natural tendency and that is the neutral angle for YOUR grip! When you place your target side hand on the club it should be at the same angle you just saw. The club then runs diagonally from between the first and second joint of the index finger to just under the heel pad. Close the fingers and then close the hand with the heel pad on top of the shaft with the thumb to the backside of the shaft. This supplies pressure from the heel pad downward and the last three fingers exert pressure upward. Then take the lifeline of the trailing hand, located between the thumb and heel pads, and place it on the thumb of the target side hand. The lifeline against the thumb exerts the pressure here; the right forefinger should be separated, in a "triggering position", but with no pressure. It is important to understand that the forefinger and target side thumb both be on the same side and angle of the shaft for the best support.
The trailing thumb should be on the target side of the shaft. You never want the thumbs to exert any pressure. Finally, in order for the hands to work together, they must be parallel to each other. POSTURE Regardless of the player's level of golf anyone can get into a posture that looks as good as any Tour Player, it takes no athletic ability to get into a proper posture! For full swing shots, other than a Driver, the inside of the heels should be as wide as the outside of the hips (for a Driver the inside of the heels as wide as the outside of the shoulders). Push the hips sockets back and up so that the pelvis is at an angle, not horizontal to the ground. As you push the hips back, and up, this will lower the chest and place the weight toward the back of the arch of the foot. Simply unlock your knees, you'll feel a little pressure above the kneecaps, and let the arms hang limply downward from the shoulder socket. There should be NO TENSION in the arms or shoulders. Some players like to tilt their upper bodies slightly away from target as the final set-up adjustment and just because your trailing hand is lower than the target side hand this is acceptable, just don't overdue it. Now you have YOUR grip and posture.
BALL POSITION Ball position is the most misunderstood portion of the entire set-up. There have been many opinions about ball position. Some say one position for every shot, others say move it around depending on the club. All of the guesswork is taken out however if the golfer would set the club at address as the manufacturer designed it. All clubs, except for the Driver, are designed so that the grip end of the club is ahead of the clubhead if soled properly, this means the shaft leans forward, not vertical or backwards! If you address the ball, with say a 5 iron, and the shaft is vertical then even before you swing you've added loft and turned it into a seven iron! That same 5 iron is designed to have approximately 8 degrees of forward lean at address. The best players in the world, using that same 5 iron, have upwards of 15 degrees at Impact! This turns it into a 3 iron! Having said that you have the option of setting up to the ball with the shaft vertical as long as you can get into the proper Impact position…the shaft leans forward at Impact! NEVER, NEVER, NEVER start with the shaft leaning backward! We also need to cover where the ball is located in relation to the player's upper body, not the feet. The width of the stance changes during the course of a round but the width of the upper body does not. In addition, the target side shoulder socket is the low point of the arc and the fulcrum of the target side arm swing. Therefore the ball with a wedge will be in the center of the chest, in line with the sternum, for full swing shots, the 5 iron under the target side of the chest, and the Driver at the low point, which is the shoulder socket. This could vary depending on whether the player has exceptionally wide shoulders, but for the most part these locations will be fine for irons but the target side shoulder socket IS the LOW POINT and the Driver MUST be played at this location for straight shots! Back of this location produces a fade, with no manipulation, and forward of this location produces a draw, with no manipulation.
You may see some players playing the ball back, or forward, of the target side shoulder socket but these players must either change the shoulder location at Impact, by leaning backward with the upper body, or must manipulate the clubface to hit a straight shot. AIM and ALIGNMENT As you take your grip you must be sure the leading edge of the clubface square. The leading edge is the edge closest to the ball. Always set the clubface first, perpendicular to the target line, then set your feet, knees, hips, eyes, and shoulders parallel to the target line. THESE LINES ARE PARALLEL TO EACH OTHER! NEVER AIM YOUR BODY AT THE TARGET! What is the object of golf? To get the ball in the hole with the fewest strokes as possible! To aid in alignment it is imperative that you utilize a procedure called an "Intermediate Target". The intermediate target is something between the ball and the target. It could be a piece of discolored grass, an edge of a divot, a broken tee, etc. It should be within your peripheral vision, so that you don't have to lift your head. MOVING THE CLUB Because we play golf on an Inclined Plane this dictates that the club MUST move on an arc.