Some great posts by Anuj Varma on the golf swing

The Set Up

The Turn

The points that resonate the most are:

  • The first couple of feet of the backswing are very important – the ‘takeaway’ – getting this right makes the rest of the backswing right. Maintain the ‘Y’ for the first couple of feet.
  • You have to turn your body, not just your arms/hands. Beware the fake turn.
  • The turn can be gentle, no need for an aggressive turn. Don’t overdo it.
  • Suppress the right side in the downswing.

Practice points for next range sessions:

  1. Working on takeaway, ‘maintaining the ‘Y”.
  2. Getting a full, gentle turn – find a key, thought that works for me e.g. left shoulder, sternum/ belly button away from target etc.
  3. Making sure the left side controls the swing (suppress the right side).

Leads me back to Carl Lohren – starting swing with lead shoulder and letting lead side control the swing. I think when I’ve tried it before, I’ve been guilty of just lifting my left arm rather than turning properly. Will experiment with it again, making sure that my shoulders actually rotate.

 

Quick notes from the range…

Driver

I need to feel like it is less rotary than a wedge or iron swing, and focus on my left side so that my right side doesn’t take over. But I have to get a full shoulder turn. If I don’t, then my arms get ahead of my body and my right side takes over to try and generate power, usually resulting in a wipe across the ball and a big slice.

Focus: Left side in control, full shoulder turn.

Wedges

Really enjoying hitting these now, as my quality of contact is so much improved. I need to feel like everything starts back together slowly, and my body rotates, it’s not just an arm lift. Then on the way back down, I don’t rush with my arms, they slightly lag behind.

Focus: Slow the arms down, use the body.

Hybrid

Haven’t hit many and they have been a bit scrappy, but the good ones are very good. Been focusing on getting a full turn behind the ball, but can still get a bit armsy. MOre practice needed.

Focus: Full shoulder turn, slow the arms down.

Irons

Can’t wait to get my new clubs and work on perfecting my turn with them.

Wedges

You have to rotate the body, arms, club as one unit back and through when hitting wedges – keep the triangle intact.

Don’t just use your arms.

Focus on the pivot

In a blatant contradiction of some of my previous posts, I am now convinced that one of the biggest reasons for my inconsistency is because I am prone to making a ‘fake’ turn.

It’s especially bad when I am tired, lazy or under pressure. I basically don’t make a full turn, I move my left shoulder to my chin without really turning. The main reasons this is bad are:

– power: less shoulder turn = less power. So you use your arms to generate more power, and usually end up going over the top.

– sequence: when your shoulders don’t turn properly in the backswing they get a head start on the body in the downswing. So you end up casting and/or flipping at the ball to catch up.

Some really good links on the subject:

GolfLog Blog

Golf WRX – Fake Turn

Notes from the range

Slow the takeaway down for all clubs. It should almost feel unnaturally slow. Keep working on slowing the takeaway and backswing down at the range.

Wedges – feel the chest and arms moving away together in the takeaway and backswing (slowly!) and sync them up together again in the downswing.

Driver – only really goes wrong when I try and smash it and go massively over the top. I could get some really good distance if I could shallow out my ball flight a bit.

Notes from the range

A couple of things I am working on at the moment…

  • Getting rid of my nasty tendency to go over the top – I’m only working on it with wedges at the moment, but basically it’s about letting my arms drop down first from the top of the backswing, rather than out.
  • Accelerating at the right point in the swing – obviously very closely related to going over the top. I tend to throw the club away at the top, accelerate too early and run out of steam by the time I reach impact. I am focusing on letting the arms drop and then accelerating in the impact area; I do need to realise that the ‘acceleration point’ will vary from club to club – with wedges, you can leave it very late and with driver you have to start accelerating a bit earlier.

Other observations from today:

  • The longer the club, the smoother (slower) my takeaway needs to be – really got my 2 hybrid under control when I started doing this today. Also helped with the driver.
  • Wedges: let the arms fall down and then accelerate (release) as late as possible.
  • Chipping: take the club away slowly and accelerate into back of ball.