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Ballantrae at Birmingham Instructional Tips

Golf Tip of the Month for August 2017

From PGA Golf Professional Jerry Applegate

I would describe the golf swing in the following sentence based on my many years of teaching:  “The golf swing is a turn of the upper body over a stable and flexed lower body.”  The next couple of months we are going to go over the different aspects of this description.

If the golf swing is a turn of the upper body, we want to start the swing by turning your lead shoulder (left shoulder for righties and right shoulder for lefties) under your chin.  We want to avoid starting the swing with the hands or arms.  We want the swing to be slow, stable and rotational.  We don’t want it to be fast, off balance or linear.

If you tend to swing fast or steep (and a lot of folks do!) work on a slow turn to start your swing.  If you slice, hit thin or fat shots (and who doesn’t?) work on a slow balanced turn.  If you tend to lose your balance at the finish of your swing (a very common problem), work on a slow turn to start your swing.  Are you starting to see a common thread?  Almost everyone can benefit from making a slow stable turn of the upper body to start their swing.

If you see or hear the terms “connection”, “one piece takeaway”, “arms tight to body” these are all descriptions of starting the swing with a turn of the upper body.  If you hear the terms “steep”, “fast”, “jerky”, “disjointed” these are all terms describing a swing that is linear, not rotational.

A great drill to work on this is hitting balls (with a 9 iron) with your feet and knees together.  This promotes a balanced turn.  If you lift you will lose your balance and may even tump over!

A slow, balanced turn of the upper body to start the swing will lead to more power, more stability and better control.  Next month we’ll talk about the downswing and the finish.

I hope to see you all out at Ballantrae in August!



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