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Ballantrae at Birmingham Instructional Tips



Golf Tip for January-February 2018

From PGA Professional Jerry Applegate

Over the last couple of months we have discussed the set up and start of the swing & the top of the backswing and transition into the downswing. This month we are going to talk about the impact position. This is the so called “moment of truth” and is without question the most important position in the golf swing.

The position of the club at impact affects the direction of the shot and the distance it travels. When you look at the great players on TV their impact position is very similar, even if their swings are not. At impact the clubface is square to the target (it may be very slightly open or closed depending on if the player is a drawer or fader). The weight of the body is forward, mostly on the lead foot of the player (left foot for right handed players). The hands are in front of the clubhead creating the all important forward shaft lean (FSL).

The next position to monitor is the position of the hips. They should be open to the target line at impact. Tour player’s hips are open from 40 to 80 degrees at impact. Better amateurs 20 to 40 degrees. Most amateurs 5 to 20 degrees. This is one of the few areas of the swing that you can see a direct correlation in a position and the scoring ability of the player.

I am not a believer in manipulating yourself into a position in the golf swing. I believe that the positions in the golf swing are part of the natural “chain reaction” or sequence of the golf swing that we have discussed previously. However, if you can work on getting your hips open (a realistic goal for most players is 30 degrees open at impact, if you can exceed that it is awesome) at impact you will see improvement in many areas of the golf swing.

If your hips are open at impact it does so many things. First and foremost it creates speed and power. It creates stability (the centrifical force actually forces your body down into the ground, the famous Snead squat or Nelson dip) and balance. It promotes the much desired square or inside to outside swing path. It promotes the downswing dropping into the elusive “slot”. It allows the release of the club, hands, arms and body.

Sounds great doesn’t it? But I didn’t say it was easy, it’s not. But there some things you can work on. When you play or hit balls (or even just messing with your swing at home) do slow motion practice swings making your hips open at impact. Learn to feel and copy that body position. Look at yourself in the mirror (or look at your shadow on the ground) to see how much your hips are actually open at impact. When you hit balls work on opening your hips at impact. Remember the amount that your hips are open

at impact has a direct correlation to your ballstriking ability. It greatly affects (and will improve) distance and direction.

All this talk has me wanting to work on my hip position at impact. That is going to be my Winter time swing project. Next month we’ll talk about the follow through and finish position of the golf swing.

Thanks and I hope to see you out at Ballantrae in January & February!!

Golf Tip of the Month - April

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