Golf Tip from the Pro
PGA Professional Jerry Applegate
This month we are going to talk about the follow through and the finish position. Keep in mind that the golf swing is a chain reaction and each position is a result (or continuation) of the previous position (or positions). One of the main keys, as we have discussed previously is the sequence (or order) of these positions.
The follow through is that portion of the swing that is from the impact position to the finish position. The desired position in the follow through is for both of your arms to be extended towards the target after impact (roughly when the arms are level with the ground). This is the position that Ben Hogan called “the long right arm” (for right handed golfers). You want to extend your right arm to the target after impacting the ball.
We have talked previously about how you can’t manufacture positions, they are a result of your previous movements. However, in this case we’ll fudge it a little. If you can force yourself into the “long right arm” positon it can cover up a lot of faults in that swing. It is very easy under pressure for your swing to tighten up and shorten up. By forcing yourself into the extended position in the follow through it will help you maintain width, length, timing and flow in your golf swing.
Finally, on to the finish position. We are looking for a balanced finish position in which you are fully turned. The 3 key positons in the “Classic Finish Position” are as follows:
1) Weight fully moved to your front leg. Your trail foot should be supported by the toe only. In other words you righties should be able to lift your right foot off the ground after finishing the swing (and not fall down!). If you can’t, your weight is hanging back and you haven’t fully turned to your front leg.
2) Body fully turned and facing the target. It is OK for your body to be facing slightly left of the target for you righties. Your belly button should be pointing at (or slightly left of the target) when you are in the finish position.
3) Finally, your hands should be at least as high as your shoulders and you should be standing tall. By the way, if you reach the “long right arm” position mentioned above you are more likely to get in the tall, hands high position at the finish.
Many teachers teach the swing backwards. They teach working towards the classic finish position. Give it a try, it’s not a bad way to improve your swing.
All this talk has me now wanting to work on my long right arm. It is another one of the (many) swing faults that I have always have to work on.