Tips from the Pro
In this article, we are going to talk about centeredness of contact. Centeredness of contact refers to our ability to hit the ball with the sweet spot of the club face. No matter how hard you swing, off center contact will not fly the desired distance. In order to work on pure contact with the club face, we will talk about swing height and spine angle.
If the height of your swing changes, what could happen during impact? The club will enter the hitting zone with the wrong approach angle. The club will either strike the ball with the bottom of the club face or enter the turf early. The undesired result of thin (bottom of club face) or heavy (too much turf) shots will create ball flights that usually do not fly the correct distance. For swing height, work on keeping the knee caps on the same plane. The knee joint should not flex or extend from the position in the set up. If the knees slightly rotate through the action of the swing without changing the flex, it is OK. For the average (right handed) golfer, concentrate on the right knee remaining in a consistent position through the swing. If the right leg straightens during the swing, the right hip will rise and lift the torso as well. When the distance from the chest to the ground changes, there has to be a compensation move during the forward swing to correct the swing height.
The angle of the spine during the swing will affect the centeredness of contact. If the spine angle changes, the distance from the breast bone to the ball will change. The torso, if correct, should turn around a flat spine as the Earth turns on the Earth’s axis. If the spine straightens vertically, the club will not be able to reach the ball, while if the spine moves toward the ground, the club will enter the turf too early. In your practice routine, work on maintaining your spine angle through the swing. To help maintain your spine angle, try the following drill. Start with a half-swing so there is no extra movement. The goal here is to feel the spine angle remain constant during the half-swing. As the spine angle feels more comfortable, increase the length of the swing. In working this drill, be sure not to swing too far and let the spine angle change. Increase the length of your swing only when your feel you can keep the angle constant.
Have fun with these tips, and be sure to ask the professional at your facility if you have any questions.
Ben Sinclair is a PGA member and golf pro at the Park City Golf Club.
For information on lessons and tee times, please call the golf shop at 615-5800.
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