first condition that makes golf difficult is that it
is the only target oriented sport played from a stance parallel to our target
line. What that means is that to properly align yourself to the target you must
have your shoulders, hips, knees, and feet parallel to your target at set-up.
The most common error in this game is the player aiming their body at the target,
and thus aiming the ball significantly right of the target. To create a great
picture in your mind, first imagine a railroad tract from you to the hole. Then
place the ball on the right tract and your parallel body on the left tract. This
will have you aimed perfectly to your target. This is the alignment part of the
THE MOST COMMON ERROR IN GOLF IS POOR AIM. BEFORE YOU BEGIN WORKING
ON THE SWING ITSELF, MAKE SURE THAT THE LAUNCHING PAD IS SET-UP AND AIMED PROPERLY.
second condition is that we are using both arms to project
an object. This is not natural to our body. If we were strong enough to swing
a club with one arm this game would be significantly easier. We must learn to
train our arms and legs to work together, as a team, to efficiently strike a golf
ball both with power and accuracy. The left arm is our guide arm. It guides the
club back and guides the club through the ball. The right arm is the support/power
arm. It supports the weight of the club at the top of the backswing and supplies
the power at the bottom of the downswing. The right leg pivots to accept weight
transfer in the backswing. Then the weight shifts laterally left to the left leg
in the transition, followed by a counter-pivot into the left leg that accepts
the powerful weight transfer in the downswing.
learning to feel different parts of the golf swing we will use one-arm drills
to help train our inner body to work correctly. The body tends to react more efficiently
unilaterally than bilaterally.
THIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT CONDITION TO TEACH BECAUSE MOST OF
THE RESULTS HAVE TO DO WITH THE COORDINATION AND ATHLETIC ABILITY OF THE STUDENT.
FIND OUT WHICH ARM IS THEIR DOMINANT ARM FIRST. THEN HAVE THE STUDENT SWING THE
CLUB WITH THAT ARM. THEN PLACE THE CLUB IN THE NON-DOMINANT ARM AND HAVE THEM
SWING AGAIN. THEY WILL GET THE IMMEDIATE SENSATION OF WHAT NEEDS TO BE TRAINED.
YOU WILL BE TEACHING THIS CONCEPT DURING THE SWING FUNDAMENTALS.
third condition that makes the game difficult is the
blending of the vertical and the horizontal motion of the golf swing. Let's take
the body and take away the arms. You are now looking at horizontal movers of the
golf swing. Take into consideration that the body is tilted at set-up, the body
moves rotationally leveled throughout the golf swing.
arms, conversely, are the vertical movers of the golf swing. The first vertical
move is the right wrist hinging the club upward as the left arm reaches parallel
to the ground. At this point the butt-end of the club should be pointed somewhere
between the ball/target line and the body line. (step 2 position) The final vertical
move in the backswing is the folding of right elbow, creating 90-degree angles
in both the wrist and the elbow.
downswing is the perfectly timed rotation of the body and the downward unhinging
of the arms toward the target. The upswing is the mirror image of the backswing.
The left wrist hinges upward followed by the elbow hinging to complete the swing.
Due to the speed of the downswing, the left elbow may hinge more than 90 degrees
at the completion of the swing.
STANDING BEHIND THE STUDENT AND LOOKING DOWN THE TARGET LINE YOU CAN SEE VIOLATIONS
OF THE VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL. HAVE THE STUDENT SWING INTO THE STEP 2 POSITION.
IF THE BUTT-END OF THE SHAFT POINTS OUTSIDE THE BALL/TARGET LINE, YOUR STUDENT
IS SUFFERING FROM A VERTICAL PART MOVING HORIZONTALLY. IF THE BUTT-END OF THE
SHAFT POINTS INSIDE THE BODY THE STUDENT IS SUFFERING FROM A HORIZONTAL PART MOVING
fourth condition that makes the game difficult is the
static start. In most other sports we are reacting to a moving ball or object.
In golf that is not the case. In golf we react to the backswing. Physics states
that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. That is why the downswing
is a high-speed version of the backswing.
IF THE STUDENT IS STRUGGLING WITH THIS CONDITION HE HAS AN EXTREMELY FAST START
TO HIS BACKSWING, I.E. A JERK OR AN UNCOORDINATED THRUST OFF THE BALL. THE GOLF
SWING ACTUALLY BEGINS WITH A GENTLE SHIFT OR MOVEMENT TOWARDS THE LEFT TO CREATE
MOMENTUM IN THE BACKSWING. THIS MOVEMENT IS GENERALLY LESS THAN AN INCH.
fifth and final condition that makes the game difficult
is the innate hit impulse at the ball. Generally speaking, anything we swing a
club to hit something sitting still usually ends at the object. (ex. Hammer hitting
a nail) One of the most common errors in golf is the poor finish, usually a culprit
of the hit at the ball.
IT WOULD BE WISE TO ALWAYS START A SERIES OF LESSONS WITH HAVING THE STUDENT UNDERSTAND
THE PROPER START AND THE PROPER FINISH. THE TEACHER SHOULD STRESS IF YOU CAN START
WELL AND FINISH WELL YOU CAN HIT SOME GOOD SHOTS DURING THIS LESSON.
- For information on Virgil
Herring's instructional video, click
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