Golf Australia - - IN MY OPINION -

1 NAIL THE BA­SICS Get­ting the ba­sic set-up right is fun­da­men­tal to giv­ing your­self the best chance of hit­ting good shots. I play with a lot of am­a­teurs who seem tense, which can re­ally re­strict how far they swing. I prob­a­bly grip the club tighter than most, but I make sure I soften my el­bows and let my hands hang nat­u­rally un­der­neath my chest. If you feel like you’re reach­ing for the ball you’re prob­a­bly stand­ing too far from it, which can cause sep­a­ra­tion be­tween the body and arms and throw the swing o -plane.

2 TURN FROM YOUR SHOUL­DERS The worst thing you can do in the takeaway is to let your hands ma­nip­u­late the face by rolling your wrists. If you do that and ei­ther close or open the face, some­where down the line you are go­ing to have to com­pen­sate to get the swing back on plane. In­stead, try to get the arms, hands and up­per body work­ing to­gether by ro­tat­ing your shoul­ders.

3 UN­LEASH THE SPRING Dur­ing the back­swing I try to feel like I’m coil­ing up into my right side and ‘push­ing’ pres­sure into my legs so I can max­imise the power. I liken it to a spring. You need to load it up to be able to un­load it. And the more sta­ble you are as you do this, the bet­ter chance you have of do­ing that.

4 USE WHAT YOU HAVE The most im­por­tant thing is to get the max­i­mum out of your range of move­ment. If you’re not get­ting the club to a 90° an­gle in the back­swing, there is no point try­ing to force it. Of course, you can do more stretches, or gym work to im­prove your flex­i­bil­ity.

But even if you are at 100%, loaded and ready to go, you need to start down by get­ting the right shoul­der and right hip work­ing down at the same time. If your tim­ing is oƒ, you will re­ally strug­gle to save the shot.

5 UN­LOCK HID­DEN POWER A lot of am­a­teurs don’t make use of their big­ger mus­cle groups to trans­fer energy eƒec­tively. You need to use the power in the legs dur­ing the down­swing and let the nat­u­ral forces take over for a proper re­lease. Am­a­teurs seem to be reluc­tant to do that and fin­ish with a hold oƒ po­si­tion. The club­head needs to fully ac­cel­er­ate and reach its peak speed at the point of im­pact.

Keep your dis­tance... Feel poised and ready...

Stand­ing too far away can flat­ten the swing plane too much and pro­mote an out-to-in path. Whereas, stand­ing too close pro­duces a more up­right swing plane and pro­motes an in-to-out path. The worst thing you can do is have the weight on your heels. You need to be dy­namic and ready to go – just like a goal­keeper – so bend from the hips and stand a lit­tle wider than shoul­der-width apart to al­low for a big­ger ro­ta­tion.

plane check... To check you’re swing­ing on plane, stop the back­swing when the shaft is point­ing par­al­lel to the ground. If you have ro­tated cor­rectly, the shaft should be par­al­lel to the tar­get line with the toe point­ing to the sky. Sync arms and body... I see a lot of am­a­teurs get­ting stuck be­hind the ball be­cause their body out­paces their arms. To get the arms and body work­ing in sync, get in the gym and prac­tise do­ing some cable wood chops. Power over­load… I go pretty hard at it most times with my driver. Some play­ers like to take some­thing off it, but I go all out with a full swing. I don’t see the need to chip one down there. If I need to hit it shorter, I use a 3-wood!

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