I was thinking about the golf swing. Yes, it seems that I do this a lot. Sometimes I search the internet for swings to watch. I enjoy watching other swing motions of both amateurs and professionals.
The other day I watched Ricky Fowler practicing with the K-Vest system. I found it interesting how he was practicing by pausing at the top of the backswing. This is a challenging drill for many reasons because it forces you to “start” the downing with your body, not your hands. I think it is a great drill, but it is complicated.
I have been digging deeply into backswing movement. From the data I have compiled, there is a direct correlation between backswing “separation” and downswing separation. Here is an example of an animation from my information where you can see three pictures of K-Angle.
K-Angle is the separation of upper body from lower body. Here are some screenshots of the animation from the data of student Jeff Turner.
You can see how the that the backswing motion creates a differential between the shoulders and the pelvis. This differential is utilized in the downswing where the pelvis can move before the torso.
It also must be noted that when the pelvis moves into the downswing, it increases the tilt of the spine. This increase of angle as you rotate is a key factor in creating lag. Lag is where the arms stay in the rotation of the torso to produce speed.
To accomplish the ideal motion for creating separation and lag, you must move into your first knee “before” you reach the top of the backswing. When you walk into your flexed and stable knee, your lower body moves rotates and moves forward. The upper body lags behind, and you feel more tilted before your torso turns and begins to come forward.
When the spine increases tilt, and you rotate it feels like you are dropping the right shoulder as you turn the torso. This rotation makes the first arm move up, and right shoulder move down. The club then lags behind.
This is precisely what Moe was demonstrating when he would show this exaggeration of the move:
The photo of Moe is really interesting, not only illustrating lag but also the exaggerated motion of the arms and hands, with the club face pointing skyward.
Late in the season, I began to realize that I was not folding folding my trail arm optimally and not rotating my lead arm enough in the backswing. I could check my backswing position in the mirror, but the feeling of the proper motion just wasn’t there. I began to practice feeling this move – folding the trail arm a little sooner in the backswing, bringing the trail hand to a good (held tray) position at the top of the backswing and, at the same time feeling how the lead arm rotates slightly into the backswing. My ball striking improved quite a bit. The illustration of Moe reinforces this motion for me. An exaggerated mental image of what the motion should be.
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Just as a follow up, I realize that the image is an exaggerated down swing. It seems to me that you can really only get to the position that Moe is illustrating by getting to the right position at the top of the backswing. Thanks for the post!