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The Golf Swing - My Seven Step Checklist - Step 4 - The Backswing


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Now that you've taken your Grip, performed your Set Up Routine and The Waggle you're ready for action.

Before we start the backswing a few reminders or tips -

1. When you tee the golf ball, especially for use with the driver be sure to set it at the proper height. Note: The rule of thumb is the ball should sit approximately 1/2 of the diameter of the golf ball above the clubhead when the club is set on the ground.

2. Stay “Relaxed" during all phases of your swing - Note: If you've chosen to incorporate The Waggle into your swing routine then utilize it to its fullest advantage and make it not only your swing trigger but your reminder to “Relax" as well.

3. Make sure your head is upright so as not to impede the shoulder turn on the backswing.

4. Keep your left arm as straight as possible Note: Keeping the left arm straight may feel uncomfortable at first but it is critical to promoting consistent ball striking, accuracy and distance.

Now you're ready to go. In the instructional books and videos that I've studied I have sometime gotten conflicting information as to how to start the backswing. That does not mean that one method is right or wrong there are just different techniques and methodology used by different instructors. Immediately after The Waggle or no waggle, if that is your preference, you are ready to execute the swing. Most of the instructional material, when I was first learning to play, taught a move to start the backswing called the “One Piece Take Away". This means that your two arms, hands and the club formed a Y shape, which it does, and they would move back away from the target in one piece or motion while maintaining the Y shape. I had utilized that method for many years before I read about and experimented with the immediate wristcock, or setting of the wrist right at the onset of the backswing. By this I mean that instead of taking the club back in the Y formation I would break the wrist and start the backswing in more of an L position. Either method will work and it is a matter of personal preference and which feels more comfortable for you. In either method the wrists should be set by about waist height and the club should be pointing skyward as your arms approach parallel to the ground. Your weight should shift to your right side ( without a lateral movement of the body ) and your upper body should continue turning away from the target with minimal turning of the hips. This will allow a coiling of the upper body and a more powerful release as you uncoil in your Downswing. Make sure your shoulder turns under your chin and your back is facing the target, which will also promote a more powerful and accurate swing. Note: Do Not Overturn or Over Rotate. In Step 2 - The Set Up I mentioned to tilt the body slightly forward at the waist and remain in a reasonably upright position. This will create a spine angle which should be maintained during most of your swing. The Backswing and The Downswing should rotate around the spine as the central pivot point. The more that rotation can be maintained the more accurate and powerful the results will be.

When you reach the top of the backswing in practice make sure the club is pointing back toward the target line, which will happen automatically if your wrists are set properly. This will allow the club to stay on line to prepare for The Downswing. I would also like to stress again the importance of a straight left arm and to “Relax" always. Let's recap our checklist so far - Tee the Ball ( not on the checklist but I think you may have a problem going forward if you leave this out ), take your grip , perform your Set Up Routine and re-adjust your grip, if necessary, execute the Waggle, and make your backswing and most importantly - Have Fun !

Next - “The Downswing"



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