My favorite swing is easily Rory Mcilroy. As a ball striker, there is really something different about the way he hits the ball. I pondered it for a while, I've seen him live versus the other professionals and I've had a look at as many golf swing images and youtube videos of him playing as I could find. There is one single reason why Rory is such a great ball striker: It's his finish and balance, it's the culmination of everything done correctly in his golf swing up all the way into the finish position, and I am now going to tell you why and how to use this position to improve upon your own golf game.
My previous blog posts have more or less been leaning in this direction. What I mean to say is that I've been thinking about the use of Momentum and force in the golf swing and comparing what I am teaching to what I am reading. The more I teach, the more I am convinced that the use of momentum is the single biggest tool I have to make golfers improve both in distance and in accuracy. Now, back to Rory and his use of the same. You can see clearly in his finish on every shot, that he is maximizing the use of the momentum. The only way I can tell this, is that he is able to hold the same finish position each and every full swing. Have a look below:
The above position looks powerful, it looks graceful and it looks like the body is enjoying the motion. It is actually enjoying it primarily because the body and the club are in harmony, rhythm, balance and the forces on the ball are continuous. I'm going to break this position down in a couple of ways that will help you to achieve this position for yourself. Here goes:
It's Impossible to do with out Linear Momentum.
A great extension through the ball has nothing to do with you pushing through the ball or using your arms.
The extension comes due to great lateral motion through the ball. Movement from the Right Leg to the Left Leg prior to the power from the hands being put into the ball.
Shifting forward onto the left leg and stepping down into the left foot will help to stop you from falling over
This forward linear momentum causes extension
The energy thrown toward the target stabilizes the face and pulls you upward toward the finish
It's Impossible to do without Angular Momentum
The above diagram illustrates the direction of Angular Momentum (l) of the arrow. The arrow is the golf club shaft. Where the the (radius from the mass) represents the rotation or torque of the shaft and its relation to the linear momentum. So in short. You need to rotate the club, don't hold it through impact. That is fighting physics and the ability to finish the swing and hit this crucial position.
Angular Momentum on the correct plane in the stops you from falling forward when you apply lateral movement. The rotational force pulls you into this finish.
Angular Momentum moves from the shaft out the clubhead via rotation of the club through impact.
The Angular Momentum must continue throughout the follow through, or your brain will subconsciously start to slow the club to avoid injury and to effectively prevent injury from all the force of the club throughout the swing.
Angular Momentum adds an additional vector of power into the golf swing, so it can easily add 15-20 yards per shot.
The golf club is a cylinder, don't forget that it always wants to behave in the manner of a cylinder (i.e. it wants to rotate, so you need to let it be true to its nature).
This is the biggest misunderstanding for most golfers
The modern golf swing is moving away from this erroneously and this is what people see pros doing. My prediction is more back and deceleration injuries on tour in the near future if this continues.
It's Impossible to do without the Proper Tempo
By tempo I am referring to the ratio of back swing to follow through. I teach this as a key fundamental primarily because it allows the golfer to understand and feel the movement through and into the ball. Furthermore, when done correctly it makes a massive difference to being able to achieve this finish position.
The Power or Force that you are feeling/applying needs to be applied at the ball with a gradual build up from the top of the back swing to the ball. Here we need to use gravity and be in harmony with gravity in the transition from the backswing to the follow through
By putting the power at the ball, we are maximizing the linear momentum which helps us extend through the ball and into finish
By putting the power at the ball rotationally with the wrists, we are imparting additional angular momentum and torque into the ball, which massively affects the trajectory (Lower), control (we are applying the clubface in 1 way - closing), as well as increasing the Force applied to the ball (compression).
Tempo allows time for the Weight Transfer to Happen
Tempo make the swing look and behave in a rhythmic fashion which reduces stress on the body and subsequent injury as a result.
Watch this tempo from a completely different sport. The movements are always the same. Hands go back, leg steps forward (linear transfer of weight),full rotation of the body, then rotation of the arms, then the wrist release at the end. Full extension. Golf is the same, so get your body moving and stop trying to hold yourself still. It's a massive mistake to think of limiting your motion, rather get in harmony with it.
It's Impossible to Do without the Proper Club Path
Your center of gravity is C. (Balance point in your body)
Your Club Path is the Circle
When you shift your weight from B (Backswing) to Follow Through (A) you are shifting from Right leg to Left leg.
This changes the location of C, and moves the it toward the target.
If this path is pointing left (An out to In Swing) then you will not be able to harness this momentum and angular momentum to take you into the finish position.
If you path is moving left you will have to counter act that linear momentum in order to get the ball on target and therefore you will swing upwards to do so. That's bad for angular momentum. (i.e don't lift the club up through the swing).
You need to fix your path in all cases if you want to play golf for the rest of your life without injury
Watch the above ideas in action here. Give it a try and let me know how your balance and power changes!