The Basic Steps to Perfect Golf.

Masterfile.

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Bottom of Swing Arc. (Changed- 09/12/2014)


I do not consider the down swing movement to be fully completed until the club head reaches the bottom of the swing arc.

As long as the elbows remain close together and the left arm remains fully extended whilst the arms interact, this will automatically cause the club head to swing to the bottom of the swing arc - a position that is reached after the ball has been struck.
(The most common fault for most amateur golfers is to allow either the left arm to bend or/and allow the left shoulder to lift at the precise moment the club head strikes the ball.)

However in order to perform this action correctly, you must keep the right heel firmly on the ground until the club head strikes the ball and also keep the head and the hips firmly fixed in the original address position until well after the ball has been struck.
(If you allow the head to sway away from the original address position or similarly, allow the hips to sway during the back swing movement and then fail to return the head and the hips to the original address position at the precise moment the club head strikes the ball, you will almost certainly miss-hit the ball, so it is important to keep the head and the hips stationary throughout the golf swing.) ( See below for further details.)


Bottom of the Swing Arc.

Notice how the weight in on the outside edge of the left foot as the club head strikes the ball.This Photograph shows the difference between the way High Handicapped golfers and Professional golfers strike the ball.

The bottom of the swing arc for the average PGA Tour player is approximately four inches after the ball has been struck.


However in contrast, the bottom of the swing arc for a high-handicapper is an inch or so behind the ball.

A high-handicap golfer would reduce his or her average score by four strokes for every forward inch of improvement made for the bottom of the swing arc.

In other words, if you want to break a scoring barrier, ensure that you continue to swing the club head past the ball for a distance of about four inches but striking the ball with a descending blow thus fully compressing the golf ball.

(This will ensure that the club head swings to the bottom of the swing arc - which is well after the ball has been struck!!)

This also applies to the short game.

Courtesy of the "Golf Digest"


As the first section of this lesson illustrates, every top class golfer aims to bottom out the golf swing about four inches after the ball has been struck, except when using the driver.

This means that when playing irons and woods, the ball is struck with a descending blow, an action which imparts back spin on the golf ball, thus giving the ball a unique flight trajectory.

For instance, when long irons and woods are used, it creates a moderate back spin action of the golf ball which causes the ball to curve upwards to its maximum height until the back spin dissipates.

However, when short irons are used it creates a much higher back spin action and therefore the ball moves on a much more pronounced upwards curve as it soars to it maximum height, but importantly the ball will still be spinning at a high rate as it hits the ground, thus causing the ball to spin back.


Location of the Bottom of the Swing Arc.

To understand where the bottom of the swing arc is located, carry out the following exercise using a three wood:-

Adopt the normal address position and place a marker on the ground just left of the centre of your stance, to indicate the normal ball position.

Step back a couple of inches so that the club head is adjacent to the marker.

Just before you perform a back swing movement, hold the club head so that it is just touching the ground.
( It is important to hold the head firmly in the original address position throughout this exercise.)

You will note that as you rotate the upper body unit in order to move the golf club away from the ball, the club head moves smoothly away and upwards from the ground.
( Remember to keep the elbows as close together as it is physically possible.)

If you simply rotate the golf club back to the original address position and then continued to move the golf club beyond the original address position, you will note that as long as you maintain your body at a constant level and without the hips being allowed to sway towards the target area, the club head immediately begins to dig into the ground, thus stopping the club head from moving any further.

This indicates that the bottom of the swing arc of the golf swing is to the left of the ball position.

 

The position of the bottom of the swing arc is adjacent to the big toe of the left foot but this actual point is only applicable as long as the golfer ensures that head and the hips remain firmly held in the original address position throughout the complete golf swing movement. Why is it so important?? -- let me explain.

If your head and your hips sway away from the original address position during the back swing movement ( away from the target) and you fail to return the head and the hips back to the original address position at the precise moment the club head strikes the ball, it effectively moves the bottom of the swing arc position backwards by the same amount.

However, because the ball is stationary, it means that the ball position, (relative to the position of your hips and your head at the moment of contact) has effectively moved forward in the stance, thus creating a situation where the golfer could possibly hit the ground before the ball.

 

Similarly, if you over compensate during the down swing movement and allow the head and the hips to move ahead of the original address position ( towards the target area) and the head and the hips remain in that forward position until the precise moment the club head makes contact with the ball, it effectively moves the bottom of the swing arc position forward by the same amount.

However, because the ball is stationary, it means that the ball position,
(relatively to the position of your hips and your head at the moment of contact), has effectively moves back in the stance, thus creating a situation where the golfer could possibly hit the ball too soon.

So concentrate on holding the head and the hips in the original address position from the moment you begin the back swing movement - right throughout the down swing and into the follow through movement.


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