The golf swing is a beautful madness of body movements and thoughts that result in a little white ball being hit by a big metal stick. Hopefully in a straight line. Hopefully the right distance.
You may have noticed that I haven’t written about lessons for a long time, since May in fact, but fear not it has not been 6 months since my last lesson. The reason being is for those past 6 months, the lessons haven’t actually fundamentally changed anything. We have worked on TrackMan combines, club gapping, putting practice and a lot of on course tweaking of my golf game. Hitting tons of balls doesn’t make for interesting reading or helpful to anyone else but me!
So in we go this week to start the winter training programme. This is where DT really can get to work on making swing changes that are tougher to master but without any competitive golf it means there is no pressure. The first part of my swing he has decided to attack has been my hips before contact.
I have always had a tendancy to slide my hips slightly away from the ball on the backswing. Nothing massive but a slight movement can cause a swing to bottomo out too early and a ‘thin’ shot. Going through the ball my hips move fine it is simply on the takeaway. We got some slo motion footage of Mr. Tommy Fleetwood up on the big screens and watched his hips through impact as he hit balls on the range.
As you can see from this screen capture we were focussing on the positioning of the left butt cheek closest to target. On TF’s downswing he is very quick to get those hips turning towards the target before the club gets to the ball. Almost bringing the club through with the hips in a whip like motion gaining more club head speed and more power from the legs.
It isn’t an easy transition to master and it is one of those you have to go all in on. If you don’t you end up shanking the ball to the right or closing the face right down and snap hooking it through decelerating.
As you can see from the before image, on my downswing the hips are very square to the ball. Now if you look at the before and after images below, excuse the dark pants and more weight on those hips than Mr Fleetwood, you should be able to see that the process is working and slowly I am getting those hips turned.
I know what you are thinking, looks the same man, but what the photos probably don’t do justice is that whip action and the stability of the hips through the back swing as I am priming them to turn and lead the club on the downswing.
The results were an improved ball strike, more consistent swing path and the ball going a lot further. A 155 average carry 8 iron was now into the 170s carry. The shape of the ball flight was a lot more consitently drawing as well due to this action of the hips turning dropping the club into an in to out path.
Give it a go on the range and see how you get on.
Wrap up warm!