I am trying to be more positive and to point out the good parts of what I see regarding the golf swing, rather than my tired and stale routine of railing against the bad things I see.
For example, I might have taken a different tone in the past with this Golf.com offering on how to “compress” the ball with your irons with Bernie Najar on the byline.
In it, he talks about things that should occur naturally in a mechanically-sound swing, without having to compensate or manipulate during the motion.
So let’s take a look at the 3 points and I’ll tell you what I think of the concept:
How to Compress the Ball in Three Easy Steps
1. LEAD WITH YOUR LOWER BODY
DJ’s Thoughts: I can’t complain with that sentiment. You are supposed to swing using the legs and hips as the power plant, so I can’t imagine how you’d swing from the top in any way other than to lead with the lower body.
Caveat – If you are a “modern golf swing” practitioner, this will be very hard on your lower back.
If you are restricting your hip turn in any way on the back swing, and using a “rubber-banding” or torquing of the upper body against the restricted hips – you’re headed for leading side trouble, whether it’s the neck, shoulder, ribs, lower back, hip or knee.
You should lead the swing with the lower body, yes – but don’t restrict the hip turn on the way back, or you’ll likely come to regret it sooner or later.
Cons: I don’t like the talk about “shifting” past the ball – there really should be no lateral motion in a proper swing, and that kind of talk makes me envision people at the range lunging into the down swing to get their belt buckle “past” the ball…
2. MAKE A PALM-DOWN STRIKE
This one’s very important: As you reach the delivery zone, make sure that your right palm is facing the ground. This will ensure the proper downward strike. It will also square the face.
DJ’s Thoughts: Well, if you’re gripping the club properly, with a neutral grip, once again, I don’t see how else you’ come into the ball with the down swing.
Regardless of the hand position, you should build a golf swing that allows your to return the club to the ball with your hands in the same position that they were at address – a “neutral” grip.
So, if your right palm is facing down at address, it should be at impact.
Cons: The palm will be facing down as you come into the impact zone, but it won’t be facing down at impact – awkward phrasing.
Also, remember the address-impact connection – if your palm is facing “down” at impact and it wasn’t at address, you’re likely hitting a dead hook unless you get really fancy with your hand action.
I’d prefer the neutral-to-neutral hand position for every swing… but this tip should get some slicers over to the hooking side of the swing flaw – which some might actually love to have over a slice.
3. GET ON “UP”!
With your right side and right hand applying downward pressure on the ball, it’s critical to get your left side moving up and back to create balance in your motion.
DJ’s Thoughts: This is another thing that should be happening naturally in a mechanically-sound golf swing, so if this isn’t already happening in your swing – you have a lot more than this upon which to work.
Which brings me to the whole point of “swing tips” and why I don’t do them in isolation from MCS Swing Theory – unless you’re working with a sound model to begin with, no “tip” is going to fix or transform your swing.
At best, it will work for a short time, until some other flaw manifests itself, and another band-aid will need to be applied.
You’ll eventually arrive at a spot familiar to many – a swing with a hundred band-aids and no idea where that ball is going upon impact…
So, while these “tips” can seem simple, it’s because they are, if you’re swinging correctly.
If you’re not, then no “tip” or band-aid is going to work – you have to fix that swing.
None of the above tips, for example, will help your swing if you’re setting up with a left-biased stance (“leaning” into the front leg instead of away from the target with the upper body).
In fact, Tiger Woods’ back injury – you can lay it at the feet of Tips 1, 2 and 3, performed from an address position that was far too biased to the left – and just close your eyes to visualize what your back would look like if you swung anything enough times with your weight on your left foot, and trying to follow the tips in this article.
The tips are not the problem, but how people are swinging and standing before they try to implement them.
With a classic golf swing, the above tips are common sense instruction. But with a “modern golf swing,” you’ll need a lot more than the above.
Like your back specialist’s phone number – on speed dial…