I got a very good question from Terry yesterday in the previous posting, where he asked:
DJ, when you say,
” And this (the right elbow having dropped to the hip) is the point where the energy you’ve stored in your right arm and the cocked wrists will release the club down into and through impact.”
Are you actively holding the angle and dropping the rear shoulder into position? Or are you starting the release from the top ie Nicklaus ” you cant release the club to early as long as you are moving into your left side.”
A great question, and the answer is that the “lag” in the down swing will be natural and not something you consciously need to perform or hold, if you are in the proper position at the top of the back swing pivot.
The cause of an early release or “cast” is also something that happens naturally and you cannot stop it.
The “cast” will occur when the shoulders turn instead of the proper sequence of the lower body initiating the down swing with the pressure and weight transfer in the feet.
When you turn the shoulders into the down swing, the circular action will cause the club head to begin to move down and out, rather than down behind you.
So, with the proper position and transition sequence, you’re really just holding on to the club with the hands and the right wrist angle that you create going back will naturally remain that way until you do something to change it.
And that is the nature of the “stored energy” I refer to – it doesn’t release until you get to the 3 O’Clock position, and that will happen naturally as well!
In a proper swing, as with hammering a nail, the angle will begin to release as the club head or hammer head passes the hands on the horizontal plane, which naturally will occur at the end of the “Drop” phase:
Therefore, when you see me in this position:
It just looks as though I’m doing something to maintain that right wrist angle, but in reality, the dropping of the hands and right shoulder maintain that angle until the “3 O’Clock” position.
And past that point, the release occurs naturally with two forces (gravity and the conservation of angular momentum) combined with the “helping” of the wrist action through the swing bottom to the “9 O’Clock” position:
All of this is made possible by the sequence of the lower body driving the down swing. When you haven’t created the proper leveraging conditions at the top of the back swing, you then have to expend a good deal of energy and make a lot of compensations to get the club down to the ball.
In the below gif., Justin Thomas also keeps the “lag” in his down swing without conscious effort to the 3 O’Clock position – because the hands are dropping:
However, because he he both didn’t make an unrestricted hip turn and because he’s not transferring to the left foot through impact, he is forced to heave his left side around and back, with the left foot leaving the ground completely, in order to complete the “3 to 9” move.
And again, what he’s doing above is not a power generator, it’s a swing “saving” move because of the improper technique that came before the 3 O’Clock position.
Do it properly and you’ll look a lot smoother in that phase:
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