We know there is no such thing as the perfect golf swing. However, I want to share in this article as part of our Training Aids month at Me and My Golf, how and what training aids could help you with the different stages of your golf swing. Warning!! Just to be clear, we wouldn’t want you to work on all of these positions, with all of these training aids at the same time! Just one at a time please.
There are 2 very important things to remember when you’re working on different positions in your golf swing.
1. Only change a movement that needs changing! Just because it may be deemed “Technically” incorrect, or it looks different, doesn’t mean you automatically should think you need to change it. Changing actually might be the worst thing that you can do. The goal is to figure out what move is causing a problem, and then try working on improving or changing that area of your swing.
2. The key is to make the changes flow with the natural motion of your golf swing as soon as possible. If you’re only focused on trying to get your swing into a certain position, you could easily jeopardize the flow, and it doesn’t matter how good the positions are, it won’t work on the golf course. Yes its good to practice certain positions in the golf swing, but it’s always important to remember the flow.
So lets look at how these training aids can help your entire golf swing.
Creating good alignment and angles at set-up is obviously really important. With the Alignment Pro, you can use it for alignment of club face, as well as alignment of feet. If you can have a guide for the club face, it can be a really simple fix. Imagine if you’re hitting consistent bad shots to the right, only because you are consistently aiming to the right! It sounds very simple, but using the Alignment Pro could literally solve this and be the fix you need.
How you position your feet at set-up can have an influence on how you turn your body during the swing. By having your feet square at setup, you could be potentially limiting how much your hips can rotate. We like to have both feet flared out at least 10 degrees. In the image above, we have the feet set at 10 degrees for the trail foot, and 25 degrees for the lead foot. The reason the lead foot is flared more is simply because the left hip turns more through the downswing. We really like the Alignment Pro because it’s versatility it gives you with the hinges at either end. You can get the hinges set to any angle you want, and then just match your feet up to those angles. It’s great!
Your feet alignment can start to look distorted when you start flaring; this is why we put the alignment aid behind the heels. Oddly enough, the heels don’t change their alignment when you flare your feet, so the only way to get true alignment of your feet, is with your heels.
We talk a lot about producing a good sequence in the back swing, which is achieved when you are doing a good job of maintaining what we call, “a good structure.” Your obvious next question is…”what is a good structure Piers.” A good structure is the ability to move your arms around your body, without having them move in a direction that influences the body, club shaft or club face, in a negative way.
One way to achieve this is by using the Tour Striker Smart Ball positioned between the forearms. It allows you to create a good sequence, which in-turn creates good clubface control by not letting the clubface over rotate. It also puts the club on a really good plane.
Here’s a good tip when using the Tour Striker Smart Ball – Make sure that you don’t create too much tension in your arms by squeezing the ball too tight to keep it in place. This might take some practice, but a good rule of thumb is to treat it like it’s an egg.
Continuing on to create a solid sequence in the back swing, we like to see a good amount of wrist set by the time the club reaches what we call, “the half way back position.” By completing the wrist set at this point (illustrated in the pictures below), you can literally complete your back swing with a simple rotation of the body.
The Gabe Golf Swing Trainer is designed to help with the sequence of your back and down swing. There are ball bearings strategically positioned in the shaft that move up and down as you swing. At “the half way back” position, you want to hear the bearings fully drop into the handle. We encourage golfers to stop at this half way point to get the feel of how to achieve this. Once you get a good feel for this, you can start to move into the back swing without stopping.
The back swing is, in a way, all about priming you for the best chance to execute a powerful consistent down swing. One of, if not the most important factors is the positioning of the wrists. If we can manage to control the wrists, then we have a better chance of controlling the plane of the swing, as well as the all-important club face. Ideally, you want to try and get your lead wrist flat at the top of the your back swing, as illustrated in the picture below. If the lead wrist has too much cup or angle in it, it can cause the club face to get too open. This can create all kinds of problems in the down swing.
There are many training aids that you can use to help with the lead wrist positioning. In the above illustrations we are using the Watson Hanger. By keeping the Watson Hanger against the lead forearm, it ensures the lead wrist stays flat. It’s ok to feel a light pressure into the forearm with the hanger. This actually sends the wrist into what we call “flexion,” the opposite of cupping. This is an ingredient you want to have as you transition into the downswing.
This is the most powerful position in the golf swing. The idea is to have your body moving and turning towards the target, all while maintaining the angles created by the wrists.
Here we are showing another great training aid that can help you make better rotation in the downswing. We basically want the lower body starting the downswing by moving and turning the BMT (Bio Movement Trainer) Hip rod from Total Golf Trainer. This gives you the awareness of how to get your left hip clearing out of the way by focusing on the yellow sponge ball. If you don’t clear and rotate your hips, your arms will swing into the sponge ball.
The Total Golf Trainer has multiple uses, but we have it attached to the lead wrist. By keeping the connection to the lead wrist for as long as you can, it enables you to maintain that “power lag” for longer, ultimately eliminating any Early Release.
When striking the ball, we want to get more pressure into the lead heel, rather than the trail heel – approximately 80%. There’s a couple things we really want to focus on – 1. Getting the body rotation we’ve spoken about, and 2. Getting the shaft leaning forward towards the target. By accomplishing these two, it allows the club head to travel downwards when striking the ball.
There’s a great little training aid that can help give the right feedback on where your club strike actually is. To help the club bottom out after the ball, we are using the Fat Plate. The Fat Plate has different versions that can be used – one for the driving range and one for on grass. It basically persuades you to improve your strike by giving instant feedback. If you hit the plate before the ball, then you obviously have bottomed out too early. You would think it would be easy to miss the plate, but it can be surprisingly difficult. We recommend utilizing this for the majority of the shots while you practice. It will really help you maintain forward shaft lean and produce a more downward strike through the hitting zone.
This is where the magic happens. As you can see, we’re continuing to move and rotate towards the target as we go through impact. Not only are we looking to move the body efficiently, but we’re also looking to maintain the arm structure with good extension. This maintains the plane and creates a consistent powerful rotation of the club face, as illustrated below in the two images.
We have again used the Tour Striker Smart Ball to maintain the structure and extension. It works well to give feedback of any break-down in the arms that is generally is caused by the Chicken Wing swing fault.
Now for the finishing touches. We’ve stressed how important it is to make sure you keep the flow in your golf swing. This will really help you harness the consistency in each of the various positions we’ve spoken about during the golf swing.
The Orange Whip is not only a great training aid for warming up, but the extra weight also helps you feel the various positions in the swing while maintaining the flow.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article. I recommend saving this article and continue to refer back to it often as you strive to produce a consistent golf swing. Please comment below any questions you have. We always try to respond.