By Jim McLean
Special to ARMCHAIR GOLF
WINTERS CAN BE LONG and that itch to play can build up, so scratch that itch with some indoor practicing to hone your skills for the coming season. Indoor practice can be very valuable to improving the swing. When clubs and ball flights are eliminated, focus is shifted to technique and body awareness. Body drills are so important to our teaching system that we use them in every school. Here are just a few of the drills we teach to get you in golf shape for the spring.
Making a full body coil and transferring the weight through impact properly are keys to power and distance. A simple drill to reinforce this can be performed in front of a mirror using a towel.
Get into a proper golf stance in facing the mirror. This should involve feet approximately shoulder width apart, knees flexed, and a slight bend from the hips towards the ball (mirror). Be sure not to slouch, set up is an athletic position with the weight balanced equally between the toes and heels. (Never have more weight on the toes than the heels.)
Place the folded towel between your feet on the ground perpendicular to your body so it bisects your stance.
Cross your arms across your chest, maintaining golf posture. For right-handed players, when looking in the mirror the left shoulder should be higher than the right. This is very important to driving the ball well.
Simply coil your upper body to the right over a fairly resistant lower body. Visualize your upper body in a cylinder or tube that is consistent with your spine angle at address (that tilt of the left shoulder above the right that I mentioned) and coil within this tube.
• A full coil is made by turning so that the buttons of your shirt are over the inside of your right foot, keeping your weight to the inside of the right leg.
• It is important that the right knee remains flex; it is your brace for your backswing.
• Use that towel as a gauge to make sure you’re making a full turn. The left shoulder should rotate past the towel.
• It is important at this point to check in the mirror that you have maintained the spine angle, so you should be slightly tilted towards the mirror.
• At the top of the backswing, all of the weight should feel as if it is on your right leg.
Transferring your weight to the left side is a shift and rotate motion.
• Weight transfer begins from the ground up.
• The knees kick slightly forward, then the hip slides slightly followed by a rotation.
• As the hips rotate, they pull the upper body forward into a rotation.
• Finish with the right heel up and all the weight balanced over the left heel.
During this drill, try to focus on maintaining the spine angle established at set up. The drill should also be used to practice rhythmic movement with a concentration on the proper sequence of uncoiling. When practiced correctly, this drill will increase flexibility and develop a more controlled efficient swing.
Next week: Right Arm Only Drill
Jim McLean is the instruction editor for Golf Digest and the Golf Channel, and an author of numerous, top-selling golf instruction books. For a free intro DVD to his new Building Block Approach, visit Jim McLean Golf School.
Copyright © Jim McLean. All rights reserved. Used with permission.