Most of us have hit a good shot during a round of golf. It is the ability to repeat those good shots that makes for a good player. There are certain fundamentals that should elevate your ball-striking to a higher level, and improve your ability to repeat your best swings.
So if we look at the golf swing in its simplist sense — A circle on a slant — we can better understand those fundamentals that will help us repeat that motion.
First of all. any circle has a center. In golf, that center is your head or your upper spine. If you are to keep that circle consistent and repeating, you must keep the center fairly still. No up-and-down lifting out of your spine angle, or swaying back and forth.
Every circle also has a radius. The radius in the golf swing is your left arm. Once the arm bends too much at the top or collapses in at the impact area, then you lose the integrity of the circle.
Another point of inconsistency often happens during the take-away. Many golfers roll their right hand to the right so much that they affect the face angle of the club. To fix this and stay on your circle, simply try to take the club back with less hand action. This will certainly improve your consistency. I suppose the hard part about staying consistent is learning how to rotate your body to create that nice circular motion of the golf swing.
If amateurs had one thing to work on all of the time, it should be the quality of their body rotation. It is this body turn that creates the consistent circle. Physics has told us that an object swings fastest and most consistently when it is swinging right angles to its axis. This also is true in creating a consistent golf swing.
The trouble with the golf swing is that the ball is just sitting there to the side of us daring us to hit it. This builds in a subconscious "hit" impulse that we all seem to have. If we could all relax our hands and arms just before we hit, golf would be a much easier game.
As I said in my definition of the golf swing, it is simply a circle on a slant. The slant of the golf swing is sometimes called the "plane." In order to create the correct slant, the golfer must bend over toward the ball some 30 degrees at address. It is very important to keep this posture all the way through the swinging motion. If you lift up out of it on the backswing, or pull out of it at impact, you will lose your circular motion that you are trying to create. By keeping your posture all the way through your golf swing, you will come very close to swinging in your ideal plane.
Becoming a consistent ball-striker is not quantum physics. Just try to get into a good posture and remember that you only have to make a good rotation of your body on the backswing and the forward swing. Stay in your circle and let centrifugal force do its work.
Remember, nothing good in golf was every created with tension. Just relax before you hit it. And lastly, the golf ball is not your enemy, and it is certainly not your target. Swing through the ball and not at the ball, and you are bound to have a more consistent round. Best of luck for many consistent rounds of golf.
Dr. Jim Suttie, 2000 National PGA Teacher of the Year, is available for lessons at Suttie Golf at the Club at Twin Eagles North Naples and Cog Hill Golf Club, Lemont, Ill. For lessons and program information call 800-765-3838 or Jmsuttie@aol.com