By Jonathan Craddock, PGA Golf Professional, DG Programme Development
If I had a dollar for every time I heard a golfer say they struggled with consistency, I’d be very wealthy! But on a serious note, I usually follow that comment with the question, ‘why do you think that might be?’ Often the answer is linked to one plane of motion such as weight shift (lateral) or turning of the hips/shoulders (transverse) – both of which prompt frequent misconceptions.
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, the golf swing is two seconds long and the downswing is less than half a second – how much time does it take to transfer the weight from the rear to front foot, or turn the hips? How much should we transfer the weight and at what point do the hips turn? How much do we turn? Should I also turn the upper body with the lower? Whilst this is happening, what is happening to the swing path, or the clubhead or in fact the upper body vs the lower? Where is the balance? Why do I early extend? Why is my club casting? And my favourite – how much should I lag the golf club? I’m pretty sure many readers have played with many of these thoughts!
The answer quite easy… casting and early extension are caused by misleading tuitional points, namely weight shift and sequencing to turn the hips ﬁrst. Lag of the golf club is in fact inevitable, yet the term is often misunderstood which causes players to increase the amount of dragging or pulling during transition in the downswing as opposed to using the correct natural forces. If a player is trying to master any of the aforementioned points my advice would be: STOP, today.
Quite honestly, manipulated movements are hard to replicate without practice and at that point all that is being worked on is timing over mechanics. If timing works for a short time it will inevitably break down at some point. I bet every golfer reading this article has made a swing with minimal-to-no thought yet has produced a bullet, due to moving pressure correctly from the body out to the club and from the club back to the body.
At the Peter Cowen Academy we use tour tested, proven signature drills to enable a golfer to increase their power and consistency through building the correct movement patterns.
The movement should be natural and individualised. Gone are the days where the senior golfer needs to give up power or distance! I will increase all golfers’ yardages and, more importantly, reduce injuries with improved efﬁciency by reducing poor outdated mechanics.
The JC Flow drill allows the body and the club to work with natural mechanics. The body has to accelerate and decelerate correctly, moving energy out to the golf club whilst inevitably realising the pressure transfers needed – NOT WEIGHT SHIFT.
Start with the simple internal/external hip warm up followed by the ladder drill to build the movement incrementally. Once the ladder is built and your body feels warm, move into the JC Flow. The Flow consists of placing balls approximately two clubheads apart and moving the swing back and through whilst correctly maintaining the distance to the next strike by moving the feet correctly within the swing. Start with the balls in a line and measure yourself on the rhythm and balance you can maintain. The more you do this drill the more you can rely on your body’s natural swing mechanics, reducing thought, just do it I say!
To increase certain pressures, you can place the balls on either diagonal toward or away from target, the Flow will need to be altered subsequently changing the acceleration deceleration phases.
Golf is easy, but misinformation makes the swing hard to replicate. Don’t think, use natural forces and mechanics to allow your swing to Flow. Everyone can and should grip it and rip it. See you on the lesson tee.