JC’s Festive Swing Tips

By Jonathan Craddock, PGA Golf Professional, Dubai Golf Programme Development

Often when I’m walking along the driving range, two of the most common comments I overhear are: “keep your eye on the ball” and “you’re bending your left arm, keep it straight”.

Upon hearing this I immediately think how important it is to understand the related movements that cause the issues that make people give this advice. Because neither of them fully do this, I call them ‘fixes’ or ‘band-aids’ for poor movement mechanics.

The aforementioned myths are amongst my favourites, along with “turn your hips” and “torso first to create lag”.

These are all consequences, so if you create and practice correct movement mechanics they will be fixed naturally.

Let’s start with “keep your eye on the ball”. This may have worked for you in the past, but, that said, it is a band-aid applied to inhibit other movements.

For example if you lift and lose good posture during the downswing into impact, keeping your eye on the ball a little longer may reduce the amount of lift to potentially increase the likelihood of an improved strike.

But wouldn’t it be better to practice the correct motion and therefore taking away the need for the band-aid…?


DRILL 1: FEET TOGETHER SPIRAL AND WIDE STANCE SPIRAL

Working the correct axis of torso spiral during the upswing and downswing is vital to allow a consistent and natural movement. Practice the spiral with your feet together – or a wide stance – every day.

There is no need to hit the range as this can simply be performed at home.

Feel the ground and work each segment of your body, spiraling and stretching to the top on both sides.

DRILL 2: CHINESE FIGHTING STICKS

You can use your golf club for this or a broom handle and it’s an excellent way to spiral the body whilst incorporating the arms and lever.

Spiral your body, loading your shoulders and continue the spiral through the arms to the club.

DRILL 3: THE NO LOOK SHOT

How often do you practice without looking at your ball, instead looking forward to see what’s happening with your body’s movement?

When out on the course, we will most likely concentrate on the ball, however, when practicing on getting the correct movement, this is a great way to improve quickly by forgetting about the ball and focus instead on the feelings of making the correct movement.

Two of my all time favourite players – Henrik Stenson and Annika Sörenstam – notably encourage a free flowing through-swing.


The reason I mentioned the straight left arm at the start is because bending the arm is quite often linked to the aforementioned point of not having a free flowing through-swing.

This happens because without flowing freely through the impact area, the torso isn’t able to move correctly and therefore will lead to band-aid tutorial points such as ‘you need to turn more’ etc.

Again, if the practiced movement is correct, flowing down into the ground will naturally open the body in form of the downward spiral.

Without this, the left shoulder is unable to move behind the right, and if this is not happening you are most likely not going to be able to keep your left arm straight.

THE JC FESTIVE RECIPE:

1 X FEET TOGETHER SPIRAL
30 seconds daily

1 X WIDE STANCE SPIRAL
30 seconds daily

1 X WIDE STANCE SPIRAL, IMITATING CLUB WITH HANDS
30 seconds daily

1 X CHINESE FIGHTING STICKS DRILL
30 seconds daily

This equates to just two minutes a day, and if you stick to this recipe, the outcome will not disappoint.

Try out these simple drills this festive season at the Peter Cowen Academy at Emirates Golf Club.

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