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What Separates The Amateur From The Pro Golfer
I wrote in an earlier article about throwing out all the swing thoughts you had read about, or been told by a golfing buddy and just swing the club like you did when you were a kid. In other words, quit playing a golf swing and just play golf. Let natural innate athleticism take over.
Now that you are back to playing golf let me give you the one thing that you must have to hit the ball squarely from the inside as the tour player does. Look at the first image of Ben Hogan. He is throwing a golf ball sidearm. Surely, you have done that at some point in your life?
Stand there in front of your computer and do this as you are reading. Just take your right hand (right handed golfers) and move it back into a throwing position and instead of throwing overhanded as you would throw a pitch to a batter, throw the ball sidearm as if there was an object hovering above the ground in front of you and you had to throw the ball under that object to get it to the target.
Did you notice how your right elbow tucked into your side on the way to the release of the ball? Also, did you notice that the palm of your right hand was facing the target all the way through the pitch and that all five fingers were in a vertical line to the ground? Do it again and watch the palm of your right hand. The thumb is on top and the pinkie finger is in a straight line below the thumb.
Now, bend from the waist into a golf swing position and do the same thing. Notice how the five fingers now point to the ground with the palm still facing the intended target. That is your goal, to take the club and swing it just like you threw that sidearm pitch in a slightly bent forward position. It does not matter how you take the club back.
I don't care if you take it straight up like Jim Furyk, or outside the target line like Lee Trevino, or inside going back as most amateurs do. All that matters is where you are at impact. Take the club back in whatever feels comfortable to you. Remember, you just want to swing natural like you did when you were a kid.
Okay, take a look at the second image. This time, Hogan is swinging a club and notice that just like in the sidearm pitch, the elbow tucks into his side. Look at the third image and the fingers are pointing to the ground and the palm is facing the target. It is as though you were going to slap the ball that is sitting there on the ground instead of hitting it. Well, guess what; that is exactly what you want to do.
Now, look at the fourth image of Jim Furyk at the top of his back-swing. Like I said, it does not matter whether you take the club back flat, or straight up like Furyk as long as you bring it back down the way he does in the next two photos. See the elbow tucked into his side in image #5 and the right palm facing the target in image #6?
Image #7 shows the same position from a different angle. Fred Couples still has his right elbow tucked into his side and the right palm is facing the target with fingers pointing to the ground.
In the 8th photo, there are 8 frames. Take a look at frame six and you should notice that the ball has left the club-face and the right palm is still facing the target.
Now, this is important. In frame seven the forearms start turning over each other with the right forearm rolling over the left forearm. This should happen naturally. However, sometimes things do not always happen naturally for every person. Therefore, pay attention to the release after impact when you swing and make sure your forearms make the necessary turn and go up and around your shoulders for a finish.
Good luck and hit 'em long & straight!