The first of the 5 keys we’ll discuss, is directly linked to striking the golf ball better. Steady Head really refers to turning around a stable axis.
The word steady says it all - not completely still, but steady. Statistics clearly show that the best golfers in the world only move their head 1 inch on their backswing through to impact with the ball.
Here are a few good tips to keep a steady head and be on your way to better strikes with the ball:
1. Allow your hips/shoulders to rotate at the correct ratio.
2. Width of stance. Students with really wide stances generally struggle to rotate their hips appropriately.
3. Focus on keeping good eye contact with the ball. We are beings of brilliant perception and coordination, so by simply looking at the ball you'll have a better chance of staying steady.
Transferring the weight forward on the start of the down swing is also a commonality among the best golfers in the world. Statistics show that top players have at least 85% of their pressure and weight on the left side through the impact position.
We can now measure this information using pressure plates.
Here are a few tips for transferring the weight forward:
1. Make sure to have key 1 in place (steady head)
2. Practice moving the weight forward while you still on the top of the backswing.
3. Understand that you need to hit the ball with a descending blow.
Key 3 is essential if you want to strike the ball solidly and be in control of your ball flight. The advantage of working with the five swing key system is that if you have understood and worked on Key 2 (Weight Transfer) you should be able to improve/correct Key 3 (Flat Left Wrist)
As you can see in the illustration below, flat left wrist refers to the left wrist/arm condition through the impact position.
Tips to work for Key 3:
1) Understand Key 2 (weight transfer)
2) Practice the punch/pitch shot keeping the wrist
3) Impact bag Drill
4) Preset the impact position
Keys 1, 2 and 3 assists in solid ball striking and consistency. Key 4 specifically influences shot shapes, for example, if you are really striking the golf ball clean/solid but consistently hit a 30 metre overdraw. This example would generally apply to a lower handicapper as he is striking the ball well but struggles to control the ball on some holes. If you fall into this category, you probably need to spend time working on diagonal sweet spot path.
What is Diagonal Sweet Spot Path? It refers to the position of the club shaft prior to the impact position as illustrated. Straight Sweet Spot Path results in consistently straight shots with little or no shape.
Club Face control is the last of the Swing Keys in the series and one that we should work on consistently as to lose club face through a golf shot is absolutely detrimental.
Recent studies have proved that the golf ball always starts off closer to where the club face is pointing at impact. In the past, without tools like FlightScope, it was assumed that the ball would start somewhere in between the swing path and where the face is pointing. All this information might seem too technical for you, but the important thing to understand is that club face control is the crucial element in hitting straight shots. Even lower handicappers have face control issues!
You want to spend time on key 5 (club face control) if:
1. You strike the ball well but struggle with direction - ball often starts on the wrong line.
2. You struggle with loft – either you can't get your woods or long clubs in the air, or you hit the ball too high.
Here are some tips to work on:
1. Grip check – pressure points on the handle.
2. Wrist conditions mainly through impact.
3. Key 2 and 3 which have direct influence on Club face control.
4. Practice controlling the club face while pitching. This leads to greater understanding when it comes to the fuller shots.
We are going to swing as per normal, the only difference being that we are going to feel like the club head is staying low to the ground for the take away section of the swing. This will force us to increase the width of our swing arc.
Make sure that this movement is performed by turning the shoulders and not lifting the club up with the arms.
A wide arc helps us to create “effortless power” and should also promote accuracy and consistency of strike. Our weight transfer will also be improved.
Club low to the ground at takeaway
Drill: Put a ball between your arms. Swing the club back while keeping the ball between the arms. This will force us to use our shoulders to take the club away and to increase the width of the swing arc.
If you achieve a balanced finish it means you have transferred your weight onto your front foot and this will result in more powerful and consistent golf shots. Often we see people fall onto their back foot after a shot. This results in a loss of power and consistency. A balanced finish is essential for playing consistently good golf!
You would find that by trying this simple tip your ball striking will improve.
Picture 1 - no wrist hinge/ sway off the ball.