Player Should Be in Position on Backswing to Move into His Stroke Instead of Falling Away

Beyond the suggestion that the swing should be felt to originate in the center of the body, in order to get the backward windup started, little has been said about the handling of the body-weight during the backswing. Now we must see how the location of the player’s center of gravity can affect his ability to direct his full power against the ball.

Figure 7 is illustrated, if to an exaggerated degree, one of the most common mistakes from which the average golfer suffers. This player during his backswing, has moved, or kept, almost the entire weight of his body upon his left leg. From such a position, as he hits the ball, he cannot fail to fall back upon his right leg. He may even do this so violently that he will have to whirl his left foot behind him in order to keep from falling down. The performance has been often seen on every golf course.

Fault Lies in Foot and Leg Action

This is a fault whose root can immediately be located in the feet and legs. Giving the culprit the benefit of any doubt, we will assume that he began from a good address position, with his weight apportioned equally to his two feet, the toes of both turned slightly outward, and the ball located about opposite the instep of the left foot. But when he began to move, he bent his left knee straight out over the toe of his left foot, and so moved almost all of his weight over upon that leg.

Now, if we look at the correct method, we can visualize the movements, which have brought this player to a good hitting position at the top. Notice where the pressure is upon the feet—on the inside of the toe of the left foot, and on the outside of the heel of the right. Since the weight was already back of the ball at the start there has been no shift either way. But in turning the right knee has moved back and the leg has been twisted slightly toward the right, while the left knee has described an arc of a circle in the same direction. This player is back of the ball and can move into his stroke instead of being faced with the horrible necessity of falling away from it as he attempts to hit it.

Body Turn Adds Power

From the starting position described, the proper wind-up consists only of a simple turn, the upper body rotating, about an inclined axis extending from the top of the head to the base of the spine. The left shoulder has not been raised or lowered except by so much as may have been caused by the inclination of the axis upon which it turned.

An ample backward wind-up by bringing into service the great muscles of the hips and back, immeasurably increases power with-out calling forth a noticeably greater effort. It is because he neglects to draw upon or misuses this source that the average golfer finds his drives yards behind the expert even when he hits them squarely.

Figure 7

Figure 7

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