It’s not enough to perfect the back-swing and get the club to the ball on the right path on the down-swing. The job is only half done.
As you’ve probably heard before, a good golf shot is when the ball is in the way of the swing. You don’t try to hit the ball, instead you just make a good golf swing. With hitting the ball being the objective for most golfers, the rest of the swing is forgotten about. The follow through is crucial in driving the ball to the target. Your hands, arms, legs and hips need to come through the shot together or you won’t consistently hit the ball as best you can.
Golf Swing Tip: How well you finish a shot is a reflection of how good a shot it was.
How many shots do you finish by facing the target? Look at the top players in the world and how they finish every shot. It’s not for show. It’s a natural position from getting the body all the way though the shot – facing the target is the end result.
Being confident about the shot you are about to hit will help this. If you’ve gone through a really solid pre-shot routine, you’ll be sure you can swing fearlessly and get your body through the shot. The club head flies through the hitting area in a fraction of a second, so if there’s any doubt about the shot (shape, trajectory, club selection etc), you won’t break down (hesitate) before impact and lose control.
Hands vs the big muscles.
Tour pros talk about consistency coming from using the body’s big muscles vs the the small ones. If your swing is all about hands and arms i.e. hitting at the ball, it’s going to be a very inconsistent one. To the contrary, if a swing is about shoulders, hips and legs, you’ve got a much better chance of creating a consistent movement. The club-head should be square to the body all the way through the shot which means turning your hips and shoulders through to follow the club head.
When you do a practice swing, you probably finish upright, facing the target. You don’t finish at the ball, so make this a habit for every shot and commit it to your muscle memory.
Next time you practice, try to replicate your favorite tour pros swing.
If you were to compare how you look when you finish a shot to the best players in the world, you would be very surprised at the difference.
One of my favorite swings to try and emulate is Luke Donald’s. Look at his posture when he finishes the shot. He’s in the same position EVERY TIME, and holds it for at least a few seconds. Upright, relaxed, with the club behind his head. His shot didn’t finish at the ball. Give this a go next time your out there and I’ve no doubt you’ll be surprised at the results.
Photo by Keith Allison