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The Basic Steps to Perfect Golf.

By Philip A Gorfett.

www.playperfectgolf.co.uk
Home Introduction Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3 Lesson 4 Lesson 5 Lesson 6 Lesson 7 Lesson 8 Lesson 9 Lesson 10

Lesson 4 - The Back Swing. (Changed 20/09/2017)


Back Swing Movement. ( See "Still Mechanics" 4.1)

The set up and the way you take the club away from the ball at the very beginning of the back swing movement will determine the outcome of the golf shot, so pay particular attention to this aspect of the golf swing.

 

( Look at this VIDEO of a top professional making a golf swing, notice as the back swing movement is performed, the hips are gradually rotating away from the frontal facing position.)

During the back swing movement I am concentrating solely on the lower back muscles to rotate the upper body unit as a whole, in other words the arms only move because of the rotational movement of the upper body unit, it is only when the upper body unit cannot rotate any further that I begin to physically move the arms independently, so that the left arm gets close to the right shoulder.


In this lesson I am playing a seven iron, so the first thing I do as I address the ball is to ensure that the shoulders are square to the target line, the hands are well to the left of the ball and the head is behind ball position.

I then check that upper body angles are correctly set.

Next I focus my eyes on the manufacture's name on the golf ball and then place the ball on the tee so that the manufacture's name is facing away from the target area, but is just visible as I address the ball.



Therefore as I address the ball, which is placed at just to the left of the centre of my stance as I am using a seven iron, I continue to hold my focus on the manufacture's name on the golf ball ball and ensure that my head remains well behind the ball, before concentrating on the lower back muscles to rotate the shoulders/upper body unit around central core of the spine.

To ensure that I maintain the compact upper body unit, I keep the elbows as close together as is possible and the right elbow tucked into my waist.


This is the critical part of the golf swing.

Therefore whilst concentrating on stopping the hips from swaying away from the original address position, (whilst they continue to rotate), I focus on the lower back muscles to rotate the upper torso into the back swing movement.

However when it reaches a point when the upper torso in unable to rotate any further, I use the left shoulder to push the arm as far as possible
, but as I stated above, this part of the back swing is important, so as the lower back muscles rotate the compact upper body unit into the back swing movement, I ensure two vital aspects are performed.

(1) That the club head immediately begins to move inside the parallel to the target line as soon as the club head moves away from the ball.

(2) I ensure that the compact upper body unit rotates around the central core of the spine.


Look at this VIDEO and you can see how the club head moves inside the parallel to the target line immediately it moves away from the ball, you can also see how after the club head strikes the ball, the club head swings inside the target line.


As long as I continue to adhere to these aspects of the back swing and as long as the lower back muscles control rotational movement of the compact upper body unit, the left shoulder will gradually begin to rotate under the chin, but you must ensure that the club head follows a swing path that moves it inside the parallel to the target line, immediately the club head moves away from the ball.

When you reach a position where your head is just about to rotate away from the frontal facing position, the back swing movement is deemed as completed.

(If you correctly rotate the compact upper body unit around the central core of the spine and keep the head in the fixed frontal position, the left shoulder will immediately begin to rotate under the chin -- and as the back swing continues to its conclusion, the left shoulders will be pointing to the ground and the right shoulder will be pointing to the sky. -- However I must point out that when you perform the down swing movement, the club head must return to the ball on exactly the same swing path as performed during the back swing. )



As the upper body unit rotate into the the back swing movement, I hold the elbows very close together, thus maintaining the upper body mass so firmly together so that the triangular shape of the upper body unit is held intact until it reaches a point when the rotational aspect of the back swing movement cause the right arm to begin to fold.

But importantly, I keep the right elbow close to my waistline in order to force the forearms to rotate, thus ensuring that I have the correct hand position at the end of the back swing movement for the most effective whipping action, but importantly by keeping my left heel on the ground it encourages me to twist
the upper torso to its maximum

At that point the triangular shape of the upper body unit will alter slightly, but in all intents and purpose try to hold the triangular shape as set at the address position throughout the back swing movement - to the completion of the back swing movement.
( As the right arm begins to fold, the wrists will automatically begin to cock.)

 

In addition, I do not allow the head to move laterally away from the original address position, (keep the left eye positioned so that it is slightly behind the ball position,) nor do I allow the head to rotate away from the frontal facing position, nor do I allow the hips to sway away from the original address position.

(There are exceptions to the rule about the rotation of the head during the back swing movement.

For instance, Jack Nicholas allowed his head to rotate very slightly away from the frontal facing position as he began the back swing movement, but as soon as he had completed this slight rotational movement of the head, he no longer allowed the head to rotate any further and the head remained firmly in that reset position throughout the remainder of the back swing movement.)

At the end of the back swing movement the left shoulder will be pointing towards the ground and the right shoulder will be pointing to the sky, thus the lower back muscles has rotated the upper body unit and thus the whole body has been twisted to its maximum, but importantly, the left arm is close to the right shoulder and the right elbow in tucked in to the waist.


 

Important Points

I ensure that the club face remain square to the ball position for as long as possible whilst the left shoulder rotates under the chin and immediately moving the club head inside the parallel to the target line.

But whilst the lower back muscles are the controlling factor throughout the back swing movement, I keep the elbows held close together thus maintaining the shoulders and the arms
as a very compact unit, whilst my grip on the club is very light.
(If you hold the elbows close together at all times as described it will feel very unusual to you, but after a while you will become accustomed.)


The right leg is always held in a firm but slightly bent position thus keeping the hips held firmly over the centre of my stance as the shoulder/arms unit is forced to rotate, thereby resisting any swaying movement of the hips

At the end of the back swing movement both feet remain firmly on the ground, the torso has fully twisted.

The left shoulder has rotated under my chin and the right shoulder is pointing towards the sky but the right elbow is tucked well into the waist.

The hips have been forced to rotate slightly away from the frontal facing position, but not allowed to sway away from the original address position and the wrists are fully cocked.

When the back swing is completed, you must hold this position for much longer than you realize, whilst the hips initiate the down swing movement.


See Pete Cowen`s -"Axe Drill"- (When site comes up, click on "home page" for the video.)

 

***You will only perform a correct back swing movement by:-


Maintaining the upper body angles.

Keeping the elbows held as close together as is physically possible, but focusing on the lower back muscles as the controlling factor to rotate the upper body unit around the central core of the spine.

Ensuring that the club head moves inside the parallel to the target line immediately the club head moves away from the ball.

Stopping the head from rotating away from the fixed frontal position.

Stopping the hips from swaying away from the original address position at all times.

Keeping the left heel firmly on the ground.



If you allow the head to move laterally during the back swing movement and you fail to return the head back to the original address position by the time the club head strikes the ball, the club head will hit the ground before striking the ball.


 

You must learn to use the lower back muscles to make a full back swing movement whilst the elbows held as close together as is physically possible and the head held in the fixed frontal position whilst the hips rotate slight away from the frontal facing position but remain firmly held in the original address position

It is not easy at first but when you see the results you will understand the importance of the action.


All these changes to your golf swing will not happen "overnight" -- so remember, the more you practice a new movement, the more natural the movement will become.

However, only practice one new movement at a time until the movement becomes automatic, then you can move on to the next new movement.

 

Therefore when you have fully absorbed and thoroughly practiced the movements as described within this lesson, proceed to Lesson 5, the "Down Swing Movement"


It is absolutely vital that you learn to perform a correct back swing movement.

Therefore I cannot stress too strongly that you must ensure that the elbows remain held as close together as is physically possible and the Latissimus Dorsi muscles held in a firm condition, so that the upper body unit remains held firmly together as a very compact unit whilst focusing on the lower back muscles rotate the shoulders
to the end of the back swing movement. (i,e. until the left shoulder almost rotates under the chin.)

During the back swing movement, the head must remain in the fixed frontal position at all times whilst the shoulders are rotated to its limit, (do not lift the arms, you must concentrate on using the left shoulder to rotate the shoulders)

Importantly, the hips must slightly resist the rotational movement of the shoulders but they must not be allowed to sway not even for a fraction of inch away from the original address position.

(You have to focus on the left shoulder to control the rotational mot the upper body unit until your back is almost facing the target area and the head must be held in the frontal facing position until the absolute end of the back swing movement where the left shoulder almost rotates under the chin.)


But remember, think of the back swing as a single action, because at the end of the back swing movement everything has to stop moving -- before moving in the opposite direction.

However the main keys to a successful back swing movement is a nice even tempo, use the lower back muscles to rotate the shoulders thus pushing the arms to the end of the back swing movement and also ensure that the head remains in the frontal facing position at all times and the hips do not sway.

 

Look at this VIDEO to understand how the hips must not sway away from original address position throughout the back swing movement. ( To repeat the video, press the replay symbol)

The video only shows a half back swing, the hips will rotate away from the frontal facing position as the shoulders rotate, but the hip must not sway.


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