Over the course of my golf career as an instructor, there is a very common occurrence which has happened virtually thousands of times.
Over the course of my golf career as an instructor, there is a very common occurrence which has happened virtually thousands of times. What I’m referring to, is when I’m recording a student’s swing on video, they’ll often times hit a bad shot, and say something like, “Boy, I hope you didn’t get that one on film”, Or, they’ll say, “let me hit another one and get a good one on there”.
The truth of the matter is however that when I play both swings (the good shot and the bad shot) back to them on a split screen, very seldom can the students identify which was the good shot and which was the bad shot. The reality is that it usually takes a long time (sometimes years) to really make a permanent change in a persons swing! So what is it then that creates the difference between a good and bad shot, especially when their swing mechanics look identical? The answer is timing.
In his outstanding book “Tour Tempo”, John Novosel reveals research where it is explained that Tour Players have nearly identical timing – despite the fact that the players have different speeds of swings. The timing ratio of tour players backswings and downswings is remarkably similar, whereby high handicappers aren’t usually close! The research done in kinematic sequencing of golf swings also bear this out from a different perspective. In other words, the sequencing of a Tour Players pelvis, upper torso, arms, and club are remarkably similar from the top of their downswings to impact, whereby once again, the high handicapper usually isn’t close. In the tour players, the pelvis starts moving first, then the upper trunk, arms, and finally the club. The higher handicappers seldom follow this sequence and “usually” have the upper body and arms starting down first. The question is, “Why do tour players all have the proper sequence? Obviously, they’ve hit thousands (and millions) of balls and created superb timing, but another key factor is that they have much stronger and flexible muscles, specifically in their legs and upper trunk. For example, when you pick up a suitcase, a little muscle in the shoulder region called the Supra spinatus begins to contract and lift the suitcase upward. As the suitcase gets higher, the supra spinatus can’t handle the load anymore and the deltoid muscle of the shoulder begins to help. As the case gets raised even higher, the rhomboid and trapezius joins in to help the process. In other words, there is a definite pattern of movement between these muscles. This same “kinematic sequencing” occurs during the golf swing as the muscles transfer their load bearing responsibilities to one another.
IF A PERSON HAS TIGHT OR WEAK MUSCLES, THE KINEMATIC SEQUENCING WILL NOT OCCUR SMOOTHLY, OR IN A TIMELY FASHION.
The answer of course is: keep your muscles strong and especially flexible. Everybody can improve the range of motion in their bodies IF they stretch the right muscles, the right way, and if they do: Better timing, rhythm, and balance.