The good and experienced golfer senses the downswing even as he approaches the top of the backswing. This is the beginning of a good golf swing technique.
What exactly do I mean by this? It brings us to the hands. As the club is carried to the top of the backswing on upper-arm-leverage the accomplished golfer begins to feel the power and control building up in the hands and wrists and along the left forearm. This power he is going to apply in the later part of the downswing.
In order to effect a smooth transition from the backswing into the downswing the hand-action, never hurried, must be slowed down still more in the final stages of the backswing. The hands and the club head are going to be put into reverse and the operation must be done as smoothly as a skilled driver reverses his car.
The necessary slowing down of the action can be achieved only by feeling the build-up of power in the hands, wrists and left forearm. This feeling, in fact, helps to give you that almost imperceptible pause at the top of the backswing as the hands begin to change direction. There will be no tendency to snatch once you master this.
The downswing starts with a slow downward drive of the hands and left arm across the body and the lateral shift of the lower part of the body with the club-shaft retained behind the hands.
This most important lateral shift enables the good player to retain the power in the hands which he began to feel as he approached the top of the swing. And it gives the hands room in which to do their work in the delivery, that part of the action which is going to apply the club-face squarely and with sustained power to the back of the ball.
The club head is released into the delivery when the hands have descended to a point almost level with the ball, at which point the club head is still lagging, POINTING TO EIGHT O'CLOCK, maybe even higher but certainly not lower.
My experience is that pupils generally find this eight o'clock position of the club head one of the most difficult features of golf swing technique to achieve. But how worthwhile it is to strive for. The hall-mark of the outstanding player is one who lets the club head go into the same hitting area and maintains the club-line through the ball consistently with each shot. It makes for constant accuracy with the various clubs.
Let me put it this way. Take a fairish golfer with a good-looking shape to his swing but with an unsure delivery. Inferior timing and hand-control cause him to vary the position of the club head as it comes in for release into the hitting area.
There he is with three balls lined up to be struck from the same spot with, say, his seven iron to the green. With his inconsistent delivery the landing area for these three balls is liable to be extensive. He is likely to pitch one on the back of the green, one on the front, and the third probably short. This takes no account of any deviation from the line which may occur.
Work and train yourself to give the hands time and room to bring the club into the eight o'clock position from which you will be poised to make a carpet-beater action at and through the ball.
Now do you see why the shaped swing must be harnessed to a shaped delivery? Let me repeat that the way to train your hands to give you this eight o'clock position is to give them time. Wait for it before you let the power pour into the back of the ball.
Get your golf swing technique right, and your game will improve dramatically.
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