The Pyramid Of Learning (P9)
After a good round, players can of ten be heard to say they didn’t feel like they used their hands today; and after a bad round you often hear them say that they felt very ‘handsy’. The reality is that when players are swinging the club well their hand action is very natural; however when the best players in the world are having a bad day and are not swinging the club correctly then they rely on tremendous hand/eye co-ordination to strike the ball.
- There is hand action in acorrect on plane golf swing.
- There is hand manipulation in an incorrect off-plane golf swing.
Most of the best players in the world are naturally talented athletes and are born with very high levels of hand/eye co-ordination so they can salvage a poor off plane swing into a reason able result. Unfortunately, everybody is born with different levels of hand/eye co-ordination and formost amateurs the same type of poor swing is often unrecoverable and results in a really poor result.
Hand/eye co-ordination will help if you are out of position and while you may not be blessed with as much natural ability as tour professionals you can still improve.
Good hand/eye co-ordinational one can allow a golfer to play golf to a reasonable standard with poor technique. However, it should not be reliedupon as it can often break down inapressure situation. A combination of good technique and good hand/eye co-ordination is the recipe for a solid golf game in any situation. To improve your hand/eye co-ordination here are a few simple drills for you to practise:
- BEGINNERS: Practise throwing balls into a bucket about four feet away. As your co-ordination improves, increase the throwing distance by moving the bucket further away.
- Place tee pegs in the ground and try to knock the tee peg out of the ground swinging the club using your dominant hand ( as I am doing here with a mid-iron). After afew minutes, repeat the exercise with your other hand.
- Take this astage further, and practise hitting balls with your dominanth and until you feel the strike improving. Once you have achieved this, then hit balls with your other hand until the quality of strike is similar.
A common denominator among the really powerful ball strikers on tour ( such as we will see in a moment with Henrik Stenson) and most long driving specialists is what I call ‘Stretch Leverage’. If you can learn to harness this natural leverage in your own swing then you will start to strike the ball more powerfully than ever.
What is ‘Stretch Leverage’ ? Well, you create stretch leverage in your swing by coupling the correct body movement in the swing with the angle of your left arm to the shaft.
Setting the angle between the left arm and the shaft during the swing creates the main lever in the swing. To optimise the efficiency of that lever–and thusgain maximum benefit–you must actuall yallow that lever to straighten at impact ( below).
Many players have at endency to roll the wrists or uncock the wrists at impact in an attempt to get extra momentum into their swing. This unnecessary manipulation of the hands leads to inconsistency indirection and power. If you have used my ‘Spiral Staircase’ drill by now ( see last issue) you should understand that it is the left side opening up and stretching which allows you to retain the angle between the left arm and the shaft and this means you do not have to uncock the wrists through impact.