Soft shoulders - Your West Valley News: Columns

Soft shoulders

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Tom Drisler

Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2012 7:00 am

A swing resides in the momentum of the thing being swung.  The momentum of the object itself provides the motion.  The center simply remains stable and limits the swinging motion to a predictable arc due to a constant radius.

The main thing that ruins a pure swinging motion is trying to accelerate the club faster than the swinging action would dictate.  This attempt to “hit” the ball results in pushing the club out in front of the hands and causes mis-hits and loss of power.

Therefore, the club is not swung by the arms, as if the arms were active players; rather, the arms themselves are swung and the club goes along for the ride.  The difference is very important.  The main difference between professional players and amateurs is that professionals relate to their own arms more passively than amateurs.  They realize that in so doing they are able to swing both the weight of the club and the weight of their arms into the ball for maximum power.

What is the main determining factor as to whether or not you are able to swing your arms?  That factor is the freedom of the joint between the arms and the body ... the shoulders.

Your shoulders need to be as close to totally relaxed as you can make them if you are to swing your arms successfully.  Imagine your upper arm connected to your shoulder by two links of chain.  That is the connection you want to simulate in your shoulders to be able to swing your arms.

If you hold a golf club down on the end of the grip with two or three fingers and let it swing in pendulum, you realize that the lighter you hold the club the more easily and freely the club swings.  In the golf swing, the shoulders correlate to the finger tips.  The lighter your shoulders’ control of your arms, the more easily and freely your arms will swing.

Real power in the golf swing comes from swinging the whole golf club around the circle centered on your head.  You can’t move the entire club with just your hands.  You have to move your arms to swing the entire club.  Maximize your freedom of arm movement and you maximize your power.

Tom Drisler is teaching at Union Hills Country Club. Individual lessons, group lessons and video lessons with take-home CDs are available. Call 602-316-0419 to schedule an appointment.

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