This week's discussion will deal with a little-known concept I call "a swing within the swing."
Every good player knows about this important phase of the swing. What this involves is the club's position waist-high before impact and waist-high after impact.
Despite the many different looking styles of swings, this area of almost everyone's action is identical. I've yet to see any really good player not be pretty much "spot on" through this critical point in the swing. Let's explore this little trinket of information and maybe gain more consistent results.
One of the best and easiest ways of plotting and feeling this action is trying this simple drill. All it requires is some rope or a couple of clubs laid down in a straight line. Most ranges have yellow ropes which designate the hitting area for the day, which are great for what we are going to do.
Take a club (a 5-iron is good) and set up with your toes touching the rope line. (No ball at this time.) Make a very slow back swing, stopping at waist-high, club shaft level to the ground. If your arc was correct, the club shaft should hover directly over the rope line. The toe of the club will be pointing to the sky. Do this several times very carefully and precisely. Soon, you will gain a feel for it. Now, from the starting position, make a slow forward swing to waist-high, shaft level, toe up. Done correctly, the club shaft should hover over the rope line.
You'll see and feel that this is a mirror image of the back swing. After doing this for a while, it's time to blend the two positions into one steady back and forth motion. If you're hitting your check points, you'll be making golf's magic little arc and be on your way to better golf.
Now put a ball on a tee and try to duplicate your drill swings. With a little practice, you should start making solid contact, ball flying straight about 30 or 40 yards. What a sweet feeling it will be with the ball just about jumping off the club's face.
If your results aren't quite the way I've described, go back and do the drill again, slowly, until you're confidence returns. Stay with it and sooner or later, the ball will respond to the magic within the arc.
When your results are more consistent, it's time to move on to a slightly longer back swing and through swing.
Remember that mirror image concept, back and through with good steady rhythm. Done well, the ball will fly farther than you thought possible with perhaps a slight draw.
All is well and now you're ready to make full swings. The results will be forthcoming and you'll enjoy the solid and consistent flight of the ball.
In the future, if you have any difficulty with your game, go back over this drill and regain the "magic" within the arc.
Yours for better golf.
Del Starks is a PGA teaching professional at Abacoa Golf Club in Jupiter. Contact him at (561) 262-0708, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.delstarks.com.