A MIRACLE OF RESTORATION
BY T.J. TOMASI
In order to make solid contact you must use the “long arm” method: The arms are long at address, then the back arm folds and the front wrist cocks, decreasing your clubhead’s distance to the ball. Then just in time for impact, the arms go long again, re-creating the distance you established at address.
For purposes of discussion, let’s assume that the golf swing is a circle, even though it is not exactly so. The radius of your swing circle is a combination of your front arm plus the length of the club.
With you at the center, the radius is a line extending from the tip of the front shoulder to the bottom of the clubface. This line folds into a 90-degree angle in the backswing, changing the effective distance to the ball, a distance that must be restored at impact.
Supporters described the restoration of King Charles II to the English throne in 1660 as “a divinely ordained miracle,”
but a real restoration miracle occurs when a golfer restores the radius, not just once or twice a round, but every time. This is what a good player does — and what you must strive for.
In other words, the backswing changes the distance your clubhead is from the ball, and the downswing reinstates it — a power-packed process that requires intricate timing. Restore the radius too early and it’s a weak pull, restore it too late and you block it wide of the target.
But more than just the front arm is involved in the triumphant return of your clubhead to its rightful place.
Long back arm
In addition to a long front arm at impact, you need a long trail arm, one that is returned to the length it had at address. The ball at address sits on the swing circle, and it is still sitting there just before impact. That is its pre-impact job — just sit there and wait.
Your job is to make sure you repair the distance gap created when you cocked your wrist and folded your arm during the backswing. Any tentativeness during the downswing not only destroys power but also direction.