Straight to power
By T.J. TOMASI
As a teacher, I look for certain “key to see” positions in my students’ swings that no functional golf swing can do without. Here are two of them:
First, I like to see a trail arm that is straight at the pre-finish position. This is just before the fold of the forearms that consummates the finish. Like an archeologist who learns valuable information from the remains of a long-past culture, you can learn a lot about the quality of your swing at impact from studying this key artifact.
In the first photo below, the tour player’s late, straight right arm shows how well he uses his torso. It is a sign that he has maintained the critical kinematic sequence that characterizes all good golf swings.
I chose this unusual view because it allows you to see how much he has kept his chest and shoulders moving through the ball. There is no way he could keep his right arm straight at this point if he didn’t rotate his upper body to the max.
Golfers who stop rotating through the ball force the arm to break at the elbow, ruining the shot. Take some video of your swing and check out your trail arm. If it’s bent in the pre-finish, you have a problem.
Next, I like to see the front leg straight at impact with the lead arm running directly down the leg.
Note also in the second photo that the player’s head is directly in the middle of his shoulders. The human head weighs about 10 pounds, and its role in balancing the body during a ballistic event like the golf swing is important. With his body balanced over the ball, he can use his core very effectively.