Three separations fuel a powerful impact
Once you have coiled correctly, you are poised to release your pent-up power. This release at impact is related to three separations that occur as you start back to the ball:
- Your hands must separate from your back shoulder and move directly down toward the ground. This is an essential power lever, and it is not released until impact.
- Your front shoulder must separate from your chin, a move that aids in dropping the arms and club into the slot.
- Your front hip should shuttle forward, then turn away from the target, creating a separation between your legs.
In the accompanying photos, PGA Tour pro John Callahan is demonstrating all three of these separations, highlighted by the separation of the legs using a beach ball. Failure to make this separation usually leads to the club being pulled across the golf ball, resulting in a weak slice.
In the first photo, John is fully coiled. His shoulders have turned twice as much as his hips over a braced right leg. Swinging in this manner, he can easily hold the beach ball between his knees.
In the second photo, he has achieved the so-called “sit-down” position caused by his knees separating. Note that he has maintained the 90-degree angle between the shaft and his left arm.
The stop-action photo allows us to check out this sit-down action with regard to his hips, too. A club shaft placed across his thighs would point parallel left of the target, indicating that while there has been a shift of weight to his front hip, the hips have only slightly rotated, with most of the motion being a shuttle toward the target. From here he is ready to rotate through the hitting area and deliver a powerful blow from inside the target line.