The opposition position
By T.J. TOMASI
Vivid mental images let your muscles know what needs to be done when you make a golf swing. To better understand how power is unleashed to the ball, picture a horse and rider moving away from a wall with one end of a 60-foot coil of rope tied to the saddle and the other end anchored securely to the wall. The horse gains speed and the rope rapidly uncoils until it suddenly goes taut and the horse stops dead in its tracks. As you can imagine, the rider is flung (released) from the saddle.
Now reverse the situation so that our horse and rider are approaching a 6-foot-high wall at full gallop and just as they get to the wall, the horse stops dead. Once again our hapless rider continues on alone as he’s catapulted over the wall.
In the first image, the wall represents your back leg; in the second, the wall is your front (target) leg. The rider is your clubhead and his separation from the horse is the release of your clubhead through the hitting zone.
Halfway through his downswing, a good player is in the “opposition position,” drawing maximum energy from the ground with both legs planted in resistance and both heels down. Measurements at this point show that energy has flowed upward from the ground, through the legs, into the lead arm, and soon it will be moving down the shaft and into the ball. Although it varies due to body and swing type, at some point, the back heel will raise as it’s pulled up and around by the energy flow.
At first, exaggerate the move by taking some swings where it feels like your trail heel stays on the ground until it’s pulled off by your body turning up and into your follow-through. Feel as if, for a fraction of a second, you’re sitting on your right knee to start the downswing.
There is one caveat here: Make sure you transfer your weight to your front hip to start the downswing. Let your weight empty into your front hip joint while keeping your right heel down — just like your ancestors learned to do to generate maximum striking power.