Keeping your golf swing on plane

No less an authority than Jack Nicklaus, as well as my mentors Mike Austin and Dan Shauger, all believed that if the first move in the downswing was to move the weight into the lead foot it is absolutely impossible to release the club too soon. But it’s how we move to the lead foot that is critically important.

Think of yourself as a baseball hitter in the righthander’s batter box. This subtle bump of the left hip (4-5 inches) ideally should go toward the pitcher. When this happens the hands move down from the top and the clubhead approaches the ball on the proper path which is slightly from inside the target line to square at impact and then back to the inside. If the hip moves toward the shortstop (or even worse, the third baseman) the hands move out toward the target line and we end up with the classic over-the-top, out-side-in path. When the hip heads toward the second baseman (first baseman even worse) the club gets stuck behind us and we’ll hit blocks, thins, flip hooks and the occasional fats.

While we’re making that slight hip bump, our arms and hands are soft and relaxed and we’re firing them with all cylinders.  We’re not holding the angle; we’re swinging the arms with as much speed as we can muster. You’ll be surprised at how far the ball goes.