Awhile ago, I received a virtual golf lesson from a former PGA Tour player who regularly offers tips online. Having played competitively and professionally for a stint, I was curious to understand what someone of his stature might see in my swing.
At the time I was struggling with consistency in my swing. I would hit some great drives and iron shots but might suffer the occasional miss here and there. I wanted a second set of eyes.
After sending some of my swing videos into this professional, he offered some helpful observations. One of the more important notes is a common mistake many amateurs (and even high-level professionals) make, is to move up and forward at impact. There are many ways teachers describe this: losing your spine angle, or blowing your posture.
PGA Tour golfers maintain their posture throughout their swings. And at impact, are often seen as being “seated” at impact. Whereas amateurs are seen moving forward or “standing up” through impact.
Here’s a good visual to show you the difference:
Looking at the white lines, you can see immediately how former world #1, Dustin Johnson maintains his spine angle during and through impact. There is no popping out of his motion. On the right, is a still of my swing, where I am “standing up” and actually moving a bit more towards the ball. This is a no-no as it relies a lot on timing, which leads to inconsistencies. While I’ve been able to make this work, it is not a very reliable move.
Some teachers describe what you want to feel during the swing as keeping your butt against a wall or staying seated. The idea of “staying seated” has helped me tremendously. And, actually after I employed this swing thought, I went out and nearly broke my “career” low-round. Most importantly, I was striking the ball more consistently.
If you want a bit more insight into this, check out this video from Steve Pratt, describing the difference between amateurs and professionals during impact:
I’d love to know your thoughts on this tip and if it helps you!