Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Golf Swing Finish Position Comparison

We are a product of our teaching is all I can say about this photo.  I found some pictures from my high school yearbook (circa 1973) and compared them to some current pictures of my swing.  In the early 1970's the golf swing concept was to "keep your head behind the ball" long into the follow through.  This is commonly called a "reverse C" finish.  Well I certainly listened and perfected this concept.  It did however require a limber and young back to accomplish.  It also required excellent timing to release the club with the hands.  Release too early and you hooked the ball...too late and you hit it to right field.

In the 2017 version, note how much taller I finish, my shoulders are very level and the club is more around the body and level to the ground.  This swing is much easier on the back and requires less timing of the smaller muscles.  This is definitely more of a body release swing and not a hands release.  It is much easier to get your weight to the front leg which leads to more consistency.

I went back in the archives and found some classic reverse C finish golf swings.

The most common trait of this reverse C finish is the belt buckle is closer to the target than the head.  The left knee also tended to have a little bend in it at the finish.  If my memory serves me, this swing was definitely taught through most of the 1970's.

What I have observed however is players from the 1950's and 1960's had more of a traditional or classic finish even into the 1970's.  They didn't buy in to the new finish position.  Here is a photo of some classic finishes.

In all of these swings, the left knee is taller or more "posted" than the reverse C finishers.  The spine is much taller with the head located more on top of the torso.  Sam Snead had this classic finish throughout his career along with Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson just to name a couple.

Ben Hogan
Image result for Byron Nelson Golfer
Byron Nelson
So how did we decide the reverse C was the new way to finish?  That is a great question and I would say it was developed as a way to hit the ball higher with more carry.  I will say I played some decent golf with that finish as did the players which utilized the concept.  But the older players maintained their classic finishes and did quite well too.  Somewhere in the early 1980's the reverse C finish went away with the exception of a handful of players.  Mike "Radar" Reed maintained that finish throughout the 80's and Jeff Maggert a player from the 1990's (current Champions TOUR member) still has a bit of the reverse C in his finish.

I prefer the classic finish as it will lead you to more longevity in the game.  The modern equipment is designed to hit the ball higher so there is really no reason to stay behind the ball so long anymore.

Just a side note...I am not saying I want you sliding your head past the ball on the down swing.  The lower body still has to start the down swing with a slight shift of weight to the front leg and then hip rotation to the target. 

Follow the links below to some drills which will help you finish like a pro.

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