Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Shadow Knows!!!

Many times during a round of golf the sun peaks out from behind the clouds and casts your shadow over the ball while you are trying to swing.  You try to focus on the ball, but that darn shadow keeps your attention like nothing else! 

But I have to let you in on a secret...your shadow is one of the best training aids you own!  It may be bothersome on the course, but let me show you how to use your shadow to your advantage when you are on the practice tee.  If you don't have your video camera or a full length mirror handy, your shadow will provide plenty of information.  All you need is an alignment rod (or club) and a little imagination.

In the following "shadow" pictures the sun is directly behind me and I am facing my shadow and the target is to my left.

In the picture on the left, I have placed the alignment rod on the ground in the middle of my body as a reference point.  The picture on the right demonstrates how a great backswing would appear.  As I swing the club back I let my right side turn out of the way so my left shoulder can move behind the alignment rod.  Note how you can see the divot to the right of my body at set up and backswing.  This indicates I have "coiled" properly into my right side.

Now I have the alignment rod lined up with my right leg at address.  On the backswing you can see how my right leg maintains it's position and flex as I "coil" properly.

From left to right, these pictures depict TILTING, SLIDING and SWAYING on the backswing which is incorrect.  Any of these positions will cause you loss of power and accuracy.
Do not copy these positions!!

This is how your backswing would look if your converted the "shadow" to HD and view it face on.   I have used three alignment rods to get in the correct backswing position.  I placed one rod on the ground just inside my right foot, one rod is placed through the belt loops on my pants and I am holding the third rod on my shoulders with my left hand.  This leaves the right arm to swing freely.  The goal of the backswing is to turn your shoulders so the rod on your shoulders is parallel to the rod on the ground.  If you do this, your shoulders will have turned 90 degrees from set up to backswing and your hips will have turned about 1/2 that much.  As you do this, make sure to maintain the position of the right leg as I have above.  Remember there is no slide, sway or tilt on the backswing.


I recommend practicing your backswing in front of a full length mirror every day.  Use the picture above as a reference.  Remember you don't need a need a club to do this.

When you go to the range or even the backyard, use any club and copy the "shadow" pictures... because "The Shadow Knows"!

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