Why Consistently Finding the Bottom of Your Golf Swing Arc is Important
Johnny Miller believes that the consistency of swing arc is the number 1 most important factor in developing a consistent golf swing, and, is the biggest difference between professional and amateur golfers.
Being an amateur golfer over 50, how consistent is your swing arc? Another way of asking this question is, how consistently do you take a divot after hitting the golf ball. And, depending on the turf you are hitting off of, how consistent is the depth and length of your divots (when using the same golf club)?
If you are not consistent with the bottom of your swing arc, you cannot be a consistent golfer. After all, if you are bottoming out inconsistently, not only will you be hitting a lot of fat and thin golf shots, but you will be hitting the golf ball on different parts of the golf club face. As a result, it will be impossible for you to judge how far you hit each club in your bag. There will be a large margin of error.
Because golf is incredibly more enjoyable when you are hitting pure irons all day!
Why Golfers Over 50 Struggle More With Consistent Golf Swing Arc
The reason you struggle with consistent swing arc, comes down to 1 or more of these 3 issues.
- Poor spine angle/head consistency
- Poor weight shift into the impact position
- Early wrist release
Golf Spine Angle and Your Consistency
Spine angle issues are typically the most common problem that we deal with in golfers in your age range. If you are losing flexibility in your back as you get older, your body has a more difficult time rotating. If you try to rotate further in your backswing than you back will allow, your back will find “escape routes.”
Escape routes are bad movements that your body does in the golf swing when it runs into a physical limitation. The physical limitation in this situation is poor flexibility in the back and the escape route is that you will typically straighten up your back at the top of your backswing.
In order to hit the ball cleanly, your body will have to bend back down in your downswing the exact same amount of motion that it stood up in your backswing. That makes finding the bottom of your swing arc nearly impossible. (You can read more on how to solve that problem by reading this article: Golf Flexibility to Hit the Sweet Spot Consistently.
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Poor Golf Weight Shift Into the Impact Position
Poor weight shift is another very common issue that may be limiting your ability to hit the ball with a consistent swing arc. Simply put, if you do not shift your weight aggressively forward on your downswing, your swing arc will commonly bottom out behind the ball and you will be ascending back up into the ball.
You are either going to hit the ground before you hit the ball, or hit the ball thin. Every once in a while, you will be able to string together some good shots. But you will never achieve consistency in your golf game. (You can read more on how to solve that problem by reviewing this article: Is Weight Transfer Causing Poor Golf Ball Contact?
Golf Early Wrist Release and Your Consistency
Early wrist release occurs in the downswing when you “un-cock” your wrists too early. When this occurs, the club head passes in front of your hands before you hit the golf ball.
Not only does this cause a serious loss of power, but causes you to bottom out your swing arc too early. Just as with poor weight transfer, you will either hit the ground before the golf ball or you will hit the ball on the upswing.
We found several years ago that the best drill to correct early release is the “swoosh golf drill.” Check out the video below.
Quick Golf Tips for Consistency
Need a quick tip? We got these tips from PGA Master Professional, Dennis Clark. Dennis runs the Dennis Clark Golf Academy at the Marco Island Beach Resort.
Shallow Fat shots (aka “drop kicks”)
- De-loft your club slightly at address
- Place more weight on your front foot.
- Swing your hands higher in the backswing
- Focus on getting through the shot and onto your left side (for a righty).
- Tilt your spine angle slightly away from the target.
- Place slightly more weight on your rear foot.
- Feel that you swing more around (slightly flatter) going back.
- Focus on a much better shoulder turn in the back swing.
Shallow thin shots (usually low skulls to the right)
- Move the ball slightly forward in your stance.
- Open your stance slightly.
- Focus on swinging more DOWN TO THE LEFT through impact (a feeling of coming over the top).
- Getting a feeling that the right side is higher than the left side (for a righty) into impact is helpful.
Steep thin shots
- This sounds like a contradiction in terms but if your attack angle is very steep, the bottom of the swing arc CAN get too far in front of the golf ball, and the swing will simply “tick” the top of the ball coming through. That’s what instructors call a “late top.”
- Widen your stance a little.
- Tilt the spine angle to the right a little.
- Turn the shoulders in the back swing and swing a little flatter going back.
- RELEASE THE CLUB as early as you can form the top, staying behind the ball as much a s possible.
Read more at www.golfwrx.com/210245/find-the-bottom-of-your-swing-arc-for-better-golf
Make the change to a consistent bottom of your swing arc a priority in your golf game this year. Why? Because golf is incredibly more enjoyable when you are hitting pure irons all day!
Thanks for interaction,
+Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist