Play Better Golf

Lesson 18: Getting a Backswing Plane That Matches Your Body

Area: Iron Play

Practice Site: Range or at home

Instructions by: Mike Adams

On the earliest parts of our improvement plan, you have learned many things, including how to get a backswing plane that matches your body as well as hit a steady position at the top. Now, here comes the fun part: you get to learn how to swing back down to impact. But, hey, in golf, there is always a right way to do a thing. And there’s a correct way in delivering the club  according to your biodynamics.

For under golfers, it is important to position your elbows in front.  Keep your right elbow positioned in front of the right side of your hip as you turn in the impact zone. Doing this helps maintain the natural power position of your right hand.

When the shaft parallels to the ground as you do your downswing, release by extending your right arm to the target. Let your arm snap straight as you reach the follow-through. Slightly pull your head and chest  away from the target as you extend your right arm. Doing this helps in maintaining balance.

For side-on golfers, maintain a position where your right elbow stays on your side. As you position your club to deliver, time the swing of your arm and turn of your hip so that your right elbow evens with your right hip.

When the club butt points at the ball when you downswing, make your right arm straight; 45 degrees extended pass the ball if possible. Bow the back of your right wrist and flex the back of your left hand to unhinge. Doing this will undo the horizontal hinge formed by your backswing. The release should feel as if the clubhead is cornering.

For on-top golfers, maintain a position where your right elbow swings behind you as you do your backswing. Make sure you keep your right elbow back as you go all the way down. This position may appear wrong or “too inside”, but releasing will take care of that.

Release by “covering” the ball. When your left arm parallels to the ground as you swing down, straighten your right arm. Make sure to do maintain the angle in your wrist while doing it. Because you have lots of downward movement when doing this, it is ideal to thrust upward from the ground to ensure best results.