Play Better Golf

Mastering Your Upward Swing From the Ground

Are you one of many golfers who wonder how the right swing from the ground up  really feels? Here is a visual instruction by Randy Chang.

Holding up his full size golf bag, Chang takes his stance, turns back, and then moves through as he transfers his weight as he tosses the golf bag to his assistant pro. Typically, he uses a 20-50-pound medicine ball, the one you use at the gym, for this instead of the expensive golf bag. Nevertheless, the effect, he says, is the same.

A high-handicap newbie golfer would typically start from the top using its hands, arms, and then shoulders when making a downswing. This results in loss of power as well as other issues on various swings, such as outside-in swing path, casting, and balance loss. This drill forces you to use your stronger and bigger muscles because of the heavy weight involved. See photo 1. Moreover, it allows you to keep your arms and body “connected”.

It is crucial for a good golf swing to be able turn your back away from your target as it lets you create power and keep the club on path and plane. See  photo 2. Most amateurs do the wrong thing when they start with the hands and then try to pull their upper shoulders and arms to make it look like their upper back is fully turned. Those whose flexibility is limited should allow their head to turn back as you turn or lift the front heel from the ground. Jack Nicklaus is very famous for these two traits.

Transitioning from the backswing to the follow-through uses a whole different muscle set in order to throw this dead weight to a significant distance; please see photo 3. The goal here is to be able to toss the object as far as you can manage and at the same time face the target and keep your balance. See photos 4,5, and 6. You will see that the body does similar things when doing a golf swing  as when it was doing the tossing drill. See photos 7,8,9, and 10.

Using a heavy object makes it difficult for you to use your arm as your source of power, hence providing you with the idea that the arms and body should work together and not independently. This is what swinging from the ground up practically means!

When you try this drill, start with a very lightweight object and build the weight slowly to avoid injury.