By Peter Harris
Special to the Valley News
(Published in print: Thursday, August 27, 2015)
OK, time for the last column of the season. Have no fear, though; winter is a long way away, and there are still a lot of golf balls to hit for the rest of the season. However, you’ll need something to warm you up when the temperatures drop.
Last week, we reviewed the backswing pivot and left you with a what’s-next cliffhanger. Here’s a recap:
The backswing pivot is where you coil, wind up and make a nice centered turn, where your right side gets taller and left side gets smaller (for a right-handed golfer). What happens next will also determine how much power you get and whether you can deliver the club on an inside path.
The first move on the downswing is slight hip movement laterally over your lead foot (left foot for right-handed golfers) while your back faces the target and hips and shoulders are closed to your target. This movement is designed to deliver the club from an inside path to produce a draw or to reduce a slice, all with added power.
Allow your weight to float to your left side while maintaining your golf posture, where you will feel the left side of your body compressed and lower to the ground than your right side.
The final piece of the puzzle happens in a jiffy — right at impact — and continues to the finish. While maintaining your posture, feel the left side your body straighten and extend upward as you clear your hips. Your left shoulder extends and opens up as your right shoulder moves down and through impact, maintaining your spine angle.
All that will happen in an instant as you unwind, carrying you to a completed finish in balance with your body tall and facing the target.
In summary, coil and wind up on the backswing; bump your hip; float your feet and weight; extend and continue to pivot around your lead leg; and finish tall and in balance.
With so much going on with sequencing a sound pivot, it sounds like a lot because it is, and it’s worth practicing. Improving your pivot will allow a much easier time swinging your arms and delivering the club.
As it gets colder in a few months, practicing this over and over will warm you up. Sounds like a perfect winter project.
Peter Harris is the director of golf at the Fore-U Golf Center in West Lebanon.