Dear T.J.,Recently I have been making poor contact with not only my irons, but my driver too. I don’t feel like I am turning through the ball and releasing. I feel like I am hanging back after impact. I am also hitting a lot of fat shots. Am I analyzing this right? If so, what can I do?Frank, Baltimore, Md. I know you’re not sick, Frank, but your swing is a bit under the weather so we’ll need to go to the hospital to find a solution.
Studies conducted at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, Calif., prove that the move that starts the downswing is a transfer of pressure into the front hip. Researchers placed electrodes on Tour players while they swung and documented that there is a hip switch from the back hip to the front hip at the beginning of the downswing, a switch which reconfigures your power centers and keeps you over the ball at impact. Here's a drill to help you with this prime-time move. Step on It, Frank Place a 9-iron on the ground so the face is under your front foot and the shaft is parallel with the target line. Hover the toes of your front foot above the clubhead while keeping your heel down then swing to the top. To start the downswing step on the clubface by switching pressure to your front hip just as you do when you walk. Make this your first move down. If you do it correctly then stepping on the clubface will make the shaft of the club pop up before your hands are shoulder high. Use this drill and you'll know exactly when you make the switch -- this is important because most golfers are late with the switch.
Once you’ve stepped forward, then rotate your hips and chest and hit it. Tee the ball, use a 7-iron and swing easy at first.
The key difference here is the concept: Don't think weight shift, think hip switch. It may sound like a subtle difference but your brain is much better at the concept of "walking" than it is at "shifting."
the top of the swing I'm in my right hip but have not swayed off the
ball. I'm ready to "walk to my left side." Note that the toes of my
front foot hover over the face of the club laying on the ground, but my
heel is anchored just as it is when I take a step.
Starting down I shift the pressure to my left hip and up pops the clubshaft.