Constant Elbows Pressure & The Fixed Triangle

Constant Elbows Pressure
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I mention constant grip pressure or passive hands a lot. It is crucial if we want the Large Muscles to dominate, that the grip pressure remains constant so the hands do not take over. It is also equally important for the elbows to maintain constant elbows pressure towards each other.

As I work with my students and we address different issues with their golf swings, I find that many of these problems can be eliminated if their elbows start close together (pointing back at the hips) and remain towards each other during the swing.

Now, the front arm stays straight on the backswing and the back arm still bends a little, and the opposite happens on the downswing. A little bending is not what I am talking about. It is about keeping the elbows close together. It is almost too simple. By keeping constant elbows pressure during the entire swing, the shoulders can control the backswing, and the body rotation can control the downswing through to the finish.

The Fixed Triangle
Okay, so let’s tie-it-all-together. Ideally we want to maintain “both”, constant elbows pressure and constant grip pressure for the entire swing. I’ve thought of a way to do both with one thought. We combine the two thoughts into one “Triangle“.

If you imagine the elbows staying towards each other “fixed” as two points on a triangle, and your constant grip pressure as the 3rd point completing the triangle. Now all we do is maintain this “Fixed Triangle” during the swing and we will get both jobs done. There is something about keeping this triangle in tact during the swing, that keeps both the hands and elbows connected and busy, letting the shoulders control of the backswing and the body turn control the downswing. All we have to do is maintain The Fixed Triangle back and through.

This concept is fresh and new, but I’ve seen great results so far. I would love feedback good or bad. You must have the shaft in line with the front arm at setup (which is how we want it to return as we turn through impact). Please start with short shots, then lengthen the backswing a litte, but only with more shoulder turn (no lifting). You can turn as fast or slow through impact as you’d like for great results. I’ll make a video soon.

The Front Hip – Where the Golf Swing Really Rotates

The longest point of the golf swing is a vertical line straight down from the front shoulder, down the arm, down the shaft to the ground. This is the bottom of the swing arc (not in the middle between your feet). This point is where every throwing sport pivots… any throwing movement pivots around the front hip. This is where the hips can unwind the lower body and shoulders to throw the arm. The golf swing also unwinds in the front hip. Not in the middle between your feet.

Now, the backswing winds up around the spine with slightly more that 50% weight maintained on the front foot… but again, the downswing unwinds around an imaginary vertical line about where the front hip rotates.

If you are not in a position to comfortably rotate around this hip, you have too much weight on the back side (probably from sliding during the takeaway).

As a drill…you can put most of your weight on the front foot and keep it there (no slide on backswing) and take little shots to feel how the swing unwinds around the front hip… Ross

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Hit Driver LONG… and get roll when it lands

Before you read: This assumes you have learned that the “SHAFT MUST BE IN LINE WITH THE FRONT ARM AT SETUP(* see below)”. But, if you’ve learned this… READ ON…

A great way to learn to “Turn” to hit Driver (instead of chopping with your hands) is to tee up the ball just “OUTSIDE YOUR FRONT TOE“. Now, don’t panic!! The longest point along the arc of your downswing, is a line straight down from your front shoulder (The bottom of the arc). Now what you want to do is setup with the club face about 2″ behind the ball. I don’t mean just move the club back… MOVE YOUR WHOLE SETUP BACK TO THAT SPOT. In other words, leave a 2” gap and FORGET ABOUT THE BALL. At first this is a little unnerving, but soon you will feel more confident because all you have to worry about, is starting the downswing with your hips and keep them turning ALL THE WAY TO THE FINISH. You don’t have to hit the ball… it will just get in the way as you turn though.

NOW… what is really cool about this, is, since the ball is ahead of the bottom of the arc, the club head will be traveling in an ASCENDING BLOW like an upper cut. This will launch the ball and add roll when it lands (as long as you have not flipped with your hands trying to help the shot which makes the ball go left or pop up). If your hands are passive the shaft will lead the club face for a square, solid impact as you keep turning.

You can practice this with a small swing (choke down a bit) to get the feel of just letting your body rotation impact the ball (not your hands)….Oh by the way, this can automatically get rid of that pesky slice you’ve had all these years because the club face has more time to square up and since your hands are passive, you won’t be holding the face open…Ross

* Shaft in Line at Setup:
If you have the butt of the club pointing to your belly at setup… you’re in trouble and will have to fix it during the swing, because every solidly hit golf ball at impact, “The butt of the club was in line with the front arm“. This line transfers the energy up the arm through out the body to support the shot (This can’t happen if the wrist is bent. Plus, causes thin and skulled shots.”)

Like Throwing a Frisbee left Handed

I was teaching yesterday and describing how the body unwinds like throwing a ball (the knees lead and unwind the hips then the torso, shoulders and arms, club) and it dawned on me, that a more accurate way to explain this natural, athletic move is to say … “Its like throwing a Frisbee with your left hand as far as you can. No one, throwing a frisbee as hard as they can, would stop their body half way and the let their arm pass their body (weak, no power)… they would subconsciously get their hips unwinding, and firing all the way to sling their arm through.

This is one of the missing elements in traditional golf instruction. The idea to release the club into or pass the ball. That “release” move, guarantees your body to stop rotating at impact (not good). Then the arms get out in front of the body turn and pull the body around. Or another way to state this bad position, “The arms and club now lead and pull the body to the finish (NOT GOOD)!. That means you stopped all the potential power the body turn had and let the weak hands and arms take over. THIS MAKES THE BALL GO LEFT AND IF YOU FLIP TOO, IT WILL PULL HOOK!!

None of these problems happen in a “Powerful, Athletic, Repeatable” golf swing, that has a complete uninterrupted rotation, keeping the hands quiet and passive. Once you learn to use the large muscles (mainly, hips and shoulders) to control the arms and club, you will feel a complete body rotation all the way to the finish like throwing a Frisbee. You will also hit the ball straight, trap the ball, make a divot naturally (without any of the “You gotta hit down on it bologna.”) By the way … you don’t hit down on a ball to make a divot, it happens naturally if you setup correctly, keep your hands quiet through impact and KEEP TURNING.

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Back Hip ~ Back Toe – Work together to Drive the Turn to the Finish

I see many new students that are learning how to turn athletically through impact to the finish, keep their BACK HEEL planted as they are trying to turn. This restricts the lower body from turning and then the hands, arms and club pass the body (not good – loss of power and the ball gets pulled or hooks).

What should happen!! The back heel works together with the back hip in that, as you are unwinding your hips, the back heel must leave the ground and rotate with the back foot onto the toe. You will know if you achieved this when you are finished with your stomach facing the target and your knees touching. If your knees are apart, you didn’t release your hips completely. OR … if your knees are apart at the finish, you stopped unwinding your hips too soon and the hands and club took over and passed the body rotation. KEEP TURNING THOSE HIPS NON-STOP TO THE FINISH. The better you get at this move, the more athletic and powerful your ball striking will be.

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What’s “New” about this Golf Instruction?

First, I questioned “Traditional Golf Instruction” with my own game.  I would improve one aspect of my swing and it would affect another part (trade-offs).  This is when I realized there are way too many working parts (levers) with how the golf swing is being taught.  The odds of timing all these parts was very high and the only way to have any chance for consistency was hours & hours of daily practice.  I knew there had to be a more reliable easier way.

I watched very closely (with video frame at a time) how the best golfers in the world moved when they hit really great shots… and when they missed. I noticed (like you did) how effortlessly great golf shots looked. I found that the Golf Swing has this look when it is “Athletic” and controlled by the Large Muscles (not the hands). If the “Hands” take over during the swing, all natural collective movements are disrupted and it turns into chopping wood (so to speak). Once you allow the hands to take over, the club face will point all over the place. If the hands are passive during the swing, the club face will always be square to the target and return square at the ball because it was not manipulated during the swing.

Then the REALLY cool thing was discovered… when you learn to control your Grip Pressure (hands) during the swing, something else has to hit the ball so what happened was the LARGE MUSCLES (Shoulders & Hips) TOOK OVER AND THEY ARE VERY POWERFUL AND REPEATABLE!

Then it got even BETTER. Having read “One Move to Better Golf” by Carl Lohren, who discovered (watching Ben Hogan) that the “Takeaway” started by the front shoulder pushing straight back while restricting the lower body. WOW! This was another big key. There was also mention of this move another way called the X-Factor years ago.  Which was the differential between your shoulders turning while the hips restricted.

 Traditional teaching has you shifting your weight, on the takeaway, and loading up the back side…THIS IS NOT REPEATABLE! This will keep you struggling forever. I discovered, in a powerful, repeatable golf swing, THE LOWER BODY HOLDS AS THE SHOULDERS WIND FROM TOP DOWN! like a spring. The pivot point of a pendulum can not remain a constant if it’s “Base” is moving all over the place.

 What this move does, is setup the potential for the downswing to unwind from ground up! A NATURAL ATHLETIC MOVE.  Like throwing a ball… the lower body unwinds all the way to the finish leading the arm and hand. Or the lower body “Slings” the hand through.  In the golf swing, the hips, torso and shoulders “Sling” the arms and club through.

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