Struggling with overswinging in your backswing, no matter how hard you try not to? Tired of your golf instructor yelling at you to "just stop right here?" Your body uses tension as its primary indicator of how far to move or load a muscle during the golf swing and the reason you can't stop overswinging is because you don't have the correct muscles loaded in the right sequence. But once you follow the instructions in the golf video you'll be able to stop overswinging once and for all!
Did you catch what I did wrong there? If not, go back and play it again and take a closer look. What I just demonstrated was one of the most common and easy-to-fix flaws that is guaranteed to improve your consistency right away, and it's just by making one simple change in your swing.
As you know, Rotary Swing is not all about quick tips and band-aid fixes. We hate that stuff. It's all about long-term fundamental science-based, fact-based fixes for your golf swing, and one of those things that is all about everybody trying to figure out how to be more consistent, and when you understand the mechanics of what I'm going to talk about today, you're going to learn that you can take this out to the golf course, to the range today, make this one change in your swing, and see a change in your consistency.
What I did is what we call a lazy man's turn. In other words, when you start rotating back, when you rotate correctly, you're using muscles that literally compress your ribcage. These muscles as they turn and rotate, twist your ribcage around your spine, will actually literally increase your blood pressure, increase your heart rate when you're doing it correctly because you're using muscles that are compressing all your internal organs. It takes physical work, now not much at all of course, but a little bit to do this and rotate back and forth. If you're sitting there in your chair, you can sit there and do this right now. Just rotate back and forth because now you can't move your hips.
However, as soon as I stand up out of that chair, the lazy man's way to turn is to do this. All I did was straighten up that right leg and let it externally rotate so my knee is now pointing out over here. As you've seen in the laser beam knee drills, the knee should be pointing or feeling as if it's pointing at the ball throughout the entire swing. Now, of course, it does rotate a little bit, but what we see all the time is the knee bowing out like this. From face on, it's easy to see how the knee twists. It gets outside of the ankle. It's pointing outside of the ankle, and this allows my hips as I straighten this leg to over-rotate.
Now, I've made a 75 degree hip turn. A 75 degree hip turn, why is that a problem? Well, now if I've rotated 75 degrees back, how far do I have to rotate in the downswing to get back to a normal 30 to 45 degree open hip impact position. A lot further than if I just did 45 degrees of hip turn. This is the whole key in being consistent and shortening your swing because as I over-rotate my hips, look how far I can turn my shoulders now, almost 180 degrees. Obviously, the more variables you put in your swing, the more movement, the more stuff you have to take out in the downswing.
What we want to do is make our backswing really, really simple so we have to do way less work, way less rotation, way less timing to get back to the ball. And if I rotate my hips a lot, the first thing most golfers are going to do is try and spin them really fast to try and get them out of the way in the downswing, and all bets are off at that point, and of course by doing this, it allows you to make a big massive overswing which also makes consistency incredibly difficult.
So, if you want to shorten your swing, you want to be more consistent, you need to keep this knee flexed and feel like you're loading this right glute as you go back. Now, as I go back correctly, you'll see that that knee, it might straighten out a few degrees, but definitely not all the way out like most amateur golfers do. You'll note pretty much every single tour pro on the planet keeps that knee flexed going back throughout the entire backswing, and that restricts how far I can turn. If I keep this knee flexed, my hips can't turn very far. And if I load this right glute, I've now got a lot of stability, and I'm anchored to the ground, so as I go back, I can't go back any further than this.
This is a great check, especially if you've been one of those people who've been told you overswing, your backswing's too long, you swing back here like this and your instructor keeps telling you, "Hey. Just feel like you stop at nine o'clock." That never works because you don't feel loaded up, so if you're frustrated by that advice and just feel like you're making a half swing and it doesn't feel right to you, it doesn't and it's almost definitely because you're letting your hips over-rotate by letting that right leg straighten and not loading that right glute.
So, when you go back, I want you to practice as an exaggeration sitting into this. This is huge exaggeration. I don't actually want you to do this in your swing, but the reason I want you to do this while you're practicing and sitting into it is so you feel this glute muscle engage. If you weight's over your ankle and you squat down, you're going to feel some stretching and some tension back here. These are the muscles you load up during the backswing that give you stability to build a powerful turn.
If this is all loose and sloppy, you don't stretch any of these muscles in your core, and that's why one of the other reasons letting your hips overturn, I didn't stretch any of these muscles. So, I'm not going to be able to use that stretch shortening cycle to help speed up my downswing that's free speed when you stretch a muscle and let it go back to where it was naturally. Your body naturally wants to do this, but if you don't stretch those muscles in the first place because your hips and shoulders have turned the same amount, we're never going to get any of that effortless power that we're looking for in the swing.
So, when you're practicing, at first you can go back and make little half swings, practice sitting into it, stop here and check your position. If you just keep going back and hitting balls and making full swings and never check this in a mirror and check it on a video camera, you're never going to make any improvements, but if you slow down, make little half swings or even little nine to three swings and practice squatting and checking this and making sure your weight is pushing down through that ankle, you feel your glute engage, do a little squat bounce and then come down from there, you're going to all of a sudden feel as you start making these swings a little bit longer and you keep doing this little practice squat bounce move, that you can't go back any further than that. These muscles are loaded up.
That's what you want to feel on your backswing. You want to feel powerful. You want to feel spry like you could spring back to the left and get a lot of speed and power without having to work for it. But this, this ain't powerful. So, when you want to shorten your swing and be more consistent, keep that right knee flexed the whole time in the backswing, and watch your game improve dramatically.
-Dr. Jeffrey Broker, Assoc. Prof. in Biomechanics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Former Senior Biomechanist for U.S. Olympics Committee
-Hub Orr - Happy PREMIUM MEMBER of RotarySwing.com
-Sam Jarman, PGA Golf Instructor in the UK