If you struggle with inconsistency in your golf swing, listen up, because I'm gonna show you one thing that you've probably never ever heard before, and in fact, if you're taking golf lessons, there's a good chance that your instructor's actually teaching you to do it wrong, that's making it virtually impossible for you to play consistent golf and hit your irons consistently in the same spot, and get them to go the same direction.
What is this concept? I call it, moving the fulcrum. When you think about it, think about a grandfather clock for a second. A grandfather clock has a fulcrum at the top, and then it swings on a very slight arch, right? Goes up, going back, down, bottoms out in the exact same spot every time, and then comes up in the same spot, and it never misses the bottom of its swing arch, does it? Now if you think about it, that's the whole secret to iron play, is getting the club to bottom out in the exact same spot, in the exact same way, every single time. That's all iron play is; if you can do that, golf is really simple.
However, what would happen to my grandfather clock, in the bottom of its swing arch, if I started moving it's fulcrum, or it's pivot point? So right now I'm gonna keep it constant, pretty constant. Constant as I can keep my hand here. And now I'm gonna move it. Oh man, club hasn't bottomed out in the same spot once, or maybe every now and then I get lucky and I get it to bottom out in the same spot. And how many times did I do that? Maybe one out of 20. Sound like your golf swing? If so, listen up, 'cause I'm gonna teach you this concept you've never heard about, keeping your fulcrums, staying in the same spot, so you can be the best iron player that you possibly can.
So, what is this fulcrum, how do we relate this back to the golf swing, and what does it really matter? Well, we have lots of pivot points in the golf swing, really, but the one I wanna talk about primarily is this left shoulder. Now, you've probably heard me talk about this concept of pushing versus pulling, and you get by now that makes a ton of sense. You must be using the pulling side of the body to get the club to travel behind and do the same thing every single time. If not, go back and look for my pushing versus pulling video.
Now, if we're pulling in the down swing, what side can we pull with? Well, pretty obvious, it's the left side. And you know, I've talked ad-infinitum about releasing the club with the left hand. So, think about how that would relate to the grandfather clock again. What would be the fulcrum in your golf swing. Well, I'll give you a second to think about this, but it's not a trick question. It's your left shoulder socket. The left shoulder socket is moving in the golf swing, and your left arm and the club, a heck of a lot like a grandfather clock.
Now, of course, it's not exactly the same, there's obviously stuff happening in 3D space here, but what I want you to understand is that when you start moving that fulcrum in your down swing and at impact, like so many golf instructors are teaching you to do by rotating your shoulders through, you're making it virtually impossible to hit the ball in the same way every single time, just like the grandfather clock couldn't possibly hit the bottom of its swing arch the same way every single time.
So let's do this as an example. I'm gonna just try and pivot the club from my left shoulder socket, I'm gonna try to relax my hand as much as possible. And you should notice that as I'm doing this, the club is starting to take a little [inaudible 00:03:28] in the same spot, it's starting right here virtually every single time. Now what happens if I keep doing this, and I move my left shoulder? Whoa, can't even hit the ground, 'cause rotation inherently shallows out the swing. And if I did hit the ball, I'd be wiping across it.
I'll show you from down the line. So we'll go back and do the same drill here. Just try and relax my arm, get the club to do the same thing. Starting to bottom out in the same spot, right underneath my left shoulder. And now I'm gonna move my fulcrum. Whoa, club swung right across the top, would have whacked the ball off the toe, completely missed it. It'd have whacked it off the toe, and would have hit it terribly.
So many golf instructors teach their students to take their chest and rotate it to the left; why on Earth would you do that? Wouldn't you have one fixed point in space to use as a fulcrum to get the club to release the same way ever single time? Doesn't make a lick of sense to me, I hope it doesn't make a lick of sense to you either. So, how do we get this fulcrum to start staying in place, so that we can more consistently get the club to swing the way it was meant to be swung?
Great question, I'm glad you asked. So, the most important thing, as you're starting down in your down swing, is to not rotate your shoulders. If you starting rotating them right from the top, they're not gonna magically stop at impact, of course not. They're gonna keep turning, moving your fulcrum, in 3D space, away from the ball, which means you've gotta make some sort of compensation to get the club to work back out and actually make contact without whacking it off the toe.
So, what you wanna do from the top, is make sure your chest stays shut in relationship to the target as long as humanly possible. I always stand behind my students when I'm giving a lesson, and I say, "Okay, why don't you turn your chest back here to me, keep it there as long as you can." And you initiate the down swing with your weight shift and your hip turn, and that pulls your shoulders back to impact. And since you didn't start rotating your shoulders from the top aggressively, guess what happens to your fulcrum at impact? It stays nice and quiet.
If I start rotating really fast, I'm dead. Club's gonna get thrown out, I'm gonna lose lag and gonna start swiping across the ball. Or I can even get the club stuck behind if I use my hips really well, but either way, the fulcrum is moving. If I keep my shoulders nice and relaxed, and just shift my weight, as I get into impact there's no momentum from my shoulders to keep turning, so all I gotta do here, release the club, release my form, golf swing's done, easy peasy, Bob's your uncle, piece of cake. Stop moving your fulcrum, and start becoming a better ball striker.
-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