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How to Cover the Golf Ball at Impact

Online Golf Instruction By: Chuck Quinton, Master Instructor • FULL BIO •

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Hey everyone, this is Chuck Quinton, founder of rotaryswing.com. Today I want to talk about a really important concept that you probably have either misunderstood, or been taught completely incorrectly. Not only is it going to actually slow the club down, but it's actually going to lead you to potential for injury, just like what Tiger Woods experienced and many other golfers, because the concept of covering the ball is something that needs to be understood correctly. That's really what we're going to talk about today is how you interpret what it means to cover the ball and why you want to do it.
 

Well, let's first define what covering the ball really means. Basically what most instructors are talking about is your chest staying down and in the shot, being over the ball, versus if you've watched my how you lose your posture videos, you push off the right leg. That's what causes you to stand up out of your posture. Now you're not covering the ball, you're coming out of the shot. You want to stay down and through it, and let the club release past your body and that's what gives you maximum speed. That's what you see the tour pros do.
 
However, it's often taught completely incorrectly because people are teaching their students to take their right shoulder in push it across their body, which causes the club to get stuck behind your body. The harder I turn my shoulders and push from this right side, the more it's going to overpower my arms. My arms get stuck behind my body like this. Technically I'm still down in my posture but my chest is very open. 
 
Why is this a problem? Well you're shortening the radius of your swing arc. I don't want to get too technical here, but the radius of your swing arc is one of the primary determinants of how fast you're going to swing the club. If you want more club head speed, you better listen up. For every half inch that you pick up in the radius of your swing arc, you pick up about two miles an hour of club head speed. It's pretty simple to understand. You pick up a seven iron. Let's say you swing a seven iron. Let's say you swing at 90 miles an hour. You pick up your six hour it's automatically going to go about 92 miles an hour.
 
That's through out your whole bag. That's why no matter how hard you try and swing your pitching wedge, it's never going to be able to be swung as fast as you swing your driver, just simply can't happen due to the physics of it. We want as wide of a swing arc as we can possibly create because it's free speed. The further the club is away from you, the faster it's got to go to keep up with the rotating center, or in this case you. Your body.
 
We don't have to work harder. We don't have to swing harder. We don't have to put yourself at greater risk. We want to just increase that radius. To properly cover the ball, we want our arms to extend out away from our body and get close to maximum extension. Then get into this release position while our chest stays down. That is properly covering the ball, not this. You notice when I do this from face on, watch what happens to my head. 
 
Now you get into this position where you're not only shortening the radius, but you're not allowing the club to fully release because it's kind of like the same thing as being in a check. Swinging a baseball hitting it down the first base line. You want the bat to get out in front of your body and that means your chest has got to stay back while your arms release. That is the key to speed in golf, unlike in baseball where you kind of want your arms to cross your chest because you need to absorb the kinetic energy that's coming into the ball. It's coming with a tremendous amount of force.
 
In golf, the ball weighs an ounce and a half and it's completely static. There is no kinetic energy. You don't need your arms draped across your chest for power. What you need in golf is speed. If you want to understand how to increase your club head speed without putting any more strain on your body and how to properly cover the ball, watch this preview of this bonus video. What I'm going to talk about is the concept of your arms versus your body releasing in the golf swing. 
 
Even if you think you know the right answer, take a look because you might be surprised. Make sure you like this video if you liked it, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. We put out new video all the time. At the end of the video, I want you to click the link that you'll see up on the screen or down in the description. I'm going to take you to the whole video and I'm going to give you 50 bonus videos for free just for signing up today.
 
One of my favorite parts of the golf swing is the release. The time where we're releasing all this pent up energy and letting the club head accelerate as fast as humanly possible. A lot of golfers don't get to feel what a proper release feels like, or even understand what it is. That's because there's a ton of information out there that talks about turning the body through impact as long as humanly possible and as fast as humanly possible, versus just letting the club head release by letting the club arms turn over.
 
Now, why would you want to do one over the other? Let's talk about the first one. This is what I call the body release. Taking the chest and turning it through the hitting area as fast as humanly possible to move the club. Well first of all, that's putting a ton of undue stress on your spine. That sheer force that you're rotating your spine as fast as you can through the hitting area when there's tons of tremendous force going through there. You're setting yourself up for injury. The last thing that your spine wants in life is compressive force and sheer force. Rotating as quickly as you possibly can. 
 
But let's just take the injury prevention out. Of course that's a huge part of RST. We don't want golfers to get injured. So many of these golf swing related injuries, they're all preventable. We think that's a big deal but let's just ignore that for a second. We talk about the speed that's going to be producing the swing and where it's going to come from. 
 
As you start rotating your body really fast, you create centrifugal force. Now, unless you've figured out a way to outsmart Newton, the result of that is going to be centrifugal force. Now, what is that centrifugal force going to be acted upon? What is it going to do? Well, pretty simple. If I go to the top and I've got these angles in here and I start rotating as fast as I can with my shoulders what's going to happen to the club is it's going to get thrown out away from me. The centrifugal force is going to act on my wrist joint and release the club. I'm going to start casting.
The last thing on earth you want to do is start releasing this wrist angle early in the swing, because that's about two thirds of your club speed. You want to release that very late and maintain that lag. You can't do that when you start spinning your shoulders as fast as you can. Physics are going to always win. You're not going to outsmart Newton. 
 
But again, let's just take that one out of the equation and look at the final last little release component. Let's just assume that for some reason you did figure out how to keep your wrist really, really soft and maintain your lag longer. You overcame the centrifugal force in your swing. Now you're going to release it at the bottom. Well, it's going to be pretty hard to do when you're spinning your shoulders through, because in order for something to release, you've got to transfer energy up the chain and slow down other parts.
 
As I'm spinning my shoulders through, the club head is never going to get a chance to release. I'm going to be leaving speed on the table. In order for everything to get maximum speed, your body has to decelerate. Just like throwing a ball. Think about that for a second. If you're going to throw a ball, what's the first thing you do? You take a step. You rotate your hips and then they're done. You don't get turning your hips to the first base line. You turn to get your belt buckle facing the catcher and then your chest is there. It's done turning as well. Then your arm releases.
But if you kept turning, you'd throw it into first base dugout. You've got to let things decelerate because that's just the most efficient way that we transfer energy up the chain from our legs, from our torso, and then into the club and arms. Now, in the golf swing, it's no different. If I keep rotating through, this club head will release at some point, but it's going to happen after the ball's long gone. That's not going to do you any good. The ball doesn't care at that point. You need to release it at the ball. That's really a critical piece of the swing, but the last thing is just how fast do you think you can rotate your rib cage? 

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