The Golf Swing Weight Transfer

The Golf Swing Weight Transfer

Now we have proof!  I’ve been saying for years that even baseball players don’t really transfer their weight in the way people think.  Yes they lift their front leg but then their body does not actually move forward during the swing. 

As was talked about all over the PGA show this year, the weight transfer in your golf swing actually goes backward or toward your back foot at impact!  I’ve shown backward motion in the golf swing on video numerous times in lessons and our workshop sessions. The new Bodytrak swing mat proves what I, as well as many other golf instructors, have been saying for years!  You can refer to our Blog posting on the Bodytrak system at http://www.quickfixgolf.com/2015/01/24/scott-hamilton-speaks-at-v-1-session/

How many times have you read golf tips that say “transfer your weight to your front foot.”  Big mistake!  Of course if a given golfer has a serious spin out move, meaning they turn their body excessively, the weight transfer in their golf swing motion could be a big help.

I would like to thank one of our new members Lisa Wright for sending us this video analysis of a classic baseball swing.  Please take note of the following:

1) How the body turns on the axis and does not pass the blue line drawn by the coach
2) Notice how even with the lifting of the front leg the hands of the batter do not move forward or toward the pitcher at all.

Hurricanes go around, electric motors go around, tornadoes go around!  Any movement side to side only reduces your golf club head speed and adds to the possibility of inconsistencies. 

A really good drill to try is hitting balls on only your back foot.  Take something like an eight iron and hit balls real easy on only your back leg.  I like to place my front toe BARELY touching the ground just for balance, but I put no weight on it at all.  You might be surprised at how straight and consistent you hit the ball this way.

The Target is the Ball and the Center of Gravity of the Golf Club.

The Target is the Ball and the
Center of Gravity of the Golf Club.

Many golfers make the mistake of thinking the target is the flag stick. You aim at and align yourself in the direction you wish the ball to start it’s flight path on. If you’re playing a fade you might be aimed and aligned left of the target, (right handers).

Once you get ready to swing the golf club forget your destination and concentrate on your “centeredness of hit”. You have to make contact with the ball at the “center of gravity” of the golf club which in most cases is slightly inside of center on the club face. Golf clubs are different in design so you need to find out where the center of gravity is in your golf club.

I suggest using “face impact tape” so yo know exactly where you are making contact with the ball. You can buy impact tape at www.longshotgolf.com and should use some when you practice.

Is It Shoulder Turn or Shoulder Tilt?

Is It Shoulder Turn or Shoulder Tilt?

Ben Hogan said that this specific move of shoulder tilt vs. should turn was THE number one difference between a successful and unsuccessful golf swing. I see it everyday while teaching golf. Why? Because turning your shoulders back to the golf ball WILL cause you to swing outside in or over the top.

Here’s the drill you need to develop shoulder tilt. Once you get to the top of your back swing stop…..then imagine you are going to ring a giant church bell that weighs about a thousand pounds. Come on man….you have to make this a little dramatic!

Then pull down on the rope that rings the bell. In fact the bell is so heavy that you have to pull down with your right shoulder and upper body as well which should cause a tilt straight down towards the ground. DON’T turn back to the golf ball…pull down on the rope. Instinctively your body will turn back to the ball just in time to make contact and your right shoulder, (for right handers) lower.

Another way to test yourself is to check and see if your shoulders traded positions. For instance, at the top of your back swing your left shoulder should be low and right shoulder high. When you pull on the rope your shoulders should have traded positions. Your right shoulder will be low and your left shoulder high.

Ignore the feeling that you’re going to hit behind the golf ball. It may feel like you will but you should not UNLESS your back swing is too far behind yourself. To check that position, at the top of your back swing stop…then soften your arms and bring the golf club and your hands towards the center of your chest. If your hands are not directly in front of your chest then you are behind yourself in the back swing.

Click here to see a drill that might help

Bobby Lopez, PGA
804-378-7456

You Can Try Too Hard and Get Worse!

You Can Try Too Hard and Get Worse!

I see folks trying TOO hard at getting better and sometimes go through a very difficult period until they get tired and relax. When you’re practicing make sure you hold the golf club lightly in your hands. Take a breather after each shot. Grip pressure is a real killer if you don’t be careful.

In fact, many a golfer who says, “it was that last shot on 18th hole that keeps me coming back”….well did you ever think that maybe you just finally relaxed because you knew the round was over.

Nobody is shooting at you and they are not going to electrocute you if you play bad. Lighten up your attitude, grip and forearms. Nicklaus used to talk about soft forearms all the time.

Just like a receiver in football trying so hard he starts dropping passes you too can try so hard and think so much that you get yourself tied up in knots.

Overall on the golf course don’t think! Drill…drill…drill and forget it! Let the work you did on the range meld in to your golf game. Don’t take it on the golf course.

Forget the Stack and Tilt….Just Tilt!

Forget the Stack and #ilt….Just Tilt!

A great dedicated golf teacher Doc Prose once said; “Any system is better than not having one”. He’s right. If you’re focused on performing a specific movement and if you can repeat it time and again…even if it’s wrong…at least you have some predictability in your ball flight and you can plan accordingly. However some motions can cause you such difficulty that they just can’t be overcome such as a sever “over the top” swing path.

Many of the golf lesson businesses come up with cute descriptions of their method like the X Factor….whooooo…. the one plane or two plane swing…..wow which one am I…somethings it looks like I’m the fourth plane swinger!

I shy away from all these types of so called magic methods and so should you. Why? Because you can NOT force fit yourself to any one’s method. You would have to hit golf balls until your hands bleed to reprogram your body to move contrary to its natural tendencies.

That’s why I look at someones natural tendencies and chip away at the areas where most of the improvement would be recognized and enjoyed. Great players know THEIR swing. They ALL have nagging problems and they know how to keep them under control.

The latest craze is this “Stack and Tilt” thing. Well they got have of it right…the Tilt. The stack part actually makes the tilt more difficult to perform in my estimation and leans toward that dreaded “reverse pivot” that so many golfers worked so hard to alleviate.

Take a look at this video attached that shows what I’m talking about. The BIG move that most golfers miss is the tilt of the shoulders on the downswing. It is the turning of the shoulders that causes the over the top swing path.

Try my 2 o’clock drill to help with this problem. Just click on the video below for the Stack & Tilt Critique Click on this link to see the 2 o’clock drill….

I’m Confused…Do The Arms Go First or The Body?

I’m Confused…Do The Arms Go First or The Body?

Well I had a lesson yesterday that also taught me a lesson. It is real easy for the student to interpret what you asked them to do and multiply it by four and get themselves in more trouble then what they are in in the first place. Don’t over cook it.

The student said, wait a minute….you told me to turn my body and now you’re telling me to lead with the arms and shut the body down? Yes. Well earlier this student had very little movement in the body and now exaggerated the first assignment to such an extent that he was moving all over the place. What some refer to as “swimming” in the golf swing.

What we’re trying to achieve is a balance and coordinated effort between the body and the arms. Under normal circumstance MOST people will feel as though their arms are moving faster than the body but in actuality the motion is coordinated. The arms do move faster on the downswing because of “angular acceleration” just like a line of soldiers marching a column left.

Moral of the story is don’t over cook it, and if you do don’t fret. Touring pros do it all the time. How do think pros can go from winning a tournament one week and then missing the cut the next! They had a good thing going and then they started to over emphasize it and it bit’em.

Now the pro has to start all over again. I don’t feel sorry for him…he probably has a jet plane!

How To Find the Center of Gravity On Your Golf Club

How To Find the Center of Gravity On Your Golf Club

There IS a technique for finding the center of gravity on your club face. Finding the center of gravity is crucial to your success and CONSISTENCY! I would rather swing the golf club 85 miles per hour and hit the center of gravity than swing 95 miles an hour out on the toe of the golf club.

The purpose of any iron shot is to hit the ball straight. We must also move the ball a specific distance. What good does it do to swing perfectly, (as far a club head speed is concerned) for a five iron shot to travel let’s say 180 yards, and then hit the ball on the toe or the heel and only travel 165 yards. Same goes for the driver. Hitting the ball right on the center of gravity of your driver will not only add distance but also accuracy putting you in position to attack the green with an aggressive approach from a good lie in the fairway.

Today there are computers and strobe lights that are used to find the center of gravity on any golf club. Some of these studies are done by independent companies, (yea right). You also might not be able to count on the information the manufacturer gives you about where the center of gravity is on their golf club. In fact, changing the grip or bending the lie angle can change the center of gravity and balance point of the golf club. As cookie cutter as the manufacturers try to make their golf clubs today, there still can be a discrepancy from club to club within a set.

Here’s my method, (it might seem like Cuban engineering and it is, but it has worked for touring pros for many years and still works today). Hold the club face up close to your ear and bounce a golf ball off the face. Bounce it all around the club face. You’ll notice a different sound and a different bounce off different positions on the face of the golf club. Of course we haven’t mentioned that hitting the ball off the center of gravity also creates additional torque that will open or close the club face and send your shots off line.

Continue to bounce the ball until you find one spot that seems to sound the best and you get a better bounce off the face of the club and the club face doesn’t wiggle as much, (torque) in your hand. On most golf clubs, the center of gravity will not be the exact center of the club face. It should be slightly inside of center.

Once you find what you think is the center of gravity put some face tape on your club face. You can buy some at most golf stores or go on line to a company called Longshot and buy it by the roll. If you’re serious about your golf game you should be checking yourself for centeredness of hit constantly so you will use up the roll faster than you think.

The driver is especially crucial. Don’t fall for the gag the golf club companies tell you about having a bigger sweet spot. Bravo Sierra! Center of gravity is center of gravity! You may need to set up your driver at address with the ball appearing to be a little inside of center to get your eye used to hitting the ball where you’re suppose to. Most golfers don’t realize that they hit the ball out on the toe with their driver.

My suggestion is to get some face tape, find the center of gravity, hit balls until you can get your contact as close to the center of gravity as you can. If you find you’re hitting on the toe try choking up on the golf club. If that doesn’t work try taking a shorter swing. You may be surprised at how far you hit it with a smaller swing and you’ll be more consistent. If you’re still hitting on the toe you might be swinging over the top and have your club face open. If you’re hitting the heel constantly you might be swinging too shallow or too inside out. Or you could be rolling the golf club open on the takeaway.

If you have comments or questions please place them on the Blog and I’ll answer you. Leave your email address. Or you can email me at bobbylopez@bobbylopezgolf.com