The Role of the Body in A Golf Stroke
In earlier articles we discussed the role of the body and that it’s “job” is to provide the balance, arms generate the speed, and hands give the shot direction.
Here are a couple of ways to think about this.
First, every house and every structure must have a firm foundation and the foundation for the golf stroke is what the body is doing. Without this foundation and support from a stable body, or Pivot motion, then the structure will not have any rigidity and a structure can only be as good as its foundation.
Another way to think of this is an air plane delivering a bomb to its intended target. The body is of course the airplane and it is delivering the hands arm and club to its location which is to the golf ball, or aiming point, while still driving down to full extension.
Now let’s take a look at what some of the body parts should be doing during the stroke and we’ll start with the feet.
The feet need to be firmly into the ground with no unnecessary lifting or rolling other than what the body makes them do. If the feet are pulled off the ground because of the Pivot motion then fine. Otherwise they need to stay as firmly planted in the ground as possible without any of that unnecessary lifting or rolling.
The knees start out at address in a bent condition the same amount of the bend as if you were in an Impact position. As you make a backstroke the right knee can either stay flexed or it can be allowed to straighten and in the downstroke this is just reversed. The left knee can stay bent coming into Impact or it can be straightening, again the players’ choice.
The hips work in response to upper body rotation, more specifically the right shoulder, so they have choices as well. They can be free to in turn in both directions, or they can be delayed which means the shoulder turn itself pulls them and turns them.
The primary role of the shoulders is to allow the hands to work on plane. So if the right shoulder is off plane, then unless the hands are well educated, the clubhead will also be off plane. The arms want to follow the path of the shoulders.
Now the Hands can makeup for off plane shoulder movement but this takes tremendous amounts of timing to do so. So the easiest thing to do is to keep the right shoulder moving on plane, down and out to Low Point, just like you’re moving the hands and all way to the finish.