If you Google "Secrets To The Golf Swing" you'll get thousands of Web sites claiming just that. People want to believe that there's some "secret" that they don't know about or haven't discovered yet. The fact is, there's no real secrets, just sound principles that must be followed. What everyone wants is a simple fix to their swing problems. Since the golf swing is elusive (hence the name of my column) I think we should explore what could be construed as "Secrets To The Golf Swing."
The so called "secret" that comes to mind from my perspective, is how one transfers their weight on the downswing. Keep in mind, I'm assuming you have all the other "secrets" locked in your golfing mind. However, to me, this is the most crucial of all. Mess up here, and you will forever hit lousy shots. "So," you ask, "how does one properly transfer their weight?"
Assuming your basic fundamentals are sound, from the top of the swing, the first move on the downswing (for righties) is the replanting of your left foot and the driving of your left knee, down the target line. This is where the change of direction from backswing to downswing occurs. In fact, more time is spent on the change of direction than the entire swing itself. So, this move needs to be slower than you think. The goal is to change directions and build up club head speed. What this move will also do is prevent your shoulders from spinning around, out and over the top. What also has to happen, is your left hip has to turn counterclockwise. As your hip unwinds, your right side will follow your left while keeping your weight behind the ball. The rest of the swing happens reactively, I won't go into the details of that, since this is about "the secret."
What might be helpful is knowing how the club must travel. On the down swing, the golf club must travel from inside the target line, to along the target line, then back inside the target line. If the club passes outside the target line before impact, the strike will be from out to in, across the ball, which is why you get a slice or a pull. What I suspect is a lot of people think the first move coming down is purely a rotation as oppose to a leg drive and rotation. In my opinion, this "secret" combination of leg drive and rotation is the most important element to the golf swing. Having said that, you still need to know all the other "secrets" as well.
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Sal Martignetti is an independent golf instructor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (603) 986-3376. His free e-book is available at elusivegolfswing.weebly.com.