Break down the winter wall

by David Graham, Marriott Golf AcademyOrlando

It’s winter.  It’s cold.  Not always the best time to work on your golf game, right?  Wrong.  I tell my students that the winter time is the perfect opportunity to do technical work on your game.

In order to change a habit the student must focus on the process (drills, kinesthetic awareness) outlined by the instructor.  Focusing on results detracts from the process and that’s exactly what happens at the end of most lessons.  At the conclusion of the lesson, or that weekend, the student runs to the first tee to try to his new swing and if the ball does not immediately fly 280 yards down the center of the fairway  the student becomes frustrated and any chance for change is gone.

But in the winter time you can’t go out and play.  You are stuck inside.  Therefore the opportunity to play is taken away and now you can focus purely on kinesthetic awareness.  A simple wall somewhere inside your house can be one of the best training aids at your disposal because the wall will reinforce the correct positions while eliminating the urge to focus on results.

I am going to outline three of the most common check points for the backswing we use at the Faldo Golf Institute that can be done utilizing the wall.
Faldo-Justin-ClubFirst check point:
Face the wall and set up with the toe of the golf club an inch from the wall.  Make a backswing and stop when the club is parallel to the ground.  In this position the golf club should also be parallel to the wall.  Try this movement slowly and when you have the feel try a few with your eyes closed and when you think the club is in the right position look to confirm.
Faldo-Justin-Left-ArmSecond check point:
The second check point occurs when your left arm is parallel to the ground.  Here your forearm should also be parallel to the wall.  Take notice and make sure your left arm has not worked across your chest. Also at this checkpoint it is also important to take note that your wrist should be fully hinged making the shaft a right angle to your forearm.
Faldo-Justin-Top-of-swingThird check point:
Now simple turn your back to the target to complete your backswing taking special care not to lift your arms independently from your chest.

With a little time spent in front of the wall you can blend these three positions into a fluid backswing that will serve you all summer.



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