The phrase “holding your finish” can be beneficial, if done the correct way. My definition of “holding your finish” is – After completion of the swing; you continue to be properly balanced until the ball lands on the ground.
Notice that in the above definition I haven’t mentioned where the club is or anything about the golf club. The golf club doesn’t need to end behind your neck to finish a golf swing. The golf club goes as far as the momentum swings it. The key is that you are balanced. And I must clarify that being unbalanced doesn’t mean you have fell on the ground. You can be unbalanced and still be able to hold your finish. You should be as balanced at your finish as you are at your set-up.
The feeling of “holding your finish” can help you swing within yourself. In other words – it won’t allow you to over-swing at the ball. Knowing before you swing that you want to end up in a balanced position after striking the ball and staying in that position until the ball lands, will keep you swinging at your most consistent swing speed.
“Holding the finish” keeps the body controlled so that you will stay balanced at your finish. When you are holding your finish, you can also evaluate your golf swing. The first thing I would check too see in your finish position is if your weight is on your left foot (right-handed golfer). From this position, the only weight that should be on your right foot is the small amount of pressure you will feel on your toes. This is because the right foot is just helping with balance at this point. You might feel the majority of weight on the out step of your left foot.
Next I would check to see if your head, belly and knees are pointing at the target. A golf swing is not “finished” unless you are looking at the ball while it is in flight. I don’t know why every golfer is saying all that “junk” about “keeping your head down”. We don’t see enough golfers following their golf ball in the air. Watch the head of Tiger, Karrie Webb, David Duval and Annika Sorrenstem the split second after they impact the ball, they are watching the ball soar through the air. Watch the average player at your golf course that is struggling to break 90 or 100; their head is down too long. That is why we see the great players “holding their finish” while balanced and we see the average player; fighting to keep themselves from falling on their butt.
The belly is an important body part to have facing the target because it tells you if you used all of your available power through the ball. If your belly is not pointing at the target, there is a chance you decelerated your swing as you approached the golf ball and it can also explain why there is too much weight on your right foot at your finish. Unless we move our belly toward the target we are probably staying too flat-footed during the swing. When you stay flat footed, you aren’t allowing your weight to move through the ball, which can cause you to hit behind the golf ball and lose a substantial amount of power.
When your belly is not facing the target could also cause you to have an “aching” back the next day if you keep swinging that way. If your belly is not at the target you probably are contorting your back into a crooked position that over time will cause injury. This usually happens because the golfer has the idea that they want to lift the ball into the air by letting the right shoulder dip down while the left shoulder rises up towards the sky. This golfer will either hit behind the ball while trying to get under it or top the ball by trying to avoid hitting the ground behind the ball.
When the golfer moves his/her shoulders in this manner, it takes away all the elements of turning the body through the golf ball. This motion will “freeze” the belly from turning and force your weight to stay on your right foot at impact.
You can learn a lot from “holding your finish”. Just remember don’t worry where the club ends up, think about if you are balanced and check your body parts.