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Double Vision - Make it a Natural Move
Andrew Hall

The natural moves that you make to 'settle' your lower body and throw a ball mirror exactly the moves you want to encourage in your swing.

Lower body sets it all up

Winding and unwinding your upper body over the resistance of the knees and hips is the key to repeating a solid swing. Working as a sort of suspension unit, the knees and thighs not only stabilise but harmonise the moves that you make, blending the swing for impact.

Talk to a good player and he will stress the importance of what is known as the 'transition', the gear shift that turns the backswing into a downswing. Watch good players in action and you will see this is initiated by the lower body as the momentum is reversed and the weight flows across towards the target. In other words, the transition works from the ground up - not the other way around.

If you have ever skimmed stones across a lake or thrown a ball with this sidearm action (as I am demonstrating on the far right in this picture), there is every chance that you have engineered this natural 'release' without even thinking about the mechanics involved. Having wound up your backswing, turning away from your target and shifting your weight across on to the right side, this subtle action in the lower body 'settles' your weight back towards the target, making way for the natural release of the right arm and right hand through the throw.

So it is in the golf swing. Look at the similarity in these two positions: the transition settles the lower body and provides the athletic base on which the upper body can now unwind and accelerate the arms and the hands through impact.

The better you negotiate this transition, the better and more efficient your swing will be in terms of utilising centrifugal force and generating clubhead speed. Bear this in mind when you next play or practise - or the next time you find yourself out for a stroll by a lake. Throw a few balls/skim a few stones and get a sense of the way in which your lower body paves the way for the upper body to unwind.

The big danger is that you rush things from the top, throwing your right shoulder forward in a classic 'over-the-top' move that leads to a slice. Instead, try to let things unfold naturally from the ground up. Feel that your weight flows back towards the target and then pick up on that momentum as you enjoy the freedom of freewheeling the whole of your right side through the ball to the finish.

Believe it or not, the more slowly you negotiate this transition, the more speed you will have at your disposal when it matters.

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Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine

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