Create critical positions properly for powerful ball-striking.
By Kim Jeong-kyoo
If you want to hit the ball longer and straighter, you need to know the basic swing style that fits your build. More importantly, you need to be aware that your swing style should vary depending on your address posture.
Setting up in a bent posture with your spine tilted forward more than 35 degrees, you need to make a flat baseball swing. But addressing the ball with your spine tilted forward less than 20 degrees, a steep tree-chopping-down motion is called for.
To step up your ball-striking ability, you need to improve seven critical swing positions, no matter how you set up. They include positions at address, takeaway, the halfway stage to the top, backswing top, halfway point to contact, ball-strike and finish.
To hit the ball successfully, you first need to grip the club correctly and address the ball properly. Poor pre-swing preparation prevents you from achieving the right swing moves. To increase your ball-striking ability, you need to fine-tune your pre-swing preparations.
For a proper grip, hold the club mostly in your fingers. This will promote a better wrist hinge, allowing you to increase your swing speed to its maximum.
To have full control of the club, let your left-hand heel sit on the top of your grip. Place your left thumb slightly on the right side of the grip. Smother your left thumb with the pad of your right thumb. See that the V created between your forefinger and thumb of each hand points to your right shoulder. Have your right-hand forefinger resting slightly under the grip to keep slices at bay. Your palms should face each other.
You need to aim your clubface precisely at your intended target. Make sure your left arm and club shaft form a straight line, with your left hand in front of your left thigh. Done right, the cap of your club handle will point toward your left hip bone.
To do this right, hold your club vertically in front of your chest and find out its balance point. Your driver will feel lightest when you get the club shaft standing straight up. Moving the clubhead left or right, you will feel your driver is heavier.
Your sand wedge will feel lightest when you move the clubhead to the right side away from the target. Close your eyes and feel when each iron is lightest as you lean it slowly to the right.
That is exactly how much you need to lean your club shaft forward at address. You will set up with your driver at a right angle and your irons angled forward. Eventually, you will naturally hit the ball with a level or upward blow with your driver, hitting down with your irons.
If you properly lean your club shaft forward, you will enjoy a solid, powerful shot. You will create the bottom of your swing arc in the same spot, hitting your ball first.
Align your body properly so your feet, hips and shoulders are all parallel to your target line. However, you can slightly close your stance to promote draws when you hit the driver. Also, you can open your stance just a fraction when you hit middle to short irons.
At address, you create six important lines with your body. The first is the ball-target line. The other five lines set up by your body need to be parallel with your target line. They include your toe line, knee line, hip line, shoulder line and eye line. Before you start your swing, you need to check if these lines are square. Unless you place your body parallel to the target line, you cannot swing the club correctly, let alone hit your ball solidly.
Don't forget the importance of your ball position. Your shot quality hinges on it. If it is too far backward in your stance, you will hit the ball down too steeply. Also, you will push the ball to the right of the target. Similarly, placing the ball too far forward in your stance toward your left foot, you will hit the ball too much upward. You also will pull your shots to the left of the target.
If you are agile, your lower body will move more aggressively during the swing. You should play the ball slightly forward in your stance. The bottom of your swing arc will go further forward in your stance.
If you are not nimble, however, you will have difficulty moving your body fast through impact. Play the ball more backward in your stance toward your right foot. You will hit the ball first and create a divot properly ahead of the ball.