All of the quality golf coaches I have spent time with stress the importance of starting your swing with a good movement. They attribute many of their student’s swing issues to poor set up and first move, and spend considerable time and effort in trying to teach and train improvements in these areas.
The takeaway is something that seems easy but is actually surprisingly difficult to repeat on a consistent basis without practicing the correct movement pattern. I’m very familiar with this problem because it happens to me all the time, as you will see in the video clips throughout this article. The footage, taken from a lesson delivered to me by Richard Woodhouse, has been selected to deliver practical examples of how changing set up and early backswing movement can have a really positive effect on the rest of the swing.
The start of your swing is a bit like hitting a putt towards the hole; if you start it off on the right line, the chances of it going in are greatly increased. If you start your backswing in the right way then better positions will be achieved throughout your swing, leading to a much simpler downswing and more consistent strike. If you start off on the wrong track, it can be a big game of manipulation of various body parts to try and get the club back to the ball.
In the video above you can see Richard using the GravityFit TPro to firstly help set my right shoulder better. He then asks me to start working a better rotation from my T-Spine and Ribcage, taking the first steps toward making a better start to my swing. What Richard is aiming to achieve is essentially a backswing that starts with more arm-body connection, moving the arms and body together in the takeaway. All too often people move their arms independently of their body, creating a mismatch and getting off track early.
As you can see, it’s quite a novel feeling for me to feel rotation from my upper body over a quiet lower body. Richard felt it was important that we established the new feel for an improved movement without club in hand. Even though the change is quite subtle, the presence of a club and golf ball could well distract me from dialling in to the feels of this new movement.
As we moved on it was time to continue rotating to a fully completed backswing from the new and improved connected takeaway. I found it much simpler to complete the backswing, once I was better established in set up and first move. It felt like I was on track and simply had to continue turning and everything would fall into place. So often in the past, I have had the feeling of not knowing when and where to complete my backswing and start the move down.
Finally you can see in the video below, we put club in hand and got back to a live ball scenario, where we started to see some nice improvements in contact and ball flight. This all stemmed from focusing on doing a better job with key postural muscles that control the shoulder blades and upper back, critical to developing the stability and feel for the arm-body connection. This led to making a better first move from an improved set up position, thus allowing the rest of the swing to work from an improved foundation.
If you would like to try out the featured drills using the GravityFit TPro, follow these simple steps
1 – Push handles out in front of your body, keeping slight bend in elbow
2 – Stretch tall, feel green spikes in your middle/upper back and shoulder blades on the paddles
3 – Hinge forward into golf posture
4 – Slowly turn chest into backswing, keep arms out in front of body, and maintain pressure on the spikes and paddles.
5 – Keep the lower body quiet as you continue to turn and complete your backsing.
6 – Return the start position and repeat for 10 reps.
7 – Rest for 30 seconds and repeat. You can then go on to introduce a club and ball with the aim of transferring the new move to a full swing scenario.
Hopefully this drill, over time, will have a similar positive effect that it did for me during the lesson with Richard. The aim is to firstly establish great golf posture and then practice that connected takeaway movement detailed above. This should lead to a more complete backswing with good width and turn, which can facilitate a quality downswing move and strike
Richard Woodhouse is Director of Instruction at KDV Sport on the Gold Coast, Australia. KDV Sport is a state of the art Golf and Tennis facility that offer facilities and instruction to suit every level of golfer, to find out more click here
For more on the featured GravityFit TPro, click here
We here at GravityFit have made an exciting signing for 2018. Fresh off a stint working as a trainer on the PGA Tour, Nick Randall has taken up a permanent role with GravityFit, who specialise in Spinal Sports Performance and Rehab, focussing especially on golf. Nick will be developing business opportunities, delivering education and supporting coaches, physios and trainers that are using the equipment in their coaching, training and treatment of golfers.
Nick will be bringing his experience of working at the elite level with Golf Australia and multiple tour players in the US, including Aussie young gun Cam Smith. “I’ve used the GravityFit products for years, ever since they came and delivered seminars at Ramsay McMasters’ symposium and various Golf Australia high performance camps. The message that they delivered made perfect sense to me – stabilise the spine and joints whilst training good posture. The quality of the tools, ease of application and transference to golf movement patterns made it a no brainer to include in my training toolbox.”
Ive been involved in the company for a number of years now, mostly just helping out at the start and providing feedback on the early version of the tools. Last year when I wasn’t on tour, I helped develop the content for the golf coach’s course and started doing some consulting. They are awesome people to work with and so the decision to take a more involved role and spend decent time at home on the sunny coast was an easy one. I travelled for work 26 weeks out of last year, and whilst it was a fun experience, it’s also really nice to be less jet lagged and actually play some golf myself, instead of watching all of the time!”
Nick is most excited about helping to get GravityFit tools and education in the hands of teaching pros around Australia. “I’ve seen first hand how posture and movement patterns improve really quickly using GravityFit. This seems to ring true at the highest level and for the club golfer. Jonas Blixt made huge strides forward in his lumbar core control especially which had a really positive effect on his low back pain. On the flip side, I’ve seen 15 markers with severe mobility restrictions make very quick improvements in their upper back / shoulder rotation by learning to turn more effectively and connect their arms to their body better.”
“From a coaching perspective, it seems to make the whole teaching / learning experience easier and more enjoyable for both parties. We have a long legacy of the physical complementing the technical when it comes to Aussie golf coaching. I would love to help contribute to that relationship moving forward via delivering education either through official courses for PGA members of more informal workshops at golf clubs, with the clientele of the coach in attendance.”
If you have any questions about GravityFit and the products and education they deliver, please take a look at gravityfit.com/golf or contact us at email@example.com
Another great article from GravityFit Ambassador Nick Randall – click here to read part 1 of the article
In the follow up to his frst article, GravityFit Ambassador Nick Randall continues explaining the importance of shoulder stability in golf.
Many practitioners tell us what a wonderful resource our ebook ‘Beyond the Core to Whole Body’ is. In it, Dr Carolyn Richardson explains the role that Gravity plays in our everyday life – and the risks that we are running with our health if we bow down to Gravity.
The ebook also outlines some simple ways to incorporate GravityFit principles into your day to day activities – to wake up those Gravity muscles and get them working.
Here’s the first page..
The ebook is included with many of our kit purchase, or can be purchased from our Shop or by clicking here
A great three days was had by all at the GravityFit course held recently on the Sunshine Coast. With participants from Ireland, England, UK, New Zealand and Korea, as well as from around Australia, there was a lot of experience in the room. Great feedback was received from all of the course attendees. The practical sessions using the GravityFit Exercise Tools were a great learning opportunity for everyone.