Golf Swing: From Transition to Impact – The Three Separations

Golf Swing From Transition to Impact - Keiser Golf Infographic

A Legacy Post by Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research

Dr. T. J. Tomasi (1940-2023)

The quality of your release through impact is related to three “separations that occur” as you start back to the ball from the top of your swing: (1) Your hands must separate from your back shoulder and move directly down toward the ground. They will also move out toward the target line, but that is a result of body rotation – to get this separation right, you must ‘do the down and let the around happen.’ (2) Your front shoulder must separate from your chin, a move that aids in pulling the arms and club into the slot. And (3) Your front hip should shuttle forward and then turn away from the target, creating a separation between your knees – also known as the power squat.

In the accompanying photos, PGA Professional and College of Golf Instructor John Callahan demonstrates all three of these separations, highlighted by the separation of the knees using a beach ball. Failure to make this separation usually leads to the club being pulled across the ball, resulting in a weak slice or a pull depending on the clubface orientation at impact. In the first photo, John is fully coiled. His shoulders have turned twice as much as his hips over a braced right leg. Swinging in this manner, he can easily hold the beach ball between his knees. The second photo allows us to check out the “sit-down action” with regard to his hips; a club shaft placed across his thighs would point parallel left of the target, indicating that while there has been a shift of weight to his front hip, the hips have only slightly rotated with most of the motion being a shuttle target-ward. From here, he is ready to rotate through the hitting area and deliver a powerful blow from inside the target line.

My advice is to use your phone to record a video of your swing on course, then stop the action to check for the three separations – if they’re in, you’re good to go; if not, go see Mr. Callahan.

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