Keep Pace During the Race
By Dr. T. J. Tomasi, Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research
To build a good golf swing, you have to pay attention not only to the “what” (swing mechanics) but also to the “when” — i.e., when you do the what. There’s no question that you’re in a race from the top of your swing to impact, the key to which is to properly calibrate your arm and body speeds so that the back elbow “catches up” with the back hip just before impact.
In the top photo below, this tour player is in the correct position coming to impact, with his left arm parallel to the ground. He drops his arms before he uncoils his shoulders, creating an on-plane position where the right elbow sits below the left arm on the horizontal plane. Note how the butt of the club shaft points at the ball — a perfect shaft angle to keep in sync in the race to the ball.
From here, his shoulders release, allowing his right elbow to catch up with his right hip per the second photo. If his right elbow were the same height as his left, the club would be much too vertical — a common mistake you’ll see in the video and a common cause of slices and pulls. If you wish to come at the ball correctly, your trail elbow must be under your lead elbow as you start down.
The low right elbow ensures that the club shaft stays on plane and pointing at the ball.
Here we see a trail elbow that won the race to be even with the hips just prior to impact. The relationship between hips and elbow varies a bit depending on what shot shape you intend, but basically, the elbow catches the hip just before impact.
If you’d like to study with Dr. Tomasi and other PGA Master Professionals, contact The College of Golf today.