Rather than have a multitude of swing thoughts, if you can have just one key one, it can help you pure the strike and get more consistent.
A big part of doing that is try to and feel as though your left side is a lot more dominant. That includes everything from left arm, left hand, left hip and left shoulder. Try to feel as though, through impact, the left side is leading the club a little bit more.
For a lot of right-handed golfers, that’s not often their dominant side. You want to try and feel as though your left side is doing a lot more of the work, rather than the right side taking over.
The more you can get your left side being dominant, the more you will create the lag in the left wrist into impact
From the top of the backswing, the transition, you’re looking for the left shoulder and left hip to lead and clear naturally out of the way. That then gives you space. It’s not just a lateral shift as there will be some movement into the left side. That’s only natural. But you want to rotate.
Your left hip should go back and upwards. People talk about generating wrist lag but you don’t need to try and do that.
This is about polishing your swing, so the more you can get your left side being dominant, the more you will create the lag in the left wrist into impact. That’ll help you get a more crisp strike through impact.
There are a lot of people who will apply the same principles to their pitching as they would to a full shot.
In a full shot, what you’ll tend to do is this: as you swing back, you’ll load the right side and, as you start the transition, you’ll move and shift onto the front foot.
For a shorter shot, where the emphasis is not on generating power, there can be a lot more stability in that. If you’ve set up with the weight slightly on the left side, it should stay there throughout the course of the swing.
You don’t need the same weight shift as you would in a full swing, and you don’t need an active lower half. It’s not about generating clubhead speed and, yes, the left shoulder and hip will clear out of the way, as they would do with a full iron shot – but what you’re looking for is greater stability.
There tends to be a general feeling amongst some folk that, post impact, nothing matters but what you’ve got to remember is that the golf swing is a free flowing movement.
Every element of the swing is a consequence of what has happened before. So, if you can work on your through swing and improve it, you can improve things that go before it as well. You can talk about balance and commitment to the shot and that’s fine.
Over the last ten years, the golf swing has evolved massively
Whilst it’s fine to think about getting your chest to the target for your finish, what I would suggest is that you want to try and get momentum to take you through as much as possible.
Over the last ten years, the golf swing has evolved massively and it is so much more athletic than it was before. Ten years ago, if you got your chest to the target, people would consider that a good golf swing.
Young players these days are turning – and committing – almost 90º left of target. It’s a full turn. The club pulls them through and the club itself gives them maximum output in the swing. The sternum, or the buttons on their shirt, will be pointing 45º left of target.
Nowadays, the clubhead can point to the target as you rotate to a complete finish.
Andrew Jowett is the Head PGA Professional at Gleneagles. For lessons, call Andrew on01764 694343. Follow him on Twitter @andyj1504.