Think about some experiences you've had as a passenger in a car. I'm sure you've been relaxing maybe even snoozing and the driver all of a sudden slams on the brakes. You get jolted forward. Or, maybe the driver takes a sharp turn and your body gets shoved toward the side door. You will likely resist getting tossed around but you will still feel the g-like force.
In a True Swing, the body (legs, pelvis, torso) is the "engine" or "driver" of the swing, and the arms, hands and club are just passengers going for a ride. When we use our body to generate club movement, we can avoid manipulation by the hands and wrists. We do not need to manipulate the club position actively to produce a great shot. When your body un-winds properly at the start of the downswing, it accelerates and drags the arms and club with it around the curve. Then like that car ride, the body actually decelerates in order to balance and stabilize for impact; the arms get catapulted forward naturally through impact as the "driver" stops short.
When you accept, embrace and understand this, you can free up your swing and enjoy the "free ride" that your body can create for the club to swing through.
When I worked with students I'm looking for those moments in the swing where their arms and hands might be trying to "drive" and figure out why that is happening. There are a few possible reasons:
- Too much tension in the body
- Trying to add power (casting, pushing, steering on the club)
- Recovery from a poor backswing position (over swinging, swaying, other breakdowns)
- Recovery from a poor first move on the way down
- Compensating for a poor grip
- Compensating for poor balance or posture.
If you can get the root cause of your manipulation, you can use your body to lead the swing and let the arms just take that "free ride." It feels great, its efficient and you will be more consistent!!