ATTENTION, READERS in the 28 EUROPEAN VAT COUNTRIES: Because of the new VAT law, you probably can't order books direct from my site now. But that's okay -- just go to my Smashwords author page.
You can order PDFs (as well as all the other ebook formats) from there.

Friday, January 29, 2016

How Sergio Gets So Much Lag

This isn't necessarily something I would recommend that you do, but I think it's important to understand. This is something that players do -- or don't do, as the case may be -- and don't even realize how it affects their swings.

This photo comes from a slideshow at the Golf Digest site about Sergio's keys to getting more distance and accuracy. (It's the fifth one, fyi.) Note that Sergio doesn't tell you to do this, but it definitely has an effect on how he swings. This photo is a view from the rear, which really helps you see it.

Sergio at the top of his backswing, rear view

See how close to his side that trailing elbow is? You Hogan fans out there will recognize that this is a position very similar to Hogan at the top of his swing. This goes against what most instructors teach. They want you to form a 90° angle between your trailing upper arm and forearm at the top, and to get that club shaft parallel to the ground.

But Sergio is trying to create as much leverage as possible, so he can force the stiff shafts of his clubs to flex (or load, if you want the technical term). And trust me, this move requires stiff shafts! To use this position, you have to make sure you have a solid grip and that you don't get 'flippy' at the top of your backswing. If you have a little too much 'give' in your wrists at the top, you will likely be rewarded with the shaft smacking your shoulders or back.

Sergio maintains this position all the way down with a specific swing thought that he mentions in both the fifth and sixth photos in the slideshow -- namely:
My thought from the top: Imagine you're pulling a chain down with both hands.
This swing thought keeps his trailing elbow close to his side all the way down to impact, which gives him a very compact swing. It also creates a very flat swing plane -- which can easily become too flat -- and narrows your swing arc. It also makes it harder to play from the rough. (Upright swing planes are better for that.) But it does create a lot of power, if that's what your swing is built on. (And many players do focus on power in their swing, which is why you need to know how this works.)

The thing I most dislike about this move is that it's much harder to stop being tense during your swing -- which has a number of repercussions for your swing, like ruining your rhythm and feel -- and that's why I don't recommend it. I prefer a swing motion that's based on relaxation (because relaxed muscles move faster, and I focus on speed in a golf swing) and rhythm, which tends to create a bigger arc and faster clubhead speed with less stress on your body.

Let me put it this way: You can play power golf or you can play speed golf. Bubba and Phil play speed golf, while Sergio is one of those guys who plays power golf. It's not so much a question of right and wrong as a matter of preference.

And if you want to play power golf, Sergio's way is as good as any.

No comments:

Post a Comment