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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Manuel de la Torre on Weight Shift

Manuel de la Torre died in 2016 but his impact on professional and amateur golf was huge. His book Understanding the Golf Swing is considered a classic. Today's quote is from that book.

Manuel de la Torre

de la Torre's approach to weight shift was a bit different than that of most modern instructors. But no matter what swing method you use, it's worth considering if what he says might help you.
A common theory claims that the weight should be shifted to the back foot in the backswing. I am convinced that the weight should not be transferred to the back foot in the backswing.

We are all looking for consistency in our games and we should swing the golf club so that it is easy to meet the golf ball with the face of the club at a right angle to the target line. As mentioned before, the golf club is describing a circle when it is swung. Being a circle, it must have a center. If we were describing a circle with a compass, the first thing we would do would be to set the center. If this center moves to different locations, it is impossible to return to the starting point.

The same thing happens in the golf swing. When the center is allowed to move to the right through a weight shift to the back foot, that center must be re-established prior to contacting the golf ball or square impact is impossible. You will observe some of our fine tournament players who do shift their center to the back foot and play well. But bear in mind that those players play every day and practice for hours every day. They have developed the timing and the extra move to achieve square impact. However, some of those same tournament players at times cannot find the timing to meet the ball properly and, especially with the driver, they become very inaccurate and miss more fairways than they should.

If the center is maintained, and the hands are placed on the club in a neutral position, the club can be returned to the exact address position from the end of the backswing and it will be square to the target line without any necessity to manipulate it to square. It is one less thing with which the player has to be concerned.

I contend that the weight should be maintained equally divided on the feet until after impact and then the centrifugal force will transfer its weight to the front foot. [p63-64]
Yes, de la Torre may sound a bit out-of-step with many modern instructors. And it's true that much of his teaching method is based on teachings from the legendary Ernest Jones. But what he says here does simplify your swing a lot, and it doesn't preclude your use of modern lower body power techniques.

What this teaching can do is make it much easier for you to return the club to the ball consistently. And if trying it just quiets your lower body a bit so you don't slide back and forth so much, you'll find it's well worth the effort.

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