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Amen Corner: A chicken nugget — body rotation biggest key to swing

  • One simple drill can keep the average golfer from swinging the club like a chicken. (Courtesy photograph)

Special to the Valley News
Published: 5/22/2019 6:28:40 PM
Modified: 5/22/2019 6:28:31 PM

The well-known conundrum of whether the chicken preceded the egg also can be found in a classic golf question: Should you use more arm or body in your swing?

Let’s put this query into context for a golfer who’s right hand extends and left wrist cups, bends or flips through impact. This may be an indication of using your arms and hands too much, and not enough body rotation, to deliver the golf club.

The type of golfer who releases the club early uses excessive wrist action to square up the club face and reaches impact with his left wrist cupping. He may hit a lot of high, weak shots when striking a ball well and a lot of thin shots or skulled grounders when hitting the ball not so well.

A good drill to train your arms, club and body to swing together and release the golf club — and avoid a case of flipper hands — is to find a long PVC pipe, broomstick or old flagstick. Hold the pipe with an extended section underneath your left armpit and rib cage. You will only be able to swing this device until your arms are extended as you swing through the ball, as the pole will not allow you to swing all the way to a finish.

Practice making swings where you are releasing the pipe past the hitting zone. When the extended piece touches the side of your body, it’s a signal to keep rotating your body. When done correctly, you will feel the stick and your arms and body in sync through the hitting area.

If you swing the pipe and flipper hands try to release without any body rotation, the tail end of the stick will give you a more aggressive love tap in the ribs.

Ideally, when the body releases the golf club, instead of your flipper hands, you will feel your body rotate as your arms rotate, as your hands rotate, as your clubface rotates, resulting in a compressed shot that flies like a bird — as opposed to a chicken.

Peter Harris is the director of Golf at the Fore-U Golf Center in West Lebanon. His column appears weekly in the Recreation page during the golf season.

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