A rainy day for our final lesson with Anne-Marie Knight at Adelaide Shores.
Luckily we had an undercover place to hit from (above) rather than in the elements (below).
|The Driving Range|
|Elite North Adelaide Golf Club athletes|
|perfect set up|
Today Anne-Marie spoke about the importance of a routine or set-up for every time you address the ball. She emphasised doing the same thing each time so that when things start to get tense on the course, you can concentrate on your set-up and try to stop your mind wandering - particularly to catastrophic thoughts like don't hit this ball into the bunker. Just don't!
Anne-Marie asked us to pair up and observe each others set up, writing down our routines.
The exercise served to pick up some issues like incorrect ball placement, feet pointing one way and shoulders the other, hands incorrectly in front of the ball, hands too far from the ball, failure to put the club head down first and then place the feet second etc.
Some of the tips I took from today:
* Set up by getting behind the ball, marking out the point on the fairway you want to aim for and then marking out a point only a few metres in front of you that is in line with the target line. Grip the club.
* Once you have identified the mark a few metres in front of you, walk up to the ball and place your club head behind the ball aiming directly at that target.
* Then set up your feet.
* If using a driver, the ball should be just off your left heel. Reasonably wide stance with a little more weight on your right leg (for the driver).
* Make sure your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders are all aligned like railway tracks to the ball. (My shoulders were pointing slightly right. This was causing me to slice the ball.)
* Don't have your hands in-front of the ball, rather your hands should be inline with the ball.
* Your right shoulder should be lower than your left shoulder e.g. tilt your upper body (for your driver).
* Start your back swing by turning your shoulders. (Don't wind up too much, try to have a 3/4 backswing to retain control rather than a full wind up).
* Ensure you have a wide arc in your backswing, e.g. I like to do this by thinking about keeping the club head as close to the ground directly behind the ball for as long as possible on the back swing.
* Timing and rhythm is important. Anne-Marie suggested counting 1,2,3 on the back swing.. 1,2,3 on the forward swing. I often find if I slow my swing down I do better.
* Begin your forward swing with your hips first. Hips should lead the shoulders. Just allow your arms to follow.
* You should be hitting the ball like you are using a sledgehammer to hit the bottom of a wall. (Anne-Marie demonstrated by placing a bean bag at her feet and hitting into it).
* At the end of the swing Anne- Marie says your belly should be facing the target line. This indicates that your hips have turned fully.
For other long clubs, the ball comes back towards the middle of your stance until you get to your 7 iron when the ball should be about centre in your stance. Wedges are slightly right of centre. You also need to stand more upright (e.g. don't drop the right shoulder) for fairway wood, hybrid or irons.