Transition “Timing” It Just Right
By Greg Schulze
How might you respond if I claimed there is a good chance that you may never have focused or practiced the MOST vital area of the full swing? That is not meant to be an insult, just perhaps an “awakening” to the value of learning and understanding the swing’s TRANSITION, the change of directions from the end of the backswing to the beginning of the downswing. Because I get so many surprised looks when I make this claim, I have called it golf’s “ignorant link” or “missing link.”
The word transition basically means CHANGE; transition into a new job, transition into a new neighborhood, transition into… CHANGE. Perhaps picture a giant clock behind your body with 12 o’clock being directly above your head, 6 o’clock at the bottom of the arc (impact/ball) and of course 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock on each side.
While each individual has his/her own range of motion, let’s say that the average backswing can stretch the left arm to the 11 o’clock position (right-handed golfer). What then happens from 11 o’clock to approximately 9 o’clock IS the full swing transition. It’s this two-hour window that is so vital in making a huge leap in your progress – perhaps the BIGGEST leap you can make! This transition must be “soft” and unhurried; it must not be forced or “jerky” and it MUST NOT “disturb” the center of the swing circle located at the top of your sternum.
This two-hour window determines whether you have STORED UP the energy to be transferred from 9 o’clock to 6 o’clock (impact) or whether you have “used it up” too early and therefore not available to be transferred into the ball efficiently. Like a gravity-controlled ride at the fair, great players have a sense that the energy of the transition-into-downswing-into-impact is transferred gradually so that the bottom of the arc (6 o’clock) releases maximum energy into the ball.
Have you ever claimed that you “swing too hard, too fast, or too quick?” I can GUARANTEE you that this is NOT true! You are NOT swinging too hard, you are swinging too hard TOO EARLY in the downswing (11-9 o’clock)! Why would anyone choose to have SLOWER clubhead speed at impact than they were capable of?
So as always, I suggest you make an appointment with your PGA Professional with the goal of focusing and clarifying the full swing TRANSITION. It’s a CHANGE worth making!