TPI Swing Characteristics: Body-Swing Connection
- Sway/Slide: Saturday, December 2nd 9:00-10:00 a.m.
- Over The Top/Casting: Wednesday, December 6th 5:45-6:45 p.m.
- Reverse Spine Angle: Saturday, December 9th 9:00-10:00 a.m.
- Early Extension: Saturday, January 6th 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Sway: A Sway is defined as any excessive lower body lateral movement away from the target during your backswing that forces your weight to the outside of your trail side foot. This swing characteristic makes it very difficult to develop a proper weight shift during transition and the downswing. Imagine a baseball batter digging in at the plate with their back foot. This simple routine allows them to coil around their back leg and drive their weight from their back leg to their front leg in a very efficient manner. If there is no stable platform to drive your weight off of during transition, you will lose power and try to develop speed in an inefficient sequence.
Slide: A Slide is defined as any excessive lower body lateral movement towards the target during your downswing. This swing fault makes it very difficult to stabilize your lower body during the downswing, which will eventually rob power and speed from the upper body through impact. Your upper body needs a stable lower body to accelerate around during the downswing. Once the lower body starts its forward shift into the downswing its job is to transfer energy to the upper body and stabilize the extreme rotary forces that are created in the upper body, arms, and club. If there is no stable platform to rotate around, players will lose power and try to develop speed in an inefficient sequence.
Casting: Casting is one of the most common causes of loss of power and excessive spin on the golf ball. It is defined as an early release of the golf club during the downswing. This can result in a weak impact position with the left wrist being cupped at impact. It adds loft to the face of the club and as a result we see a loss of power and consistency. At impact we should see the shaft leaning slightly toward the target, this helps to deloft the club and creates a more powerful impact position.
Reverse Spine Angle: A Reverse Spine Angle is defined as any excessive upper body backward bend (trunk leaning towards the target) or excessive left lateral upper body bend (for a right-handed player) during the backswing. This swing fault makes it very difficult to start the downswing in the proper sequence, due to the lower body being placed in a position that usually limits its ability to initiate the downswing. This swing characteristic is also one of the prime causes of lower back pain in golfers. When the lower body can't start the downswing or has a limited ability to initiate the movement, the upper body tends to dominate the swing which will eventually create path problems and limited power output. Reverse spine angle puts excessive tension on the lower back due to a forced inhibition of the abdominal musculature during the backswing, and excessive compressive loads placed on the right side of the spine at impact.
Early Extension: An Early Extension is defined as any forward movement (thrust) of the lower body towards the golf ball during the downswing. This swing characteristic causes the arms and club to get stuck behind your body during the downswing, and forces your torso to raise up and elevate through the hitting zone. Early Extension usually causes two typical miss hits, the block to the right and a hook to the left. And as most competitive players know, having two misses, one to the right and one to the left, can be disastrous in tournament play. Players that have this fault will also complain of getting stuck or trapped, this is due to the fact that the lower body has moved closer to the golf ball on the downswing. As a result the body is in the way of the arms on the downswing and thus the term I feel stuck or trapped.