Check Down Your Swing Before Takeoff

full follow through on golf swing

First an aside; I hope you’ve taken a look at the Martin Chuck video I posted a couple of days ago. He’s really great at explaining the golf swing. Go to YouTube and put his name in and you’ll find more good stuff.

Once you understand the fundamentals of the golf swing how do you make yours repeatable? By now everyone should now the answer – Practice! That doesn’t mean you have to pound balls for hours at the range, it does mean you have to practice the right moves because they are not natural. It’s with repetition that you’ll be able to swing correctly by default. Believe me it takes time and commitment. That’s why knowing that you’re doing the right things is critical.

We’ve covered a bunch of the basics, enough to get you started on the path to reducing your handicap. There are some ‘check downs’ that you should be aware that will help you monitor your swing. Just like pilots have a check down list before they take off, these will help you remember to get all of your moving parts working well together. In this and some following blogs I’m going to give you a good start on what to put in your Check Down list.

The first item is to make sure that the length of your follow through (from impact to the end of your swing) is longer than the distance from setup to the top of your backswing.  You must do this to make sure that you are accelerating through impact. I’m sure a physicist could explain it with formulas, but doesn’t it just make common sense?

Most amateurs, including moi, tend to put a lot of effort into the backswing and the start of the downswing. Pros put the effort into the follow through and thereby get greater speed into the ball at impact. As Jim McLean says, the fastest part of your swing should be after impact.

Try it. Go back only 2/3 of what you normally do and then make sure your follow through is longer. You’ll know instantly if you’ve done it right. I’m betting that most will find the end of the swing in a place it’s never been before. The other benefit is you’ll stop going back beyond the point of your flexibility – past that you’re going to break down all the angles you’ve worked so hard to create.

The biggest deterrent will be the natural inclination (but wrong) that the farther you coil the farther you’ll hit the ball. Watch the pros when they hit their short irons outrageous distances but appear not to go back very far at all. Rhythm, timing, smoothness are all important, while a too big backswing is a killer. Good luck.

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  • Good advice,

    It’s interesting because I read about similar advice not that long ago from a teaching professional.

    They said the follow through is what the professionals focus on more rather than the backswing and start of the downswing.

    If it’s good enough for the professionals then it should be good enough for the rest of us.