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Top Of The Golf Swing - Where Is Yours?

Jun 11, 2008
A question we address all of the time is "Where is the top of the swing?" Most amateurs will regurgitate the answer that has been shoved done their throat for a very, very, very long time. The typical answer from an amateur is: the top of the swing is when the club is at parallel. Really? See if you agree with this logic...

The first question I would ask is: what club is being used? Swinging a driver to parallel at the top of the golf swing is a different ball game from swinging your nine iron to parallel. Think about it or go to the garage and grab both and try to do it. With the shaft of the nine iron being shorter, the club does not need to get to parallel to achieve maximum results.

The second question would be: are you getting properly coiled or loaded in your golf swing? ON YOUR BACKSWING, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU NEED TO BE PROPERLY COILED OR LOADED. Coiled? Loaded? What does that mean? It simply means that you are stretching muscles away from the target so they will want to move in the opposite direction which should be at your target. Imagine stretching a rubber band. If you do not pull it tight enough, it could go anywhere and not very fast. If you pull it correctly, it moves where you are aiming it and fairly quickly. Finally, if you pull it too far, the rubber band can not handle the tension and breaks. OUCH!

The third question that gets asked is: where do you think the top of your swing is? Ninety plus percent of the time, the student will take the club to parallel. In order to do this, the student will over turn their hips or move their right knee to allow their body to turn far enough to get to parallel. Is this a powerful move? NO! Think about pushing something heavy like a golf cart. Stand away from the cart and attempt to push the cart with your arm(s) extended. Now get closer to the cart and put your weight into it. Is this not easier? It makes it easier to hit a golf ball as well.

So with this info have we answered where the top of your swing should be? YES! It should be when your muscles are stretched away from your target and you are coiled and/or loaded. This should leave your left arm and club shaft in the shape of an "L" in the spirit of the illustration above. The new top of your swing means an extended left arm to create the base of the "L" and not a broken arm at the elbow. A broken arm at the elbow results in us creating a "J" and losing power and accuracy. Yes, I have gotten some funny looks when people think they are going to need to "shorten" their full swing but let me explain further....

This "L" position will more than likely be a position in your "Mind's Eye" or in your head. Everyone has seen someone, maybe even you, look at video of their swing and have a gap between the reality of what is happening and what they are feeling. Depending on the length of the club you are using, going to the "L" in your "mind's eye" will take the club back to the proper position and more importantly allow you to stay loaded. You will not look silly, you will look much better as your shots will greatly improve with YOUR TOP OF THE SWING!
About the Author
Max Johnson writes golf articles for Wireless Golf Coach. Click to find a golf instruction training aid or a golf instruction book that will work for you.
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