Course open. No Buggies allowed until further notice. Holes 5&14 are now closed to allow for construction work. (updated 10 December at 08:09)

My first tip is regarding probably the most common fault I see in my lessons; be they with ladies or men it always comes up! The "OVER SWING" or what is also known as the "REVERSE PIVOT", of which you may have heard now and again on TV, from the top teaching Pros.

Unfortunately amateurs don't really understand that the back swing is only there to get you in a good balanced position to deliver power and accuracy onto the back of the ball, repeatably. The reason I have highlighted "balance" and "repeatably" is that when you over swing you are not in balance, and it is almost certainly not repeatable, as you never really have control of your club head or your body from a bad top of back swing position. From a good top of back swing position you should feel you are able to accelerate your body and the club through impact in balance and at a faster pace than the backswing. Most often I see people with a faster back swing than their down swing, so they have lost control and power from the start. Try to have a slow, almost deliberate back swing, so your shoulder turn and left arm extension is easier for you to find each time!! Try and remember that less really is more in the back swing, you will hit the ball further and more consistently with a shorter more controlled back swing!!

When you over swing two main things happen: 1) you bend both your elbows and 2) your weight moves onto your left foot. The key to a really powerful, consistent and controllable back swing is to turn your shoulders enough that your back is to the target, while your left arm stays the same distance away from your chest as it was at address, and your weight is 75% over your right side. For most of you when you try this it will feel like you are only doing half a back swing, as your hands don't go as high or as far as the would have done before. If you do feel it's shorter than normal, then you are onto a winner!!!

Watch the Tour Players and try to find one whose hands actually go higher than their shoulder or head level in their back swing; there won't be many!!

The final thing to check is that your weight has moved over your right foot at the top of your back swing, but remember that you don't just sway your body over, it happens naturally as you turn your shoulders and get your back to the target!! A good exercise  for feeling correct weight transfer while turning, is to imagine you have a ball on your hands as you stand at your address position with your arms hanging down in front of you. Now keeping your arms extended, turn your upper body to your right as if you were handing someone the ball. Notice in this exercise that your arms are only about shoulder high even though you have rotated your shoulders 90 degrees and you feel a good stretch in your muscles around your lower back and stomach. Do this a few times and feel what it is like to turn your upper body over your right foot, as this is the most powerful position you can find, and notice each time where your arms finish.

So, to recap your main points:

  1. Shoulders rotate so your back is to the target.
  2. Left arm stays extended as it was at address.
  3. Your weight has moved to your right side in the region of 75%.

Best of luck & keep practising!!!

Leo

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