by Frank Peter
The following Golf Lesson is reprinted with permission from the "Golf Beginner Guide", a full 272 page resource for Golf Beginners. For only $29.50 you get an incredible amount of invaluable tips, lessons and advice - great value for money. Click the above link to find out more!
Students often tell me that they have "too much right-side emphasis" in their swings. Usually, they've been told this by well-meaning teachers.
I'm here to say that in most instances, the right side is getting a bad rap. In reality, it's the biggest asset most golfers have! Among right-handed players, it provides most of the power.
You really can't have too much right side in your swing--but you can use it improperly. To illustrate the power your right side possesses, try pushing as hard as you can against a fixed object about three feet off the ground (such as a golf cart). Make sure the right elbow is close to your side in front of your right hip. Now try the same thing with the left arm pushing into the cart with the back of your wrist, as in a golf swing. No power there! The reason? The right hand is taking advantage of the full body: trunk, legs, and torso. In contrast, the left arm is pulling away from the body, making it difficult to generate power. Like a boxer throwing a punch, you're using a full body rotation with your right side--not just the arm.
1. Drop at the Top
What gets golfers into trouble with the right side is often called "coming over the top." This means that the downswing is being initiated by the upper body, particularly the right shoulder and arm. To correct this, think of your hands and arms lightly dropping for a few inches from the top of the backswing. This puts the right elbow where it should be--close and connected to the right hip as you start to turn (see photo). (Don't try to keep the elbow close on the backswing, however, as this will create a very flat and narrow swing.)
2. Get Your Train on Track
The other problem is when the right hand becomes overactive and dominates the left. This causes a breakdown of the left arm, and a "cupping" of the wrists. Here's how to fix this: Think of the right as the locomotive, and the left as the train tracks. The left channels power down the proper path toward the target. To get a feel for this, swing with the left arm only. As you come through, ensure that the left shoulder turns naturally, and away from the chin. If this doesn't happen, you'll likely see lots of shots go to the right.
NOTE: If you have trouble hitting your clubs correctly there is a good chance that your clubs don't suit you properly.
The reason for not improving your game may well be is due to badly fitted clubs. Think about it: people come in all different shapes and sizes, but most golfers simply buy their clubs off the rack in the golf shop.
Unless you are completely 'standard' and 'average' you should consider custom fitting for your next clubs. This can be done online, and it is free, quick and easy (and doesn't hurt a bit). Visit these two sites for free online club fitting, just follow the instructions given there:
'e-fit System' at GigaGolf
'Club Fitting Wizard' at Pinemeadow Golf