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End confusion about body movement through the impact zone

Mel SoleBy Mel Sole,

Noted golf instructor and columnist, Mel Sole offers golf tips for GolfInstruction.com readers on all aspects of the game.

Some of my golf students have difficulty understanding the concept of body rotation through impact plus extending down the line after impact.The need to clear the hips while making sure your club is extending down the target line can be difficult to understand as well as to execute.

Recently while waiting to tee off I casually started to perform a stretching motion with my hands on each end of the club and then had an epiphany!

The motion I was making was the exact move I need my students to accomplish. So here it is:

Take an iron and hold it as shown:

Golfing tips with Mel Sole Golfing tips with Mel Sole

Now slowly swing back until you reach a full shoulder turn. You will notice that my right arm is extended away from my body and the shaft should be on a angle that would point down to the ball as in picture #4 (below, right). Pay close attention to what this position feels like at the top of the backswing. It's almost impossible to "reverse pivot" (or tilt your spine so that the weight moves to your front foot) doing this part of the drill.

Golfing tips with Mel Sole Golfing tips with Mel Sole

As you bring the shaft down and through, the shaft must point in the direction of the intended flight of the ball (see picture #6, below right). You will notice that although my hips are rotated around to the left my shoulders are parallel to the intended line. And my eyes are still looking down at where the ball was.

Golfing tips with Mel Sole Golfing tips with Mel Sole

I then continue the motion through to a finish that has my right arm extended down the target line and my hips all the way through to the target:

Golfing tips with Mel Sole Golfing tips with Mel Sole

By swinging a club like this in your living room or back yard you will learn how it feels to clear the hips and keep the shoulders parallel to the target through impact. It is key to good shotmaking.

Mel Sole is Director of Instruction and owner of the Ritson-Sole Golf Schools. He has been named a "Top Teacher in North America" by Golf Magazine and is one of only four top teachers selected in South Carolina. His lessons have also appeared in Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Golf Illustrated.

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