Speed, Balance and Brush the Grass

Speed, Balance
and Brush the GrassHaving spent the past six years working almost exclusively with junior golfers, I think the biggest disservice we can do with kids is to get too technical. The goal with juniors, especially those who are new to golf, should be to develop a motion that is free and natural, and has speed and balance. If we get too wrapped up in the details with kids, they can lose the naturalness for which we are striving.

Here are a few tips that can help kids (and adults, too!) get the club swinging, and help develop a motion that has both speed and balance.

START AT THE END

A great way to work on balance is to identify what a nice, balanced finish looks and feels like. With kids I will identify three keys for a good finish:

  1. Back of the right hand next to left ear
  2. Belly pointing to the target (always have a target!)
  3. Weight fully on the forward leg (“show me the bottom of your right shoe”).


Once you have identified what a great finish feels like, take some swings with the goal of getting to that finish. Swing as hard as you are able without losing that balanced finish position for at least a count of three.

BRUSH IT, DON’T CRUSH IT

We want kids to develop a motion that brushes the grass beneath the ball, not one that crushes the grass with a big, steep divot. A good way to develop this feel is to make a back and forth motion with a middle iron trying to brush the grass where the ball would be on both the back and the through motion. Keep that back and forth motion going for 20-30 swings. Start with a chipping motion, slowly grow it to a half or three-quarter swing. If you can brush the same spot in the grass back and through for 10-20 swings, you are on your way to developing rhythm and a swing path that will allow for speed and balance.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to address what I think is the most destructive tip in golf – “keep your head down.”
You will never hear me say that to a student. Worrying about keeping something still is a surefire way to restrict speed and free motion.

Strive for a swing that has speed, balance and brushes the grass, and you won’t have to worry about keeping your head down.

Jeff is the Executive Director of The First Tee of Tampa Bay. For information about The First Tee programs and Summer Camps for Tampa Bay area juniors, log on to www.thefirstteetampabay.org.

 

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