Whenever I am mis-hitting the ball or inconsistently and not solidly on the centre of the clubface, I instantly know what is wrong… Do you?
It’s fairly simple to detect and understand, but very challenging to overcome. The issue is an unstable swing centre. By swing centre, I mean the point or fulcrum of where your body is rotating the swing motion from. This should be your spine. Many world class players reference a spot on the top of the back of your neck, gauged when you are in a proper golf posture and ready to make a stroke. They try to maintain that spot on the back of their neck “in place” as they swing. They don’t want to feel it move. This is especially important on putting and short swings around the greenside. You may feel some slight movement on a full swing, but it will be almost undetectable to a camera video.
If your swing centre is moving vertically or horizontally, you are moving the bottom of your swing arc around and making it very difficult to return it consistently to the starting position or more importantly, returning the clubface to the ball.
Whenever I explain this and video someone, they see the fault instantly. The next step is being able to feel it on your own, while practicing, or on the course, and then ultimately, being able to adjust and correct it!
A simple trick to help you feel this on your own is to place a “drinking straw” in your mouth and point it out towards the ball in front of you. With the straw end in your peripheral vision, while swinging the club, you will easily be able to see whether the straw end is moving away from the starting position.
It’s common to see people move back and up (away from the ball) from their starting positions. This is because people are naturally trying to take the club back and up to generate power to hit the ball. The thought is logical, but the technique to move the club away from the ball and up needs to be achieved through a rotation around the spine and not a lift or sway of the body core (swing centre).
Practice keeping your “swing centre” in a fixed position, in line with the ball, throughout the whole swing motion and you will be hitting the ball solidly again.
See you on the greens!