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Become a Better Ball Striker — The Golf Ball isn’t the Finish Line

By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Published on

When we watch the PGA or LPGA Tour each week, one thing that clearly stands out is the fluidness and confidence we see from the vast majority of swings made by the pros.
In particular, the held pose at the end of a beautifully executed swing is something that is hard not to notice. Great players, and great ball strikers understand completely that the finish line of any swing is this held, confident, and balanced finish position with weight transferred fully to the lead side.
For many amateurs however, the idea of the finish line for the swing is usually impact. This creates an unfinished motion with poor and inconsistent ball striking being the result.
In general, the idea of a golf swing is this...after proper setup, from a static position, we create the motion of the swing by moving the club back through the rotation of our body. We are doing so around a fairly fixed point which is our spine and head. I did want to note that I did indeed mean a “fairly” fixed point as I don’t want to give folks the idea that this is a rigid thing...there will be some allowances for some very slight lateral movement as we coil and get loaded up.
The objective is to coil or load up as we go back so we can create potential energy. This potential energy that is created, as we work up to the top of our backswing, will, through the correct sequence, be unloaded through the ball on the downswing and on to a reactionary balanced and strong finished position with our weight fully transferred onto our lead side. Notice how I said, “THROUGH the ball” and not “At the ball.”
The idea of the ball being the finish line will interrupt this transfer of the stored-up energy you created in the coiling or loading up in the backswing as you attempt to release it on the downswing. Basically, the ball should be getting in the way during this transition of energy from the top of the backswing and on through to a solid, confident and balanced finish position.
My advice for better ball striking is simple. Pretend you are playing on the PGA or LPGA Tour and all the cameras are on you. You want to pose on your finish and smile for the camera! Be strong, balanced and confident and hold that position for a count of 3. Committing to this will surely help your ball striking.
Be sure to tune into PGA Coaching Live presented by Cadillac at www.pga.com/pga-coaching-live next week during the 103rd PGA Championship at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island for more great coaching tips from PGA Professionals.
Brendon R. Elliott, PGA

Sorrento, FL

Brendon Elliott

Executive Director/Founder

Brendon Elliott is considered by his peers in the industry as one of the top youth golf coaches in the world. He is a multiple, local, state, regional, national and world award winning instructor with a focus on junior golfers ages 3-18. With numerous appearances on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, local TV, nationwide radio and countless publications, Elliott is one of the foremost experts in the youth golf arena. His Little Linksters 501c3 nonprofit is recognized as an example for introducing children as young as three to the game as well as how to help introduce youth with disabilities to our golf. Elliott has been recommended by industry titian's such as Nicklaus, Player, Floyd, Sorenstam, Speith and more. Among his numerous accolades, Elliott was named the PGA of America's 2017 PGA National Youth Player Development Award Winner in 2017.

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