The ‘L’ position
The L position
In 2014 editions of Golf Indonesia, l have outlined the 5 key principles to a sound golf swing. Starting with the grip position, then progressing through to body setup and alignment, takeaway, the letter ‘L’ position, and the most difficult being the impact and early follow through. In the previous edition, l focused on performing chipping shots as a great way to start improving your overall technique. In this final edition of this series, l will focus on how to apply the positions of the chipping swings to perform the letter L swings, as this is great way to improve your full swing.
The ‘L’ position is a great check point in the backswing. Being able to achieve this position or get closer to it helps to build up power and accuracy, and helps to improve the most difficult and important next step being the impact position. If you practised improving your chipping swings from the previous issue, achieving the L will be a lot easier. As the chipping swing will form the base of your L swing and full swing.
The goal is when your left shoulder and your left hand are level with the ground, your club is at a 90 degree angle forming the look of a letter L. This is made possible by having a sound grip position, with the key position being the right side of the left hand placed on the front of the grip, not on the side, as this gives the left hand the freedom of movement it needs to create the L.
Also the left arm does not have to be perfectly straight, as many players naturally will not be able to achieve this, as the wrist break is the key here. For many players, they keep the left arm and club too straight at this point. This leads to problems such as reverse pivoting (upper body angles back towards the target), loss of the spine angle from the address position, and probably most of all flipping the club at impact causing poor contact.
If you were able to improve your contact with your chipping, that means your hands are getting in front of your club face at impact. Once again the same position applies for the L swings. The wrist break helps to keep the hands in front at impact so you can hit the base of the ball first, which is the key to playing good golf.
The L position
The final part of the L swing is to form a reverse L in the follow through. This position depends greatly on the impact position. Flipping at impact causes the hands to stay very close to the body and the arms bend causing the ‘chicken wing’ look in the follow through. If you improved your follow through first by practising your chipping swing by having your hands and arms extended further from your body, this will start to happen automatically in your L swing. One final key is being able to keep your balance in the follow through. This helps to control the speed and coordination of your swing.
Practising your chipping and L swings more on the range also helps to develop a better short game and a better full swing. The positions from the takeaway, impact and early follow through remain basically the same no matter what swing length you perform. And you can practise these positions with all your clubs.
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