BACK TO BASICS: SPINE ANGLE
If you are a player who is struggling with clean ball contact, this little tip is for you! Maintaining proper spine angle is very important to getting solid contact. Let’s look at why.
BENEFITS: Centeredness of Contact, Speed and Consistency
Tommy Fleetwood, golf.com
Centeredness of Contact: It’s no surprise that hitting the ball in the center of the club face is necessary to play good golf. We need to delve into why; Spin, Smash Factor, Distance. Spin is changed when the ball is off center because of the rotation of the club and body. If the ball is off center, it imparts left and right hand spin on the ball causing obvious problems. Smash Factor is the speed of the ball divided the speed of the club head. The way club heads are designed, the player will get most energy transfer from the center of the club head. The higher the smash the greater the total distance of the golf ball. Consistency is the final piece of the puzzle, the golf ball moves in a more predictable path when impact is centered.
Speed: In a standard pendulum motion, the center point (Spine) of the pendulum needs to stay in the same place in order for the end point (Club) to move in a consistent manner. What are some things that happen when center point moves? Lengthening and shortening of the pendulum arm, loss of speed, and loss of distance. If the center point moves, speed is affected because the player needs to slow down to impact the ball with any consistency or they will end up shortening their arms through impact reducing the length of the lever. Shorter lever, slower speed. If the center point approaches the ground the body must contort to ensure clean impact which reduces speed yet again.
Consistency: The simpler a mechanical motion is, the more efficient it is. Something that all good players have is a consistent yet simple golf motion that they can repeat. Moving part reduction increases efficiency, if a golfer has many moving parts in the swing, when pressure comes; there are more things that have the chance of breaking. Bottom line is, the simpler the movement the more repeatable it is under pressure.
Imagine yourself in a golf set-up position in a pool of water; with just your head out of the water. Do you think you could swing the club without drowning? Drowning is the precise feeling we are trying to NOT have. Let’s keep our face out of the water while swinging. If you can keep your head “in the box” and not let your spine sink while swinging, you’ll be on your way to better ball striking!