Tom’s Featured Tip: The True Fundamentals – Low Point
There are many thoughts on the fundamentals of golf. Most players think that they are comprised of stance, grip, posture, etc. My thoughts, based on my research and study of the swing method principles that I teach, is that there are three true fundamentals to golf:
- The ability to hit the ground in the same place every time and forward of the ball to insure clean contact.
- The ability to create enough power or distance to enjoy and play the game.
- The ability to match the clubface to the swing path to control the curvature of the ball to keep it in play.
Remember, geometry and physics are the same for everyone; the anatomy of the individual player’s body dictates the actual swing mechanics.
In this newsletter and in the two following issues, I’ll address each of these fundamentals.
In order to hit the ground in the same place every time so that we can insure a “ball first” strike, we have to have the knowledge of where the low point of the swing is. It’s one of the first things I address during my ball striking lesson.
Just as a point of interest, Trackman now has that stat available with their most current software.
Low point can occur either before or after impact due to the circular/elliptical nature of the golf swing. Think of the golf swing as a big hula hoop. Zooming in on the bottom of this “hula hoop” (see the picture below), we can see the club is traveling downward during the red part of the swing arc. It then bottoms out in the white area (low point), before ascending in the blue area.
Here’s about where your low point should fall:
A driver can benefit from having the low point behind the ball, potentially maximizing distance through higher launch and lower spin. My low point with a driver is as much as 9 inches behind the ball.
Your low point can be more level with the golf ball if you have a nice, fluffy lie and are trying to pick your fairway wood off the turf. For shots where you may need a steeper angle of attack (e.g. out of deep rough), a more forward low point may be desirable.
Having your low point behind the ball with a shot from the ground will not work out well (especially on tight turf). You will either strike the ground very early, or even the smallest of raises in height will create a severely thin/bladed shot.
With the low point position behind the ball, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Contacting the turf will produce a drop-kick or a fat shot, but missing the turf will produce a thin shot.
Getting on a Trackman launch monitor will tell you where your low point is, but for those that don’t have that resource available here’s a drill that I have my students do to find that point: The Divot Drill.
I’ve found that with the swing I teach the low point is usually right in line with your forward arm armpit at setup, after you have shifted your weight correctly, pivoted correctly, and retained your impact angles in your hands and wrists past impact with forward shaft lean.
Your swing method dictates where your low point falls in relation to your setup, and how you transport everything during your swing to get there correctly. It is literally different strokes for different folks, but understanding low point and knowing your own swing is necessary to make low point awareness functional.
Once you know where your low point falls, ball placement should take care of the rest.
Know your low point and you’ll experience more high points during your round.
Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,
Tom Tucker’s Bio
I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
there’s a link for Plum Creek info here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/
Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
me – Tom Tucker – at (716) 474 3005 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates:
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