Golf Stroke Mechanics

Golf stroke mechanics is the means by which golfers make decisions (selecting clubs, selecting shots) and execute them (making shots) in the golf. For all golfers, it consists of a pre-stroke: (in which golfer choose which club they want and their stance) and the actual stroke.

Contents

[edit] The pre-swing

Many golfers’ pre-swing looks like this:

  • Golfers start with the non-dominant side of the body facing the target.
  • At address the body is positioned parallel to the target line, although a more open stance may be used for shorter distance shots and a more closed stance for long distance shots.
  • The feet are placed shoulder width apart for middle irons, slightly narrower for short irons and slightly wider for long irons and woods.
  • The ball is positioned near the center of the player’s stance for short irons, moving forward of center through the middle and long irons until it is opposite the heel of the front foot for woods.
  • The majority of the weight is placed on the front foot for short irons, with balance shifting onto both feet through the middle irons until weight is distributed fairly evenly for long irons and woods.
  • There are several choices with regard to gripping the club. Generally one of the following three will be used:
  • Vardon overlap (or overlapping) grip: Named for Harry Vardon, the man who popularized it, the little finger of the trailing hand (the dominant hand) is placed between the index and middle finger of the lead hand (the non-dominant hand). The lead hand thumb fits along the lifeline of the trailing hand.[1]
  • Interlocking grip: The little finger of the trailing hand is intertwined with the index finger of the lead hand. The lead hand thumb fits in the lifeline of the trailing hand.[2]
  • Ten finger (or baseball) grip: The little finger of the trailing hand is placed close to the index finger of the lead hand. The lead hand thumb is covered with the lifeline of the trailing hand.[3]

[edit] The strokes

[edit] Chip

The chip by a left-handed golfer

The chip is a type of shot generally used from short range around the green. Although any club may be used, and there are specialist chipping clubs (or chippers) available, a short iron or wedge is most common. The goal of the chip is to land the ball safely on the green and let it roll out towards the hole. D.N. Tweeds, prominent golfer from South Africa, instructs his students to the perfect chip shot “Make sure you keep your head still and keep the club-head moving through impact”

[edit] Putt

The putt by a right-handed golfer.

The putt is used for putting the ball in the hole or closer to the hole (as in lagging) from the green or the fringe of the green. The putter is used for the putt. The golfer adjusts his/her putt to fit the circumstances of the play such as distance to the hole and slope of the green. The face of the club starts square to the target line. The club goes straight back and straight through along the same path like a pendulum. One strategy is to aim the ball 10% past the hole. Another is to look at the hole for long putts instead of the ball.

[edit] Shots

[edit] List of shots

  • A green.
  • An approach shot is made with the intention of placing the ball on the green. The term “approach” typically refers to a second or subsequent shot with a shorter-range iron depending on the distance required.
  • A lay-up shot is made from the fairway after the drive, but intended to travel a shorter distance than might normally be expected and/or with a higher degree of accuracy, due to intervening circumstances. Most often, a lay-up shot is made to avoid hitting the ball into a hazard placed in the fairway, or to position the ball in a more favorable position on the fairway for the next shot.
  • A chip is a very short shot played from near the green, generally made with an abbreviated swing motion. Chip shots are used as short approach shots to the green.
  • A pitch is slightly longer than a chip shot and thus requires a slightly larger swing. It is generally hit with a lofted club and expected to stop fairly quickly once reaching the green.
  • A bunker shot is a shot played from a sand trap. It is hit with a lofted wedge and is intended to hit the ball high so that it can carry over the lip of the bunker while still staying on the green.
  • A flop shot is when a player opens the club face on a chip shot to get the ball to fly over an obstacle and stop quickly or spin back once it hits the ground.
  • A putt is a shot designed to roll the ball along the ground. It is normally made on the putting green using a putter, though other clubs may be used to achieve the same effect in different situations. A lag is a long putt designed less to try to place the ball in the cup than to simply move the ball closer to the hole for an easier putt into the hole.

[edit] Secondary characteristics

  • A draw is a stroke played with the effect that, for a right-handed player, the ball moves from right to left during flight. Conversely the ball will move from left to right for a left-handed player. These characteristics are achieved by having either an in-to-out swingpath or a closed clubface, relative to the swingpath, at impact.
  • A fade is a stroke played with the effect that, for a right-handed player, the ball moves from left to right during flight. Conversely the ball will move from right to left for a left-handed player. These characteristics are achieved by having either an out-to-in swingpath or an open clubface, relative to the swingpath, at impact.
  • A punch or knock-down shot is one with a low trajectory, that is employed when hitting into the wind or in order to avoid hitting the ball into overhead obstructions. This stroke is achieved by keeping the weight forward and the hands ahead of the clubhead through impact.

[edit] Misplayed shots

  • A hook occurs when the clubface is closed relative to the swingpath or with an inside-out swingpath and thus flies severely from right to left or vice versa for a left-handed player. Skilled players can hook the ball at will, but most commonly it is a misplayed shot that often has negative consequences.
  • A slice occurs when the clubface is open relative to the swingpath or with an outside-in swingpath and thus flies severely from left to right or vice versa for a left-handed player. Skilled players can slice the ball at will, but most commonly it is a misplayed shot that often has negative consequences.
  • A push is a ball whose flight path is straight, with negligible sidespin, that ends up right of the target. The incidence angle of the clubface is x° to the right of the target, and where the path of the clubface is also x° to the right of the target (inside to outside path).
  • A pull is a ball whose flight path is straight, with negligible sidespin that ends up left of the target. The incidence angle of the clubface is x° to the left of the target, and where the path of the clubface is also x° to the left of the target (outside to inside path).
  • A shank occurs when the ball is struck on the hosel of the club, and thus flies at a sharp angle to the right of the intended direction (or vice versa for a left-handed player).
  • A thin shot occurs when the forward edge of the clubhead strikes the ball too high, causing the shot to come up short of the target.
  • A phin is an off target shot similar to a thin but it fishtales on landing.
  • A top occurs when the player strikes the top half of the golf ball causing it to dribble along the ground and come up severely short of the intended target.
  • A fat shot occurs when the forward edge of the clubhead strikes the ground behind the ball first, causing the shot to come up short of the target.
  • A pop-up (or sky) occurs when the ball strikes too highly on the clubface, causing the shot to travel very high, leaving it well short of its intended target.
  • A whiff (or air shot) occurs when the golfer swings and misses the ball.
  • A Chili Dip or Drop Kick means that a golfer had his club strike the ground behind the ball, digging up turf and resulting in little or no contact with the ball itself. The result of a chili dip is a golf ball that doesn’t go very far, possibly moving only a few feet or barely at all. Usually occurs during chip shots. This mistake is usually caused by moving the bottom of your swing arc behind the ball thus causing the club to enter the turf behind the ball.

[edit] Musculature

A golf stroke uses muscles on core (especially erector spinae muscles and latissimus dorsi muscle when turning), hamstring, shoulder and wrist. Stronger muscles on wrist can prevent wrists from being twisted at swings, while stronger shoulders increase the turning force. Weak wrists can deliver the impacts to elbows and even neck and lead to injury of them. (When a muscle contracts, it pulls equally from both ends and, in order to have movement at only one end of the muscle, other muscles must come into play to stabilize the bone to which the other end of the muscle is attached.) Golf is an unilateral exercise that can break body balances, requiring exercises to keep the balance in muscles. A recommended exercise is free weight, an exercise not reliant on machines to stimulate and balance the fine muscles.[4]

[edit] Other definitions

  • Backspin is imparted due to the loft.
  • Sidespin is imparted due to the non-perpendicularity of the golf club.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Vardon Overlap Grip. Golf.about.com (2011-12-06). Retrieved on 2011-12-17.
  2. ^ Interlocking Grip. Golf.about.com (2011-12-06). Retrieved on 2011-12-17.
  3. ^ Ten Finger Grip. Golf.about.com (2011-12-06). Retrieved on 2011-12-17.
  4. ^ Ahn Hyejung (November 11, 2012), World Class Fitness Trainers, John Sitaras, Golf Digest (Korean edition)



This article uses material from the Wikipedia article golf stroke mechanics, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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