Why The Finish Is Vital

I am told all the time, "my back hurts, so I can't follow all the way though with my golf swing."  There is no doubt that your back hurts, but the reason is BECAUSE you do NOT follow through.

The follow through is often disregarded as not important because people think "it is after the ball is gone, so it doesn't matter." True. You can not effect the ball after it has left the club face.  However, you can negatively effect what happens to the ball before contact, because the swing is effected by where your club and body goes after impact. Okay, this is not a Matrix movie script, but more like a doctor's script. Take for example...

"If you do not release your right knee and finish on your left side with a toe tap finish, then you must slow the swing speed down prior to the finish so you don't blow out a knee or hurt your back."

Imagine running a 40 yard dash. Would you prefer to run that in a 40 yard gym or a 60 yard gym? You would want to run through at full speed and slow down gradually before coming to the wall.

If you swing your driver 100 mph, but keep your right heel on the ground after impact (not releasing the knee), then that will be a tremendous amount of pressure on your joints, as well as stress multiple muscles in the body, most notably the lower back.

Notice Adam Scott's finish (no, not his championship finish the other night at The Honda Classic) from the ground up:

  1. We see his right heel over the toe. A toe tap finish means all the weight has been transferred to his left side. He can literally pick his foot up and stay balanced.
  2. His right knee is pointing at the target (90 degrees from his feet alignment.)
  3. His hips are pointing left of the target (110 degrees), a 20 degree slow down cushion.
  4. His shoulders are rotated even further (120-140 degrees), 10-30 degrees more slow down cushion.
  5. His long arms reach beyond his shoulders, gradually coming to rest without any sudden jolting or recoil.

This is referred to by people as a "smooth swing." Many people don't know anything about the swing, but they can tell immediately who has a smooth swing and who doesn't.

What to Practice:

  1. Toe Tap Finish – Practice releasing the right knee so the body can get the weight on the left leg, the right heel should go over the toe. Lift and tap the ground again to ensure stability.
  2. Strike a Match – Perform the above drill, but to ensure you are properly balanced, drag the right toe two inches instead of tapping it. Dragging it two inches feels and sounds like it is a match being dragged across the box. This is a drill to get you used to this transfer, don't do it while playing.
  3. Hold the finish – Try to stay balanced with the toe tap finish until the ball lands. If you can not, continue to work on it until you can. The first time you release the knee and get the heel over the toe, you will likely fall over. It's like when someone lets go of the rope you were tugging against.