In the same way that someone is right handed or left handed, a golf swing can be dominated by either side. Most amateur swings are right side/arm dominated. You can see this in the over the top moves and the flipping action of the club face. This is typically considered pushing and results in a weak slice.
Conversely a golf swing can be more left side/arm dominated. This is typically called pulling and results in more consistent ball striking, and improved golf ball launch conditions.
Both ways can be effective provided the player plays to their tendencies or has practiced enough to know what the swing is going to do. However, I think left side/arm dominated can be more consistent based on the work I have done with my swing, and from what I see from the average golfer.
I’ll refer to left side dominated swings as pulling, and right side dominated swings as pushing.
A swing with the left side of the body pulling can be more consistent for a number of reasons.
Flipping is less likely. The left arm/hand alone is not strong enough to overcome the huge forces created in the golf swing in order to flip the club. If you try to flip the club with the left hand only, it is very awkward and unnatural.
A swing with the left side pulling will more easily clear the hips allowing the club head to more consistently come into the ball square.
Pulling low and left creates an impact condition with the shaft leaning forward and allows a golfer to compress the ball more easily because the long lever of the left arm and golf club remains stable.
This type of swing leads to a more consistent and fuller release, thus adding distance while maintain accuracy.
If you have a pushing type of swing, where the right side of the body dominates, the 4 points above will be more difficult to achieve consistently because the right hand has to make those things happen and the body is fighting with itself.
If you are unfamiliar with the pulling sensation, do the left wrist supination drill for a while and try to feel which side is more dominant. Once you can identify which side of your body is dominant, try to do the drill consciously forcing the left side to be dominant. It’s not easy to do, but I think it is well worth doing.
I came across this video on YouTube and I wanted to share this. For those of you who read the review of the Taly Mind Set, I wanted to provide a real world scenario of how it used to help golfers improve their swings. In this video Lynn Blake, the famed TGM teacher (The Golfing Machine), has a clinic and each student has a Taly Mind Set. Take a look at how he teaches and what he teaches. It is simple but effective. Similar to the drill I talk about in the article on achieving left wrist supination.
Enjoy and of course let me know if you have any questions about this.
So in my practice session today I decided to work on flattening my wrist at impact. I realized that when one has the the tendency to come over the top, that a flip of the wrist is probably happening as well.
A flip of the wrist is bad because it adds loft at impact and slows down the club head. If you have a tendency to lose the ball high and to the right, there is a good chance you are flipping at impact.
So I took the first 20 balls of the bucket, and a short swing, and worked on keeping the wrist flat at impact with the club head slightly lagging behind. The swing thought was something like “don’t let the clubhead pass the hands”. It actually felt very different then my normal swing. It felt more solid, and like there was less extra motion. It felt more compact. However these short swings (probably half swings) were carrying as far as a full swing with a better trajectory. The trajcetory was flatter. I don’t consider myself a short hitter. I’m normally pretty happy if I’m carrying my pitching wedge around 125 – 130 yards.
With the flat left wrist at impact I was carrying the pitching wedge between 145 and 150 yds into a slight breeze, and I was still using what felt like a pretty short swing. I started to see the same kind of distance increases and flattening of the trajectory with the other clubs. It was more difficult to do consistently with the driver. I think part of the reason has to do with the driver being so much longer than the other other clubs.
There is still a lot of work left to do to get this consistently into the swing. I think it might take a couple of months of practice to ingrain this feeling, but the results should well be worth it. Not every shot was perfect. Because it is a new swing technique for me I had my share of bad swings with it. I also have not yet figured out how to hit like this accurately but I think it will come with practice, and trusting it. The trust in it will take some time as well. I hit some 4-woods with it that were just awesome. They felt different and took off like rockets. Some I’m sure the driver will come around at some point. Still gaining 20 yds per club and a better trajectory is good enough for me to keep me practicing like this.