Play Your Best | What the Pros KnowJuly 26, 2016

What the Pros Know: Don't Cheat Your Finish

You won't get far if you stop short

A big key to getting the bottom of your swing in the right place—which is how you make solid contact—is to complete your turn through the shot. That means getting your belt buckle to move around and point to the target. You can try to fake it and flip your arms up and around after impact, but to do it right, you need to keep turning and shift your weight to your front leg. Your back leg is a kickstand for balance.

What happens if you don't get all the way there? It puts the bottom of your swing arc farther back, probably behind the ball. Unless you make some other compensation in your swing, you're going to mis-hit the shot.

To feel the right movement, take some deliberate, half-speed swings, making sure to rotate through and finish with your back foot turned up on its toes. You should be able to lift that foot off the ground for a second and tap it back down (above). If you can't, it means you didn't get all your weight through.

A great added benefit of this toe-tap drill is that it helps with your timing (watch the video below). Why do tour players' swings look so smooth? Those guys get their hands, arms and bodies working together in the downswing. A full, balanced finish is a huge part of that.

Hank Haney: Don't Cheat Your Finish


SHOULD THE HEEL COME UP?
I've always been in favor of creating as big a swing arc as possible. If that means turning your hips a lot and letting the heel of your front foot come off the ground, that's fine. If you decide to copy Bubba Watson (below) and let your heel really come up, you have to be careful not to pull out of your posture. If you lose your address posture, it's tough to hit the ball square with any kind of consistency. You can always experiment with a little less heel lift.

2016 Chris Condon/PGA TOUR

Hank Haney is based at the Hank Haney Golf Ranch, Lewisville, Texas. To get fixed in Golf Digest, send him your swing on Twitter: @HankHaney.


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