Swing Sequence: Ray Romano
February 10, 2012
This is Ray's best position. He is balanced at address and has a pretty good grip. No real problems here. Unfortunately his swing is about to begin.
As Ray starts the club back, he is doing OK at this point. You can see that he is leaving most of his weight on his left side, which is fine for a high iron and a shot from the rough.
Continuing towards the top of his backswing, the problems are starting to emerge. The shaft is getting quite vertical and his shoulders are essentially done turning. Those are two early signs of a slice.
Top Of Backswing
While I think Ray is leaving too much weight on his front foot, in all fairness he's hitting from a bit of a downhill lie from the rough. As he hits longer clubs, however, it is essential that he loads better into his right side, not leaving so much weight on his front foot. However, the moral of the story is, his backswing isn't really the problem. The next two pictures are why he really struggles.
For all golfers, the transition from the top of the backswing is what separates players. Making a good transition in which your lower body leads sets you up to create a good impact position, erasing many sins in the backswing. The history of golf is full of players with unorthdox backswings that hit the ball beautifully. Ray needs to use his legs more at this point. The shaft looks extremely steep, which is definitely a sign of slicing and a lot of hits off the toe of the club.
Rich, poor, funny, or dull... the golf ball doesn't know the difference. Golf is the great equalizer, and the ball only reacts to the conditions at impact. Unfortunately for Ray, this is his weakest position. Good impact occurs when your weight has transitioned onto your front foot, and the shaft is leaning forward. Ray is doing the opposite. In addition to power loss and the lack of compression on the ball, an early release causes the clubhead to get too low to the ground, too soon. You can see that Ray's club is well into the rough, while he is still six inches from impact. No way to make good contact at this point. Anyone that is struggling with their contact should begin by working on this position and building from here. Making small swings and training your body to come into quality impact is a great way to start. Once you have the feel and are making ball-first contact, simply start to make fuller swings. Remember, there is no faking this position, so get it right and then add on.
The main problem here is that Ray has too much weight on his back foot. It is really the result of his poor impact impact position. If you get impact correct, these positions typically take care of themselves.
More evidence that Ray's impact position has put him in an awkward spot.
A simple thought that can be helpful is to try and get to a balanced finish, fully up on your right toe, with no bend. You've done a good job if you can tap your right toe at finish.