August 5, 2007

3 Keys: What starts the swing?

Start back in one piece by swinging the triangle formed by your arms and shoulders. Stay relaxed, and the clubface will rotate at the correct rate.

Start back in one piece by swinging the triangle formed by your arms and shoulders. Stay relaxed, and the clubface will rotate at the correct rate.

1. The first few feet can make or break your swing. I think about it as a one-piece motion, with the hands, arms, shoulders and club moving back together.

In the photo above, the clubhead might look to be racing ahead, but that's because it has the farthest to go. It's moving together with my hands and shoulders.

2. Let the clubface gradually rotate open relative to the target line. This keeps the face square to the swing path, which is moving to the inside. I see golfers who hold the face closed and others who spin it open. My rule is, if you keep your hands and arms relaxed, the club should rotate without your thinking about it.

3. The takeaway sets up how you position the club at the top. Keep your lower body stable so you can coil your upper body against it. I think of it like winding a rubber band: You twist it until you feel resistance, then release. Try to turn your left shoulder over your right leg. It won't get there, but that's the feeling.

Sorenstam writes instruction articles only for Golf Digest Publications.