Fundamentals: At our Gravity Golf School we like to train our students to think, feel, and play dynamically rather than through positions – after all, you don’t have time to stop and reset in the middle of your swing. Whether you are walking or turning, the hands will naturally follow your body and the direction that gravity is taking them. That being said, let’s take a moment to go back to some of our most basic fundamental concepts of movement. Walking is by far the most efficient move that we make on a daily basis. At a very young age we learned through trial and error from the people we were observing, how to transition from crawling to finding an easier way to move around. At first we stumbled and fell, until we began learning how to utilize gravity to lean/fall at the desired depth that matched up with how fast our legs were moving to catch us. We did this so well after a while that we were able to take 100% of our mass and move it from one point to another with seemingly no effort whatsoever. Not long after that we began to feel how to twist, turn and jump in all directions with the same confidence.
The way we teach our golf schools is based around a very similar principal. In order to move the ball in any direction you must first feel the ability to move you in that direction. On the first day of a Gravity Golf School, our objective is not only to get people to feel how to relax their arms and shake the tension out of their swing, but to begin developing a different perspective of what their main goal is… not to move the ball, but to move them and learn how to let the ball get in the way. Before we go further into the explanation of using that directional flow, there are some basic understandings to timing, ball position, and the geometry of the swing that are helpful to know in order to work the ball in different directions. The one thing that you will always come back to is the realization that timing is everything!
Geometry & Ball Position 101: Where the ball is in relation to your body’s balance point/center of mass (your head) at the time of impact has everything to do with the way the hands/club face will be positioned at impact that in turn will create the spin and movement of the ball. If you have taken a neutral grip with the face square to your target when setting up and your body moves past the ball before impact, the club face will be slightly open causing the ball to go left to right (for a right handed player). If the body’s balance point is behind the ball, the opposite will happen: the club face will be closed causing the ball to go from right to left.
Now let’s jump back into the meat. The flow of your mass moving through your shots is what allows you to have the feeling of an effortless shot that has huge/efficient power and amazing control. Most people, when they set up to a golf ball, start by putting their balance point right up next to the ball before they begin their swing. The ball in this instance acts like a wall to the human mind. Subconsciously you know that your balance point needs to be in that spot at impact to make contact with the ball. The problem with this, is that you have not given yourself any room to move or create momentum into your shot. This is why most people “sway off the ball.” Instincts tell you that you need to move off the ball in order to have any momentum and natural power moving through impact. Essentially you are trying to harness kinetic energy and transfer it through the ball.
Beware: One of the main issues that plagues golfers is adding involuntary tension into their down swing. When you’re moving forward with your mass flowing towards your target, if your balance point reaches the ball before you have gotten to impact, your instincts will cause you to give up the momentum of moving/falling through your shot and put the brakes on, so to speak, to save impact. When this happens, there is an immediate involuntary pull that comes from the upper body looking for an alternate power source.
Fading the ball: Now the best part! Once you have learned to harness the kinetic power of your mass through gravity and timing, the movement of the ball becomes as simple as allowing your mass to flow in the direction you want it to go. If you want to hit a fade, practice moving your flow through your shot as if you are going to take a step out slightly to the right. Also practice this in combination with the Three Mode Drill below and you can develop incredible sensitivity and feel. Thanks for reading and enjoy!