In Part I we talked about three of the most common finishes in golf the high finish, the low finish, and the lunge finish. Here, we examine three more common finishes with the goal of finding and fixing your hidden flaws.
Last week I said that you don’t need golf lessons to tell you there are only two times when your swing is static at the start and the finish. How you finish tells you a lot about the quality of your swing. The key is tracing your movements to find out why you finished the way you did. Hopefully, the exercise will serve as a golf instruction session that will have you not only hitting better shots but also chopping that golf handicap down to size.
This week we look at the Gap Finish, the Spin Finish, and the Reverse-C Finish. None are pretty because the golfer is usually out of balance at the end. That should tell you right off that there’s something wrong with the swing. If you’re not finishing in balance, as I’ve mentioned in my golf tips, chances are good you have a hidden flaw or flaws that’s throwing your swing off.
The Gap Finish
The Gap Finish is a really awkward looking. It’s characterized by a noticeable space between the knees, when they should be touching at the finish. The gapped knees are a symptom of the real problem gapped knees at address. Players who finish with their knees apart usually start with a wide stance, perhaps, too wide. Opening your stance provides a solid foundation for a powerful swing, but if your stance is too wide, your risk limiting your swing and power.
The cure: close up your stance. Adopt one that features your feet placed just outside your shoulders. You’ll still have a stable foundation for your swing. If you’ve been playing with too wide a stance, you’ve probably also lost the ability to turn correctly as well, so you’ll need to re-learn that as well. Practice hitting balls with your right arm (right-handers) only. This drill helps you learn to get your right side through the swing. Your new stance will help the process along.
The Flop Finish
The Flop Finish usually results in pulls, pull hooks, and pull slices. What’s flopping is your right foot (right-handers). Floppers usually use too much right side through impact, unlike Gappers who uses too little. A dominant right side leads to cut-across swings and roundhouse-type motions, creating the scenario for a pulled shot. Remember, it’s not the flopped foot that’s the real problem, but too much use of your right side.
To correct this hidden flaw, work on your shoulder movement, which should be down and under through impact. Address a ball, and then turn your back foot outward. Hit balls from this stance. Flaring the back foot prevents your right side from rotating too early. It also forces you to move your right shoulder under and through. Practice this at the range. Try to remember the way the right side feels when you hit with a flared right foot. Take that feeling to the course with you.
We’ve talked about this finish in my golf tips before. The Reverse-C Finish was once considered the finish of all finishes. But it has been relegated to a poor finish with a hidden flaw. You can tell this finish because the player has a severely arched back when he’s finished. The arch back indicates upper-body hang-back and lower-body slide. Neither is good in itself. Together, they’re deadly.
A lateral slide toward the target and too fast through impact causes this finish. The body hangs back due to an inability to keep up with the legs. And though the legs are sliding forward, your weight remains on the rear foot, causing a too handsy swing. To correct this leg-driven flaw, you need to get more hip rotation in your swing. If this is your problem, try some practice swings lifting your front foot off the ground during your back-swing and then placing it back down during your downswing.
Whether it’s the Reverse-C Finish, the Gap finish, or any of the other finishes we discussed, the way you finish indicates how your swing went. If you’re ending your swing with one of the finishes we described, figure out what category you fit into, and you’ll be able to detect your hidden swing flaws. Then it’s just a matter of correcting them to see that golf handicap drop.
Copyright (c) 2007 Jack Moorehouse