An efficient transfer of energy in the golf swing is not possible without a proper transition. An efficient transition relies first on being able to rotate properly in the backswing (both with the hips and torso) while providing enough stability to set the club at the top. There are intricacies to doing this properly that our golf coaches can elaborate on more, but once you have mastered these initial steps you are set up for success in transition and can begin focusing on engraining an efficient transition sequence.
So why would we strive to transition so “efficiently?” Very simply, to hit the ball further. An efficient transition sequence allows all of the energy created in the backswing to stay in the system. It also gives you the opportunity to generate even more energy on the way down toward impact as the lower body creates separation from the upper body. In an efficient golf swing, the kinematic sequence you want to see is the pelvis rotating toward impact before the torso and then decelerating, allowing the torso to then rotate toward impact before it decelerates, thus transferring energy into the arms, and lastly the club. All of this takes place with the goal of releasing as much energy as possible into the golf ball at impact.
We spend so much time focusing on pelvic awareness and control early on in the Academy year because of the significance it plays in maintaining posture and allowing the athlete to rotate properly. This gives the athlete the best opportunity to transfer energy efficiently from one segment to the next and supports their efforts to increase power and speed. Transition from the top of the backswing into the start of the downswing is a critical window of time that dictates how much potential power the athlete can generate. The hope is to store it as long as they can and release it at the right time to make the ball go as far as possible.
As a golfer starts back down toward the golf ball (again, ideally with their pelvis first), the ability to use the ground properly will force the body to simulate a small “squat” motion which in turn places the pelvis in an anteriorly tilted position. At the same time, their pelvis is rotating and shifting toward the lead leg to create separation from the upper body. As the pelvis rotates closer to impact it begins to posteriorly tilt back toward a neutral position, and the hips begin to extend, therefore firing the glutes. This combination of both pelvic rotation and tilt has been coined the “Pelvic Powerhouse” by a leader in the world of rotational power, Jason Glass.
“The Bump”, as it has earned its name, is the slight anterior tilt and lateral shift previously mentioned. This move is an efficient one, but requires internal hip rotation on both the trail and lead hips as well as lateral stability in each leg to translate effectively into an athlete’s golf mechanics. This move demonstrates vertical thrust and trunk rotational power very well and is something to be aware of as you look to improve your power this off season.
SEE YOU IN THE ZONE!