Golf Column: How’s Your Belly Button?

By Ron Parish

Do I have your attention? Quite a funny title for a golf article but in simplicity, a great tip for the golf motion. So how is your belly button? Generally speaking, new golfers are successful with their hands and arms. Innately, these are the parts of our bodies that we know how to use the best when it comes to athletic activities so it isn’t too hard to get them engaged or focus on them. But new players often have a challenge getting there core and lower body involved in the swing.

This becomes particularly evident on the follow through when the hands and arms swing through to a finish on their own becoming somewhat discombobulated with the torso; resulting in an off balanced finish. So let’s think about a few other sports to help create a correlation that may help.

·Forehand in tennis. The tennis player swings the racket back not only with the hands and arms but the turn of the torso (belly button); the weight is on the back foot and then on the forward swing the lower body transfers the weight forward, followed by the turning of the core, followed by the hands and arms swinging forward; the torso doesn’t just stop it keeps turning towards target ala Andre Agassi as the eyes stay focused on the ball and the hands and arms then accelerate through.

·Knockout punch in boxing (Not the jab). Again we see a turning of the core that creates a slight transfer to the rear leg, then the lower body followed by the core lead on the forward swing; and then the arms and hand come through but all while the core is turning and leading over to the front foot.

·My favorite analogy, Baseball pitch from pitchers mound (or football pass deep). Shoulders are turning on the windup along with the core (shoulders about 90 degrees, core about 45 degrees), the lower body balances and stores the energy of the windup (particularly in the right hip….a really good golf association here) and then lower body transfers energy forward off the rubber; the core or belly button follow towards home plate leading ahead of the hands and arms.

So to keep things simple try these two drills:

·Take your back hand (the hand farthest from the target; for a right handed player his right hand) and hold a seven iron with just your thumb and first two fingers. Slowly swing the club with your one arm back and forth, increasing the length of the swing with each motion. Keep swinging back and forth until you go to full length motion. Notice how your arms swing and work with your core and belly button, and also how your legs balance things going back and forth. This is the golf motion.

·Hit balls and just finish with the belly button facing the target. Try hitting a bucket of balls and just see what happens with this one swing thought. There is a really good chance that the arms will sink up with the core, and the legs will sink up with the core and you will find yourself swinging with everything working together.

If you are interested in reviewing other articles from Coach Ron go to under “The Course” tab. Thanks for playing this great game and be sure to share it with someone else.

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