Reverse ‘C‘ position at finish
By Kim Jeong-kyoo
Though you don't hit the ball with your finish, you can enhance your ball-striking ability by paying more attention to it. Thinking of a good finish facilitates proper weight shift and good balance, plus rhythm and tempo.
The recent trend is a level “I-shaped” finish but players with an average body shape are better making the classic “C-shaped” finish as it provides you with better chances of producing more solid strikes.
No doubt, thinking of the “I” position at the finish will help prevent pain in the lower back and help maintain the body angles created at address, particularly the spine angle, with the result being solid strikes. Still, with the classic “C” finish you will hit the ball more firmly on a more consistent basis. Arguably, the level I finish more suits players with a thick torso and somewhat limited flexibility.
One of the most common swing faults committed by recreational golfers is swinging the club on an outside-to-in path on the downswing. This fault results from spinning the left shoulder open prematurely to the target during the transition from backswing to downswing. That forces the hands to move out and away from the body, forcing the head to be dragged in front of the ball, which in turn pushes the club into approaching the ball from outside the ball-target line. If the head moves past the ball toward the target, it causes a sharp descending blow, frequently bringing about chunked iron shots and popped-up drives.
To cure this outside-to-in path on the downswing it's imperative to move your left shoulder correctly, or rather begin the downswing with a slight bump of the left hip toward the target lest the right shoulder jut out toward the ball-target line.
An easy way to accomplish this without a concerted effort is to think of finishing the swing into a reverse C position. That lets your arms and hands drop down naturally to hip level and close to the body rather than move away from the body to the outside. You will stop throwing the club outside the ball-target line from the top and slot the club into the downswing path. You will ultimately hit the ball from inside the ball-target line.
Thinking of the C finish also helps keep your back pointed at the target longer during the downswing, allowing the head to remain steady behind the ball. The head remaining steady behind the ball through impact encourages a shallow angle of attack. You will make thinner divots with the irons, hitting the driver on the sweet spot of the clubface with a level or slightly upward swing.
Importantly, that facilitates maintaining the side tilt of the spine to the right away from the target through impact and at the finish, reducing pulls and slices.
For solid, powerful strikes the upper body mass needs to be in nearly the same place at the finish as it was at address, at the top of the backswing and through impact. You can accomplish this easily by focusing on finishing your swing in the reverse C position.
In a correct finish the belly button faces the target and the weight has shifted onto the left foot. The right heel is off the ground, with the weight balanced on the right toe. It's ideal if you can lift your right foot without falling over.
To capture this feeling on the practice range, finish in the reverse C position and hold it for a few seconds as if you were posing for a picture. Do this five times without hitting the ball, and then hit a ball and see if you can finish your swing into the same position.
On the course rehearse the C position on your practice swing. Then, on the real swing hold the finish position until the ball lands. To produce solid strikes it is always good to vividly feel a perfect, balanced finish before starting to swing.