By Doug Hammer, Golf Contributor - Archive - Email
What can you learn from your follow you have a follow through??
A good follow through doesn't guarantee a good shot, but is usually doesn't hurt.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - I have students come to me all the time with very different follow throughs or finish positions. Some of them are aware of the flaws or successes in their finish position, others do not have any awareness of what is going on post impact.

How important is the finish? If it is post impact, it really doesn't directly affect ball flight right? That is true, it doesn't directly affect ball flight, but it can tell you a lot about correcting your errors and give you vital clues to what the root cause of your flaws are.

So, what type of follow through to you have? Let's start with the basics. When you watch golf on TV, what do you notice about a tour player's finish position? I notice how much they turn through impact and how balanced they are. It appears they could stand there admiring their shot for hours. All their weight is balanced on the lead foot, shoulders fully released, hands and club finish high above their lead shoulder, maybe even the club appears to wrap around their head in some instances.

Now compare what you see a tour player doing to what you feel and maybe have been told you do. Where is your weight? Are your arms high or low? Do you feel jammed up? The first step to any correction is awareness and it is time to face the music! Be realistic about your follow through, can you maintain your finish position until the ball comes to rest? The answers to these questions can help guide your practice.

Let's say you feel jammed, your arms and club finish low, and your weight falls into your back foot every time. What can this tell you? Well the first thing it should tell you is that your swing path is from out to in, or "over the top". You probably play a slice and occasionally pull the ball to the left. Your divots are most likely deep if you take them and will occur behind the ball on a regular basis with your short irons. Sound like I have been watching you play? If any part of this is you, make an effort to finish higher as I am doing in the photo. Get your hands up above, or level with your head at the finish. You will find it more difficult to hit the ground, you may have some thin shots initially, but as you get more comfortable, you will see less slices and pulls and more straight or maybe even draw ball flights!!

Now, let's say you have a high finish, but sometimes can't maintain balance. You probably drive the ball pretty well, prefer fairway woods over hybrids, but struggle making consistently good contact on your irons. Your ball flight will be the occasional snap hook and block. You can get it going, but only when your timing is on. Sound like you? If so, you are close and have probably had some good rounds. You just need to hit a few more greens in reg. and strike your wedges a bit better. If any part of this is you, make an effort to finish a bit lower and more around your body. This can create a more downward strike into the ball and make your iron play a bit more deadly. It can also flight the ball better on all clubs and make you a more versatile player in adverse conditions, like wind.

The bottom line here, don't neglect follow through. Take some time to create awareness of where you are and use that awareness to correct your ball flight. It is easier to try to get to a good finish than it is to change your backswing and try to manipulate the club coming into the ball. You always want to be swinging the club freely through the ball and getting to a different finish position can correct some swing path errors that are hurting your ball striking and flight.

Good luck, I hope to see you bring your improved game out to Troon North soon!

Doug Hammer * Director of Instruction * Troon North Golf Club
p 480-585-5300 ext. 251 * f 480-585-5161
10320 E Dynamite Blvd. * Scottsdale, AZ 85262 Managed by Troon Golf
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