K.J. Choi Golf Swing

Golf Sage - Saturday, January 28, 2012

K.J. Choi has several errors in his swing, but he executes enough fundamentals correctly to hit the ball consistently.
  1. At address, K.J.’s left arm and the club shaft do not form a straight line down to the ball.  This is because his hands are not positioned ahead of the ball, across from his left thigh.  The address position usually previews the impact position on the downswing, so K.J. may not be delivering his maximum power to strike the ball.
  2. At address, K.J.’s right foot is not perfectly square to the target line; it is slightly turned out.  This makes it harder to keep your weight on the inside of the right foot as the backswing proceeds.  If your weight transfers to the outside of the right foot, it is difficult to keep your right leg in position and your right knee pointed in throughout the backswing.  These two factors enable you to restrict the hip turn and maximize the shoulder turn, which creates maximum coil in the upper body at the top of the backswing, so you can deliver your maximum power at impact.  If your weight transfers to the outside of your right foot instead of to the inside of your right foot, it is harder to stay balanced at the end of your backswing. This makes it more difficult to smoothly start your downswing move with the legs and quickly start transferring your body weight back to the left side to generate maximum power at impact.  Thus, K.J. make not be delivering his most powerful swing to the ball at impact.
  3. To start the backswing, he takes the clubhead back slightly outside and lifts the club up fairly quickly.  It is better to take the clubhead back straight, low, and slow for 12” to 18.”  Taking it back straight and low a long way creates a wide and long swing arc.  The longer your swing arc, the farther you can hit the ball.  K.J.’s taking the clubhead back slightly outside rather than straight back sets him up to swing on too upright a backswing plane, his shoulders and arms traveling up in the air rather than turning around a stable lower body base.  Swinging on a flatter backswing plane makes it easy to keep your left arm against your chest and your right elbow tucked against the right side of your rib cage throughout the backswing.  These fundamental moves during the backswing lead to the proper position at the top of your backswing, making it easy to drive your legs through the ball and have your upper body unwind naturally on the downswing, with a square clubface at impact.  This produces very straight shots.
  4. During the backswing, K.J.’s left knee pops out, away from his body, instead of working toward his right knee.  This affects perfect balance at the top of the backswing, as your weight is likely transferred to the right heel and outside of the right foot instead of where it should be—the inside of the right foot.  Perfect balance is a key factor in the player’s ability to smoothly and quickly start the downswing back to the left side with a hard leg drive, thereby delivering maximum power at impact.  K.J. may be sacrificing some distance on his shots because of his left knee movement on the backswing.
  5. As K.J.’s backswing nears the top, his right elbow flies away from his body, making it more difficult to get on the proper downswing plane, one that is flat enough.  When your right elbow flies away from the right side of your rib cage at the top of the backswing, there is a tendency to swing on too upright of a downswing plane, from outside-to-inside, cutting across the ball and causing a slice.  It is very difficult to consistently return the right elbow to your right side on the first half of the downswing to return to the proper, flatter downswing plane and deliver a square clubface to the ball at impact.
  6. At the top of the backswing, K.J.’s hips have turned too much to the right.  A restricted hip turn is key to generating maximum power at impact.  To deliver your most powerful strike at the ball, it is critical to combine a restricted hip turn with big shoulder turn, creating the strongest possible coil in your upper body, which your legs lead through impact.  K.J. is not hitting the ball as far as he could be.
  7. To initiate the downswing, K.J. makes a shoulder move down rather than driving his legs toward the target.  It is best to start the downswing with a powerful, smooth, lateral leg drive.  This great weight transfer back to your left side starts this sequence of motion—legs lead shoulders, shoulders lead arms, arms lead hands, and hands lead the clubhead through impact.  This sequence of motion creates maximum leverage in your swing, so you can hit the ball as far as possible.
  8. K.J. hits against a stiff left leg at impact, which means his legs quit driving at the target just before impact, and he is making an upper body swing at the ball.  A strong, fast, smooth leg drive through the ball naturally pulls the coiled upper body and produces maximum clubhead acceleration through impact.  K.J. is losing power in his golf swing by not driving the legs to smoothly and fully transfer his body weight back to his left side through impact. 
Please see Golf Swing Fundamentals Checklist blog entry for a complete and detailed explanation of the key fundamentals that produce the perfect golf swing.

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