Paula Creamer Golf Swing

Golf Sage - Friday, January 20, 2012

Paula Creamer is a great young player, but she makes some mistakes during her golf swing:
  1. At address, Paula’s left arm and the club shaft do not form a straight line down to the ball.  This is because she plays the ball off the middle her left foot instead of slightly inside the left heel.  The   address position usually previews the impact position on the downswing, so Paula may not be delivering her maximum power to strike the ball.
  2. Near the top of the backswing, Paula’s left knee pops out, away from her body, instead of working toward her 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.  Paula may be sacrificing some distance on her shots because of her left knee movement on the backswing.
  3. As Paula’s backswing nears the top, her right elbow flies away from her 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.
  4. Paula hits against a stiff left leg at impact, which means her legs quit driving at the target just before impact, and she 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.  Paula is losing power in her golf swing by not driving the legs to smoothly and fully transfer her body weight back to her left side through impact.
Paula Creamer is a U.S. Open champion because she executes many fundamentals flawlessly:
  1. At address, Paula stands with a good flex in her knees.  This is important because the legs are free from muscular tension, so she can drive her legs hard and smooth through impact and utilize all the power from the large muscles of the legs.
  2. At address, Paula’s right foot is set perfectly square to the target line.  This makes it easy to keep your weight on the inside of the right foot as the backswing proceeds.  When you do this, you naturally keep your right leg in address 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.  When your weight stays on the inside of your right foot, it is easy to stay balanced at the top of your backswing.  This makes it simple 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.
  3. On the takeaway, Paula takes the club back straight, low, and slow for 12” to 18.”  She brings it back straight a long way, which creates a wide and long swing arc.  The longer your swing arc, the farther you can hit the ball.
  4. Throughout the backswing, Paula’s right leg retains its address position and her right knee stays pointed in.  So her upper body and shoulders turn around a stable lower body base, stretching the coil tight in her upper body.  This produces more distance when the legs lead a highly-coiled upper body through impact.
  5. Paula keeps her left arm straight throughout the backswing.  This ensures the longest possible swing arc, which produces your longest possible shots.
  6. At the top of the backswing, Paula has restricted the hip turn because she kept her right leg in the address position and kept her right knee pointed in throughout the backswing.  To deliver your most powerful strike at impact, 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.
  7. At the top of the backswing, she swings the club shaft perfectly parallel to the ground.  This makes it easy to control the club on the downswing, smoothly accelerating the clubhead to a square impact position.
  8. Paula starts the downswing with a very powerful and smooth leg drive, quickly transferring her weight back to the left side.  Her legs are clearly pulling a fully-coiled upper body throughout the downswing.
  9. On the downswing, Paula returns her flying right elbow back to the right side of her rib cage, which puts her on the proper downswing plane.  This allows her to swing from the inside and deliver a square clubface at impact instead of executing the downswing on too steep a plane, resulting in the clubhead traveling on a left-to-right path and causing a sliced ball flight.
  10. On the downswing, she preserves the angle of her cocked wrists as long as possible.  It is not until the second half of the downswing that her wrists release.  The later in the downswing the wrists release, the more leverage your swing has, and the more power you can deliver at impact.
  11. On the follow-through, Paula keeps her head down until well after impact.  This means her head remained still during impact, ensuring the downswing stayed on the proper plane and the clubhead stayed square at the moment of impact.  Keeping her head down until her hands have reached almost shoulder-high on the follow-through allows Paula to extend her swing down the target line, ensuring a square clubface at impact and producing very accurate shots.  
  12. To complete her swing, Paula has a high finish with the hands and stands in perfect balance.  Her body weight has completely shifted to her left foot, and her right toe points into the turf.  Perfect balance at the completion of your swing indicates you have efficiently delivered all of your power through impact.

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