Rory McIlroy was just one shot off the lead at the 2011 Masters when he reached the 10th hole on Sunday. He hit a hook with his driver that led to a triple-bogey 7, knocking him out of contention.
What happened to McIroy’s normally silky-smooth swing on that ill-fated tee shot? In a word, he got “quick.”
“Quick” refers to the speed of the arms and hands relative to the rest of the body. When the arms and hands outpace the shoulders, hips and torso, we lose the proper sequence of motion on the downswing. The most common result is a shot that dives low and left, a la McIlroy’s.
Other examples of improper sequencing include:
- Not starting your backswing with a “one-piece takeaway,” the synchronized movement of hands, arms and shoulders.
- Starting the downswing before completing a full shoulder turn.
- Triggering the downswing with the shoulders or arms, rather than the lower body.
You can swing fast with accuracy, as long as you stay in the proper sequence. So next time someone says your golf swing was quick, try to determine what got out of sequence. As always, practice is the key to improvement in this area; working with a weighted club is a great way to keep your tempo smooth and your sequence in-sync.