Have you ever seen the kind of ball flight where the ball starts off kinda low and then climbs to an apex, then flattens out, before falling to the ground at or near the intended target ?
This is trajectory. Trajectory is a flight pattern of the golf ball. It can be varied with the kind of position the club head is in while at the impact position. If you do it right you can have any kind of ball flight that you want.
And that is where the ” magic ” comes in.
Here is an example. You have driven the ball well down the fairway. You have a good lie and 150 Yards or so to the center of the green. You check the wind and determine that it is kicking up a bit and is in your face, not behind you.
This green is slightly elevated and is sloped away from you. It would be nice to be able to spin the ball as it lands on the green. You select one club more than you normally would due to the wind and decide to hit the ball down to help keep it out of the wind and to put extra spin on the ball.
Ok… that’s the setup.
So, what is it that you do to achieve this shot? Come on, all you weekend players know the answer. Yet most of you would never get it done. You would swing harder, release the club early in your downswing and hit it high and the wind would make it balloon even higher. And the result, a pitifully short of the green ball that now requires an excellent chip shot and a great putt.
Yet you know how to do it.
Well, not exactly. You think you know, but the tiny bit of doubt prevents you from actually carrying out the plan. So you revert. Yes, you revert to your zone of complete comfort. Unwilling to make the shot that is within your capabilities.
Here’s why. You probably know how to do the shot. You have seen it on TV hundreds of times. You have probably played with people who can hit that shot. You know how it is done. But you have not actually done it.
Most of you also have either heard of or have a copy of ” The Little Red Book”
This is written by Harvey Penick who was loved and honored by many of the great players on the PGA tour. Harvey had in the shortest chapter of the book, the magic move. The move that has nothing to do with magic, yet if you do it you will hit it as if by magic.
Sounds wild, doesn’t it.
Just so you know, I am not promoting Harvey’s book nor am I trying to steal his thunder. It is no secret. This magic move. Every good player on the planet does it. If you don’t do it, well you just not a good player.
That said, what a way to make friends, there is no reason that everyone who plays the game can’t understand the magic move and to make it a part of their practice and play.
It’s all about angles. The angles in your golf swing or the lack of them will determine how well you play. It will decide for you how far you can hit the ball and how often you hit with a square clubface at impact.
Ok, so here is what Harvey Penick said, although not word for word: the magic move is actually two moves done at the same time, drop the right elbow to the right side and bump your left hip to the left.
Now that is the fastest magic I know of. However, it just stops too soon. Dropping you right elbow to your right side is certainly a big part of it. It is a lot easier to say it than it is to actually do it. But it is absolutely correct.
So, how in the world can you drop your right elbow to your right hip, and do it as if it is automatic, and all other parts and pieces move as they are supposed to?
Answer: you must use your body to release the clubhead, you must use your body to get the club to the impact position, you must use your body to maintain the great angles you have created early in your backswing.
If you want magic this is it. Your body will drive your swing with grace and power if you allow your angles to stay in tact and not release them early in an effort to ” hit ” the golf ball.
Start with your right hand pushing against your left hand at set up. Just slightly. But enough so that you feel it. You will need to feel this all the way to impact.
So push right wrist bent by pushing against the left thumb. Now turn your center ( body) into the backswing while maintaining this push feeling in your right hand.
Take a minnie swing at first. The faster you turn your body on the downswing the further you will hit the ball. You must maintain this feeling of pushing with the right hand throughout your swing. Your hands are NOT an active part of this motion.
You want your arms and hands to feel like they are just going on for the ride.
You have set an all important angle by pushing your right wrist bent. This is one angle, but a very important one. Some call it lag.
This is a move that will allow you to hit like magic. It is the one move that all good players share in common. It is very hard to see. It is a feeling. Not something that is visual.
Practice this while chipping.
Once I learned this skill I was able to change the trajectory of the ball’s flight at will. I live in Florida and have wind to deal with often. Nothing like hitting an extra club, keeping it low and watching it track to target with tons of spin. Nope, nothing like it. You can do this too. It’s like magic but it’s really about angles.
This is one magic move .. There are three others.
Give it try. It isn’t magic, it’s just good technique.