Understanding How To Turn The Core
What Is “The Core”?
What does it really mean to ‘Turn the Core’? We use the term ‘turning the core’ quite often yet a lot of folks don’t really understand it. Even when we say the ‘core’ is the abdomen, chest and shoulders together as a unit most people nod their heads and realize it has something to with the body but most don’t really understand what a ‘core turn’ is.
FREEZE THE BUTT CHIPPING DRILL
We’ve come up with a little drill that should help. It’s designed to teach you the feeling of ‘Turning the Core’ while chipping.
You start by finding an open wall where you can stand with your back to the wall with your butt up against the wall and your feet together. You will be bent over at the waist in a chipping address position. Depending on your body size your feet will likely be 4-6 inches away from the wall. As normal keep your feet together with most of your weight on your front leg.
Your goal is to make your chipping motion without any CONSCIOUS arm or wrist power just by turning your upper body. Your arms should be loose so your core can actually swing your arms. Your goal is to make your chipping motion with your ‘core’ not with your hands and arms. Your arm, wrist and the club will lag a split second behind your core. There is some “thumb cock” (cocking of the wrist in the direction of your lead thumb) but that cocking is a reaction with the loose arms not a conscious hitting at the ball.
You should feel your stomach, chest and shoulders turning as a unit. On longer chipping strokes you should feel just a little turning with the belly button. Although your hips shouldn’t be turning much (because your butt is up against the wall) you should feel a small turn of the stomach. On longer chipping motions, if you look at your belly button you should it turn just a little bit.
Your ‘Triangle’ (the triangular space formed by your chest and the your two arms should remain intact throughout the whole chipping stroke even the longer strokes. (Review ‘Power Triangle’ http://simpleswing.forumco.com/topic~TOPIC_ID~305.asp The inside of your upper arms should be glued to the sides of your chest so your chest, shoulders and upper arms turn as a unit (but your arms should be loose).
You won’t be able to make a long chipping motion in this position but that’s a good thing. Your chipping motion should have a short backswing and an accelerating downswing that continues through the ball. Your chipping follow through should be longer than your backswing. Make some practice chipping strokes gradually lengthening your stroke.
Here the key point: You should NOT feel any CONSCIOUS arm motion or wrist motion doing this drill. Try chipping some balls in this position. You should have a good appreciation of ‘Turning the Core’ now. If you think you’ve got it here’s the next step.
Note: we are not saying don’t turn the hips at all when chipping. We’re just trying to reduce the amount of hip motion to give you more consistent and more accuracy shots. On really, really short chips you don’t need any hip motion but on longer chips some hip motion is normal. The purpose of the hips against the wall drill is to teach you what reduced hip motion feels like not to have you hit without any hip motion at all. All too often golfer chip by turning their hips instead of turning there core (torso).
Practice this same core chipping motion with one arm. Hold the club in your lead hand. Then take your trail hand and grab your lead hand wrapping your finger over and around your lead hand. All of the fingers of your trail hand should be wrapped about your lead hand rather than on the club. Then keeping your lead upper arm against your side make a one arm chipping motion again using your core not your arm as the power of the chipping motion. When you chip with one arm you should feel the arms being swung by the core (shoulders, chest & abdomen).
When you think you’ve got it, then take this swing outside and make some practice swings. Start with shorter chipping motions. Then gradually lengthen your swing. As your swings get longer you will feel your hips turning a bit which is normal and exactly what we want. However you should watch to make sure that the hips are turning synchronously with the core.
By now you should see that the chipping motion is the heart of the Symple Swing method. The beginning of chipping motion is identical to the beginning driver backswing. The downswing of the chipping motion is a main component of the downswing of the full swing.
The full swing is longer but it’s actually the same basic swing motion as the chip. We say you hit the ball with the same swing from the chip to the driver because the same basic ‘Core Turn’ is the heart of every Symple Swing motion.
For additional information about the “Core Turn” and “Core Power” see http://simpleswing.forumco.com/topic~TOPIC_ID~337.asp