Perfecting the Finish

After the ball has been struck, the swing ends by the golfer continuing the turn to a finish position of some kind. What is little appreciated is that this position goes a long way toward defining everything that happens beforehand, and therefore deserves careful attention.

Probably the best way to say it is that a finish should be a finish. It should be a position of repose, of calm completion. It should not feel like the swing is over and you are hanging on.

Ideally, you would be facing your target squarely. This is, in fact, a good way to check your alignment. If you were to take a practice swing, where you are looking when the swing is over is where you are aimed.

But where your hands are, where the club is, all that depends on the type of swing you have, and there is no one position that is best. Your swing takes you to where it will. Wherever you end up, though, you must be in perfect balance.

Try this. Set up, without a ball, close your eyes, and swing to the finish. Eyes still closed, are you balanced? Are you about to fall over? Do this a few more times until you get it right. This exercise might do more good for your swing than any swing modification.

I’ll let one of my favorite authors, Percy Boomer,* say it for me:

“When I go up to address my ball, I do not think of pivoting (as you do); I think of following through. I think of the end, not the means. So if you and I are standing together on the tee, I am mentally playing my shot through to the finish while you are preparing to play yours through your pivot. My feel is based upon what constitutes a good shot, while yours is based upon what prepares the way for the creation of a good shot–obviously much further back in the golf conception.”

If the goal of your swing is a good finish, then the mind will create a swing which leads to that finish, with a clean, solid strike along the way.

* Author of, On Learning Golf, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1946.

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