Golf Tips - Lessons from the Golf Pros - The Magic Gap

By Joe Sullivan

The idea when evaluating any professional, whether it be a golfer or a carpenter, is to look at what they do in common. Chances are that this is what you need to do also.

When I look at the swings of the top players on tour, they all have very different looking swings in terms of body movement, tempo, length of swing, etc. But one thing they do do the same that I have picked up on is the following... They all create some form of a gap between their forearms halfway down during the downswing. It is what I like to term "The Magic Gap."

So what does this "gap" signify? you might ask. Well, when you see this gap formed it means that the player has connected their right elbow to their right hip, and have swung the club down from the inside. The more gap you see means the more from the inside the club is coming. Freddie Couples has a huge gap. On the other hand, the less gap you see means that the player has swung down the line more, usually by straightening their right arm from the top of their swing. Tiger is a perfect example of this.

What is important to note is that there is some gap there. Many amateurs, especially over the top slicers, do not form this gap. They will cast their right arm or throw some other part of their right side over the plane. Hence, they do not come from the inside, which you must do if you want to see "the gap" (and look like every great player in the world).

Here is a a drill for you to get the gap:

Take the triangle you form between your arms at the top of your swing and pump it up and down to waist high. Get the feeling that your right elbow grazes against your right hip. Don't jam it into your hip. Just make sure it connects in some way. Also, stand in front of a mirror and watch for the gap. When your right elbow grazes your right hip, you should see some space (daylight) between your forearms. If you see this, you are coming from the inside, and on your way to playing good golf. *

Columns ©1999 Joseph K. Sullivan and GolfLink Inc. All rights reserved.

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