What is Perfect Timing

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Perfect timing is when the necessary parts arrive at impact with the ball to impart maximum clubhead velocity squarely into the back of the ball.  Perfect timing can be seen as the straight line alignment of the leading shoulder joint, the center of the grip and the clubhead.  Perfect timing in another sense is the ability to deliver the clubhead effectively (speed and clubhead alignment) so as to cause the ball to finish on target.  In this sense, perfect timing is an individual performance concept.  One player may desire to play a fade to widen the target area while another may desire to play a draw to accomplish the same thing.  The critical concept is to find what works best for you and then to master the swing motion which will produce consistent results!

So, this page speaks of perfect timing as a concept which will produce a nearly straight shot (allowing for a small, but controlled draw or fade) characterized by minimum movement.  Pre-swing variables include shoulder alignment, L/R ball position, distance from the ball and left foot position (toed out or more square).  In-swing variables include swing plane/top position, transition and release technique.

From the graphic, we can see a slight variance to the straight line relationship between the shoulder, grip and clubhead.  In this illustration, the player has his hands slightly ahead of the shoulder/clubhead line.  This would be a perfect position for a controlled fade because the clubhead will still be in a slightly open position.  To achieve a fade rather than a pushed/slice, the player will have to have a slightly outside to inside swing path into and through the ball.  This would be accomplish in the pre-swing set-up by having a slightly open shoulder alignment.  If the hands lead the clubhead, the clubface will be open to the targetline.  If the clubhead passes the hands, the clubhead will be closed.

This website is based on the concept of "Sling the Handle".  This is an adaptation on the teaching of
Eddie Merrins, the longtime LA golf pro and UCLA coach's "Swing the Handle".  To sling the handle is to take the hands out of the timing of the swing by rotating the upper body, creating a slinging effect in the arms which transfers to the club.  The role of the hands is to be semi-rigid, passive connectors.  The forearm muscles provide stability and support to the sling motion.  The hands naturally release (L image), revolve to a square position at impact and continue moving the handle of the club to a position where it points at the target at the mid-level followthru position.  The left arm controls the backswing and downswing up to impact.  The right arm influences the release of the hands into impact and the followthru.

The hands do not add any intentional force to the swing.  As the right elbow straightens from the release point to impact, two thing happen.  The top hand begins to slow down as it approaches impact and the bottom hand continues to accelerate into and thru the ball.  The hands are working in opposite directions ... all sub-consciously controlled by what you have learned in practice.  As the top hand reaches a position opposite the ball and aligns with the shoulder, its forward movement comes to a near stop.  The bottom hand continues forward towards the ball.  These two movements reverse the direction of force being applied to the handle.  This is NOT the same thing as "hitting" with the hands.  The forward movement of the bottom hand greatly accelerates the shaft and clubhead.  As the hands past through impact, both arms fully extend in the early followthru position.  By the time the hands reach waist high on the target side of the swing, the right arm continues to be fully extended by the left arm is well into the folding motion.  There is no rolling or "pronation" of the wrists as advocated by Hogan and other early era steel shaft transition players.  Technically, if one forearm pronates, the opposite arm must supinate.  Neither of these movements occur in a normal, straight ball swing.  At all times, the thumbs stay on top of the shaft.  Each wrist and forearm is in a neutral position ... half pronated and half supinated.  The forearms never roll the shaft.  It is the movement of both forearms as they revolve through a 180 change of direction where the shaft points away from the target on the downswing side and points towards the target on the thruswing side.  Said another way, a line down the top edge of the grip is always up and never rolled onto the side of the shaft.  You should always be able to look down and see your thumbs.

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Copyright 1992  [CraftSmith Golf Enterprises].  All rights reserved.  Revised: January 15, 2016