Journey to the Worlds – Low Energy Swings

Well, I mentioned that this journey wouldn’t be without its trials and tribulations.

A couple of days ago I did a long drive clinic and exhibition for one of my corporate clients. It was fun and everybody had a good time, but I was hitting uphill, into the wind all day for groups as they played.

I think I over-did it.

A couple of months ago I separated my AC joint in my left shoulder. That’s the part where the clavicle comes up and over the shoulder. I did it while exercising, not while hitting golf balls. I tried to rest it for a month, but it wasn’t getting better. So a month ago I got a cortisone shot in the joint.

This was my 4th cortisone shot – I’ve had one in each elbow to deal with tendinitis, and one in the thumb joint of my left hand. There’s a lot of wear and tear in long drive.

So I had to take a couple of days off practice to see if my shoulder would settle down.

The pain hasn’t eased up much, so I certainly can’t practice at full speed. I don’t want to risk an injury that will completely take me out.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t practice.

The shoulder only hurts when I raise my arm up. If I keep my left arm down low enough on the backswing I can swing without pain. That means flattening out my swing a bit. The good news is that I used to swing that way when I first started playing golf, so in some ways it feels completely natural.

The trick now is to practice so that a flatter swing becomes the norm, meaning I don’t have to think about it.

To do that, and still get in some reps, I switched to low energy swings.

Low energy swing are full swings but at reduced speed. They are great practice drills because I am making the full motion, but the slower speed allows me to be much more aware of different aspects of my swing.

I’ll also do low energy swings using my full pre-shot routine as a way to groove the flatter backswing and protect my shoulder.

In this video I am practicing my low energy swings, but using my full pre-shot routine. I discovered a few interesting details doing this drill, which I’ll share in the next post.

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  1. John Kaufman, Oceans
    7 years ago

    Interesting video regardng low energy impact drills, especially the bag holder placed right next to the right leg to coil up against in the back swing.
    I have been working on the dropping of the right side into a shallow squatting motion in the down swing and using more of my legs in powering the club head through the ball. The key is to not drop your head but try and remain more level with your upper body with this motion as well as to move completely into a left leg that is straight up in the follow through. It is like skipping a rock across a pond in your leg motion and squatting motion.


    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA
      7 years ago

      Hi John,
      The low energy swings can be very informative. It’s much easier to feel which parts of the swing stay connected and which parts get out of sync. It sounds like you are on the right track by using more of the lower body. The idea of moving into the left leg on the downswing is a good one. One note based on your comment is to be cautious in straightening the left leg too early. At impact I prefer to think of the left leg as still in an athletic position. That means slightly flexed. The left leg doesn’t actually straighten out until the finish, well after impact. The skipping rock idea is good as well.

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