Improve Golf Swing – Checkpoint Charlie
Read this past newsletter from Ted and get some great information on how to improve at golf.
In December 2007, I was invited to be a guest speaker at The Golfing Machine national teaching summit. My topic included the history of the teachers I have studied under and practical application of The Golfing Machine principles. My two-hour presentation, which felt like two minutes, consisted of drills that were shared with me over the years by some of The Golfing Machine’s finest instructors. The drill that was the most popular among the attendees was The Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie.
From putt to drive, you will always hear our instructors preaching that the hands must win the race to the ball in the down swing. “Whoosh it late to whoosh it great,” is one of my favorite one liners to explain acceleration and a reminder of how club head lag is the essence to effortless power and downward pressure makes the ball go up.
At the Classic Swing Golf School, when it is time to do greenside or fairway bunker work, it is also time to reflect back on some world history. The Berlin Wall was begun in 1961 as a way to divide communist controlled East Germany from the democratic West Germany. Checkpoint Charlie was the highly guarded command post that all foreigners and Allied forces had to pass through in order to cross sectors in Berlin.
What does all of this have to do with the golf swing? In relation to the golf swing, the ball is the Berlin Wall, and Checkpoint Charlie is the aiming point for our hands to obtain proper impact alignments. In our bunker exercises, we simply learn to destroy the wall properly by getting our hands past the wall before the club head collides with it. This may sound like a strange comparison to explain acceleration, but the drill is wonderful. The next time you practice in the bunker, simply build a wall in the sand and let the right side of the wall reflect East Berlin and the left side West Berlin. Put an “X” in West Berlin to reflect Checkpoint Charlie, your desired destination. If you can get your hands to the “X” before the club head gets to the wall, you are learning to sustain the lag and are on your way to effortless power.
The set up in the bunker of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie
Linear Momentum and the Aiming Point Concept
Your hands must get to Checkpoint Charlie before the clubhead reaches the Berlin Wall in order to properly tear down the wall.