My Golf Instructor

Master the Finish
How Your Finish Affects Your Swing

Anyone who has played the game of golf or even just attempted it would agree on one thing. It's not easy. Golf is known to be one of the most challenging games of all times and one impossible of mastering. When you tink about it the sweet spot on a golf club is very, very small. It's about the size of your thumb print actually. Trying to make that meet the ball (which is also small)

Learn how your finish affects trajectory, distance and direction. A Solid Finish Makes For a Solid Swing
consistently is a challenge. The last thing we need then is to make it harder and falling out of balance or quitting on the golf swing does just that. When we quit on the shot it goes without saying that we lose distance because we decelerate and don't get all of our weight into the shot. When we lose balance we hit it all over the clubface. Focusing on a good, full, balanced finish can help us steer clear of these two common swing errors. This may be the reason you may have noticed you rarely, if ever, see a tour pro decelerating or losing balance on their finish. They know all too well that they need to get through the shot, use all of their weight to hit the ball and finish balanced to perform at the level they do.

Don't Get Too Caught Up in Mechanics

Why then do so many amateurs quit on their swings and fall all over the place? I think it's because they get too caught up in evaluating every other part of their swing. The average player is getting bombarded with information on swing plane, looking up, hooking, slicing, coil, etc., that every time they miss a shot they try to immediately evaluate and correct a swing error. The frustrating thing is their swing was probably fine, but they were out of balance and therefore missed the sweet spot. The very first thing I have my students evaluate is their finish. If they are falling back, taking a step, leaning onto their toes, etc., then that's what we want to be aware of and correct before going down the road of tinkering with something else. If they are out of balance, we know why they didn't hit the sweat spot and nothing else really matters all that much. Keep in mind the body wants to self balance so swing errors can occur just because you are unsteady on your feet.

Your Finish Influences Your Swing

It's amazing how a good finish can affect what goes on before it. In other words, the swing can work backwards. For instance, if you want to draw the ball and you need to swing inside/out to do so, a high finish will help you do that. To say it backwards, if you are finishing low and around your body it's virtually impossible for the swing to come from the inside. So merely thinking of a high finish can affect your swing plane and path leading up to it. The opposite is true of course if you want to cut or fade the ball. Try a low, left, around your body finish and you'll be able to swing outside/in coming through impact. The finish will have the same affect on your trajectory. If you finish high, you will help loft the ball into the air whereas if you hold your finish low you will deloft the face of the club through impact and knock the ball down. It's easy to see now how important the finish is to the golf swing isn't it? Yet, like I stated earlier, so many players seem to think once their clubhead reaches the ball that the swing is over and they quit right there. If you ask the average player why the finish is important they will most likely site power, but not the ability to contact the sweet spot and control the trajectory and flight of the ball.

The Situation:

You are struggling with getting a good,full, balanced finish.

The Solution:

To make sure they get all the way through the ball and finish in balance I have my students hold their finish for 5 seconds. A quick re-coil means you're out of balance and holding for 5 seconds allows you to assess the situation. Do you find yourself wavering or falling in one direction? Then your balance is off. Do you find yourself falling onto or hanging back on your rear foot? Then you didn't get your weight 100% into the shot. Have you turned as far as you can through the shot? Giving yourself this 5 second window to evaluate your finish can tell you a lot about your swing and why your ball went where it did.

My next recommendation is to go over the 4 Point Check as soon as you get into your finish:

  • Your back foot should be on the tip toe (with no weight on it).
  • Your rear shoulder should be facing the target (if you are flexible enough to get there).
  • Your knees should be together (squeeze the knees).
  • Your club should be behind your head and connecting your ears (the clubhead should be slightly lower than the handle).

If you can give yourself the 5 seconds to evaluate these points and analyze where you are with your finish you are surely going to see an increase in accuracy and distance.

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
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