June 7, 2011
On the practice range, Mahan will make
swings with an extended pause at the top of his
“It teaches you to start the downswing from the
ground up. No one is going to pause for 3 seconds
and try to start with their arms first,” Foley said.
“(The pause) takes the use of momentum out.
The momentum can help you cheat it.”
Foley wants Mahan to feel like he’s “stepping
on the accelerator,” i.e. putting force into the ground
underneath his left foot to start the downswing.
Foley also wants Mahan to slide to the left at
the start of the downswing, instead of just turning,
as he used to do.
“I had very little lateral move on the way down,”
Mahan said. “I was firing my hips and spinning
off my right foot, instead of getting all my weight
to my left side. When I finished (my swing), I’d have
70 percent of my weight on my right side instead
of 100 percent on my left side.”
The linear movement allowed his hands to
travel down the correct path. Too much turn on
the downswing caused his arms to move too far
to the outside. The lateral move also shifted the
axis of his swing forward, which allowed him
to hit down on shots.
“Your axis is just a bit behind the ball at
address,” Foley said. “The low point of the arc is
supposed to be 4 inches past the golf ball. How
are you supposed to be able to compress the ball,
and have the low point go through the ground
for 4 inches, if you don’t move the axis forward?
It’s not possible.”
This allowed Mahan to compress the ball more.
“I’ve had a lot more divots, a little different sound
and more compression (of the ball),” he said. “The ball
travels through the wind better. I’m taking divots with
long irons instead of sweeping them (off the turf).”