WHAT IS THE 68 BALLERINA POSITION?
For those that don’t know what the 68 ballerina move is, look at the picture above: The arms are at P6 (shaft parallel-ish before impact) but the lower body is at P8 (shaft parallel-ish post-impact) with a ballerina toe mixed in for good measure.
I literally see more than half of my mid to low handicappers (Lickliter included and Rory even has a bit which causes his infamous hip stall) that end up here. Lower body leading too much and arms trail the rotation of the body. Why do so many good to great players end up here? It’s very simple. One of my seemingly never ending list of pet peeves is golf instruction aspires to the opposite of bad instead of what is good:
Most beginners start out swinging the club in a classic over-the-top pattern. The arms lead out, they swing across it, and the predictable disasters associated with that move make the game very difficult. So they get a lesson. And they’re told that to fix their over-the-top pattern, they need to:
- lead with the lower body
- let the arms be passive and stay behind.
- hold the lag
- swing to right field
This moves their path way too far right, creating a two-way miss pattern of big blocks and pull hooks. And if you’re curious what this looks like, take another look at the top image: it’s the 68 ballerina!
EVERY golfer I have told to speed their arms up and get them more forward, couldn’t help but sequence better, even if I told them to temporarily restrict hip movement to get the feel. And the reason is simple:
Experienced golfers will automatically lead with the lower body.
There are all kinds of swing thoughts and feels that can correct the 68 ballerina:
- Lead with right elbow
- purposely dump right wrist angle from the top
- chase belly button with the right elbow
- get arms past or in front of the body as first move down
Hacks and beginners should NEVER be told to have passive arms, swing to right field, or any of these other “solutions.”. They do need to learn the pressure shift (bump) if their left hip actually works away from the target, but proper arm and hand movement learning is key.
Beginners and hacks who have the prototype over the top slice action need to learn two things with respect to the arms and hands and how they work:
1. In the backswing they can’t get their arms and hands in too early. That leads to an in, up, out, down motion. Adding some up to the left arm to match the shoulder turn can usually get this straightened out.
2. Whereas good golfers need to get the arms and hands more forward, the beginner needs to learn the arms and hands work in first, and then forward to start the downswing.
Another way to approach the 68 ballerina move is by focusing on a lower body key that can address these problems in a different way. I discuss them in a video here.