The Twelve Sections of the Golf Stroke
As quote from Homer Kelley's, The Golfing Machine
"The Twelve Sections just present a basic chain of Positions and Motions which every stroke must pass through. Every stroke moves from one basic position to the next with the utmost of Precision and Smoothness. To the degree that every Motion is improved to that degree is your Total Motion improved"
John's Video of The Twelve Sections
Practice each of these positions so that you know precisely where you must be at all times. A vast majority of golfers do not realize that address position and impact position are completely different.
A vast majority of golfers do not realize that you have to store the power until release point is reached.
The Start-Down (Section #7) is extremely critical; the first few inches of the Start-Down will either put you on the correct Swing Plane or take you straight away off the Swing Plane resulting in an outside to in swing path.
So all these sections must be practiced until you know them precisely. Then they just become part of the players full natural swing. But I certainly feel that it is important to always keep monitoring these sections.
Personally, I think of the Twelve Sections as Four subsets of Three:
1. Three Sections to get ready -- Preliminary Address, Impact Fix, Adjusted Address.
2. Three Sections to get up -- Start Up, Backstroke, Top.
3. Three Sections to get down -- Start Down, Downstroke, Release.
4. Three Sections to get around -- Impact, Follow-Through, Finish.
The Three Stations
The following twelve sections must then be brought down to three stations;
Station One - The Address
Be as prepared as possible before taking the club back.
This consists of Sections #1, #2 and #3 of the twelve sections of the golf stroke.
Station Two - The Top
As precise as possible through the top.
This consists of Sections #4, #5 and #6 of the twelve sections of the golf stroke.
Station Three - The Finish
As smooth and as complete as possible through impact to the proper position at the finish without any disturbances at and through impact.
This consists of Sections #7, #8, #9, #10, #11 and #12 of the twelve sections of the golf stroke.
Boil it Down to One Total Motion
Those Three Stations must be brought down to one Total Motion. That is one complete swing from start to finish with impact being incidental, the ball getting in the way of the club head and being propelled to its target.
The more precise you are throughout the twelve section the more precise will be your Total Motion.
The Twelve Sections of the Golf Stroke
Section Number Description Image
Section #1 Preliminary Address This section covers the interval of preliminary assessment of the shot at hand
Section #2 Impact Fix This section starts with the final club assessment and includes the time needed for calibrating and recalibrating - target line, trajectory, ball behaviour.
Section #3 Adjusted Address This section is a dress rehearsal and includes the time needed for a (A) Practice swing (B) Waggle (Forward press) and ends with assuming the selected address position.
Section #4 Start Up This section starts with the initial takeaway motion and continues until it settles into its backstroke path. This is your Basic Motion - 2 feet back
Section #5 Backstroke This section starts with the stroke safely on its way and continues until its arrival at the top of the stroke. This is your Acquired Motion. Right Forearm parallel to the ground
Section #6 The Top This section starts when the backstroke motion of the hands ends, and continues through a static period of alignment and relationship corrections, until a deliberate aiming of the lag pressure point is complete
Section #7 Start Down This section starts with the initial move towards impact (this is the period of shoulder acceleration) and continues until the motion settles into its delivery path
Section #8 Downstroke This section covers the interval between the completion of the start down, with the stroke settled into its delivery line course until it reaches release point. This is a period of hand acceleration
Section #9 Release This section starts at the point of release "trigger" and continues until impact. This is a period of clubhead acceleration.
Section #10 Impact This section covers the interval between impact an separation (when the ball actually leaves the clubface). This is a period of Ball Acceleration.
Section #11 Follow Through This section covers the interval between separation (when the ball actually leaves the clubface) and the both arms straight position as determined by the shoulder position at impact.
Section #12 Finish This section starts at both arms straight position and continues until the end of the stroke. If it does not continue past follow through position this can also be the finish and normally a hitter technique
Compare The Following Positions
Compare Sections #3 and #10
Notice the difference between Address Position versus Impact Position.
Address Position Impact Position
Compare Sections #4 and #9
One-piece takeaway versus a fully cocked left wrist at release point stored with power to be delivered into the back inside quarter of the ball.
Start-Up Release Point
Compare the Hitting Technique Finish to the Swinging Technique Finish
A golf swing is very Finish Orientated as in Section #12
A person who has adapted a "Hitting" technique is very Follow-Through orientated as in Section #11
Section #11 Hitting is Follow-Through orientated
Section #12 Swinging is Finish orientated