Golf professional Lexi Thompson’s stance demonstrates her smooth follow through. COURTESY LPGA

There is an old saying relative to golf that “It is not how you start, but how you finish.” There are only two times in your golf swing that you are static: at address and the on follow through. 

When you watch professionals on TV play, you will notice how they pose while they watch the ball land.

When you watch beginners swing, you might notice that they will fall back because they are trying to get under the ball. They also swing too hard, causing lack of balance.

The finish position allows your teaching professional a chance to assess possible swing flaws that occurred during the in-swing. The follow through tells the story of that swing.

Common mistakes causing an un-balanced follow through:

• Too wide a stance causing a sway instead of rotation

• Spinning too much on the target foot

• Your upper body leans ahead of your lead leg

• Weight on back foot

• Flat-footed

• Too high a finish, causing a steep swing

• Too low a finish, causing an outside-in swing path

Elements of a good finish position:

• Club behind your head and over your back shoulder

• Eyes and head level, facing the target

• Hands will be shoulder high an on the opposite side of your head

• Elbows will be close together

• 80% of your weight on your target side

• Back heel will be raised in the air with the only weight on your back toe

• Chest and belt buckle facing the target

• Balanced finish on your target side

Here are some drills you might practice to improve your follow through and balance

• Throwing a ball overhand to a target

• Taking “tee-ball” swings above a 2-foot noodle

• Holding your finish and then tapping your back toe three times

• Start a swing in your follow through position and then take a backswing and hold your finish again.

Always remember, it’s not how you start, but how you finish.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses.;