Critical Concepts / Whole Swing Fundamentals

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Your effort for all golf learning should be focused around a central mental and kinesthetic image of what you are trying to accomplish with your swing.  The goal is to match up your mental image with the sensory feedback you get after every swing.   Mentally we want a simple picture of the effort we are to make.  In its simplest form the golf swing is nothing more than a movement of a radius arm around a semi-fixed axis of rotation.  In other words, look at the ball to fix the head in a relatively stable Kinesthetically we want to feel the coordination between your body and arms.  Your shoulders are the prime mover of the club.  The club is simply a dead extension of the arms.  We have muscular control over our arms while the club simply responds to the muscle forces that swing it.  The golf swing is little more than the sensation of looking at the ball and "throwing the club away".  Few of us would have any trouble bending over, looking at the ground and throwing the club down the fairway.  That would be easy!  The golf swing is equally easy if we donít mess it up with complicated details.  In fact a good golf swing is a natural and easy movement.  Believe it or not, it is easier to make a good swing than it is to mess it up.  Learning to believe this concept is one of the major obstacles we all face when learning to play.  When you make the transition from fear of failure topositive expectations, your scores will begin to drop into position and swing the arms at the ball to establish a radius.

Point your Nose at Where the Ball Was
and Throw your Arms Past your Nose

Function of the Critical Body Parts

Nose ... where you nose points is where your eyes look.  Your attention is usually focused on what you are looking at!  Anika and Duval may look up early, but 500 other tour pros don't!  Try looking up early and see what it does for your game.  To a lesser degree, simply fail to master this fundamental.  The first lesson in golf is "keep your eye on the ball"!  Science had determined there is a high positive correlation between looking at the ball and actually hitting it.  Looking at the ball activates your proprioceptive system works with your "inner mind" to produce the swing motion under subconscious control.  Subconscious control is the better way to play.

Shoulders ... your shoulders are the prime mover or motor of the swing.  There is a strange paradox between the backswing and the forward swing.  The backswing can be a deliberate, controlled movement ... especially the initial takeaway movement. The arms respond to the movement of the shoulders on the forward swing.  The shoulders "sling" the arms and club through the ball, towards the target.  The arms coordinate with the body to time the swing motion.  The shoulders create a slinging motion in the arms and club.  The golf swing is a "flail" more than a swing.  Think of a child's swing.  Where's the motor?  The tree limb doesn't do anything except support the rope.  The rope doesn't do anything except connect the seat to the limb.  Turn a swing upside down and you're getting closer to a correct metaphor.  The limb works like the legs to provide a support for the movement.  The arms move, but they move as a result of something else causing the movement.  On the forward swing, the arms do not move themselves.  Gravity and the rotation of the shoulders are the forces acting on the arms.  Think of the golf swing as working like the Oriental drum toy.  Turning the handle, slings the balls on the end of the string.  There is one very big difference.  Your arms are not limp strings subject to any change in motion.  Your arms are semi-rigid linkage system consisting of solid levers connected by joints that can articulate in limited directions and muscles/tendons that can micro-control the speed and position of the parts.

Elbows ... your elbows, in cooperation with one straight arm on each side of the swing create a very consistent swing arc.  One elbow NATURALLY folds on each side of the swing.  The left arm forms the radius of the swing arc while the club is behind the ball.  At the moment the club loses contact with the ball (and into the early followthru) BOTH arms are fully extended creating the apex AND bottom dead center of the arc.  Control your elbows and you control your swing path.  You do not have to try to fold your elbows, simply allow them to fold.  Using two hands to move the handle yields both extension and weight transfer.  As your hands pass waist high on the backswing side, the right elbow begins to fold

Thumbs ... where your thumbs are pointed is where the clubface is turned which is generally where your ball can be found!  The thumbs and the handle of the club can be considered one and the same.  The concept of swinging the handle up over the back shoulder and then thru/up over the front shoulder can simplify your game.   The movement of the hands through impact is a critical concept.  YOUR HANDS DO NOT ROLL OVER ON ANY STRAIGHT SHOT!  The hands "revolve" meaning they change position from the right palm facing forward during the release to facing the target at impact to facing back at waist high on the followthru on the target side.  The opposite is true for the left hand.  The KEY concept is that the thumbs are on top of the shaft.  If they have rolled to either side, the ball goes crooked!  There are two forms of acceleration from the hands.  The first is the uncocking of the wrists which multiplies the centrifugal force moving outward from the arms.  Less understood is how the leverage applied to the handle by the slowing of the left hand and the extension of the right arm creates a secondary force coupled acceleration.  This action could be correctly called "swinging through the ball". 

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