Critical Concepts / Whole Swing
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Master Swing Image
Your effort for all
golf learning should be focused around a central mental and
kinesthetic image of what you are trying to accomplish with
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
... 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.
... 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.
... 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
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January 15, 2016