The golf swing shouldn’t be physically painful. Emotionally painful … that’s personal. But, I can usually help with the physical problems.
The other day at the range, a young fellow asked for help because his forearm was getting smashed in with every shot. It looked like it had been hit by a hammer. Well, he had the most violent scooping action I’d ever seen. As he made contact, he flipped the club so far under the ball that the top of the shaft crashed into his right forearm.
Though his injury was unusual, the scoop move is not unusual … in fact, it is common.
If you give golf lessons, you basically see 2 types of swings … usually made by the same person. The first one is the scoop. They think that the wrists must flip the club-head to hit the ball up in the air. The second one is the smash. When hitting the ball off a tee with a driver, they they think they need a powerful swing. And, using their shoulders – especially the right shoulder – feels very powerful. Thus, it’s an over-the-top move with little lower-body action … and it crashes down on the ball like using a sledge-hammer.
Ironically, if you reversed the two actions – scoop the teed-up-driver … and crashed down on the iron shot … they would be closer to the right moves.
However, it still wouldn’t be right. The golf swing is more of a sweep than a scoop or a smash.
But … how can a sweep have any power?
Great question … here’s how: Not only is the good swing a sweep … it is also a whip.
Try this: take a towel and tape-up the ends. Then, holding it like a golf club …swing it back waist high … and then whip it at the imaginary ball.
You will naturally pause as you make the transition to whip the towel. And, your hands will “lead” it at the ball before it snaps. You naturally won’t throw the end of the towel at the ball … there’d be no whip action.
The golf shaft should help you whip the club. Most people’s shafts are way too stiff. Of course, players with a powerful whip action need more control … thus a stiffer shaft. However, I seldom see anyone over-whipping their shaft. In fact, I almost never see shaft whip … ever.
In Tommy Armour’s great book “How To Play Your Best Golf All The Time” … he has a chapter called “The Pause that Means Good Timing”. What he means is the pause that is the transition from the backswing to the forward swing. That pause happens naturally if the backswing is a windup to whip the club into the ball.
Last week’s winner of the Masters – Hideki Matsuyama – has a distinct pause … and I think it really helps him under pressure. I just heard that they’ve been trying eliminate his pause … hmmmmmmm.
Think of the golf swing as a whipping action. You’ll notice that your lower body will start working – naturally.
This whip swing should not be a painful action. At least not to you. Instead, inflict pain on the ball … and this whip move is the best way to do it.
GM/Head PGA Professional
GM/Head PGA Professional