There are lots of ideas about how to swing a golf club.
Hopefully those ideas will lead to hitting good shots. I’ve seen lots of pretty practice swings by people who can’t hit good golf shots.
I’m not knocking pretty swings … I think good rhythm and tempo are very important factors in hitting good shots.
Important factors. Hmmm. What does that mean? Well, what REALLY does matter to produce good golf shots. Is it the grip? Or stance? Or weight shift? Or path? Or …?
The answer is … contact. Solid contact produces solid shots. Solid contact with a square club face on a path to the target produces solid shots going at the target. But, are they the right distance? So you need: solid shots with a square club face on the correct path and the club moving at the right speed so the ball flies the proper distance.
I know people who think that if they make a pretty swing that all of those factors will naturally happen and will produce a perfect shot. Not so.
If the player knows how to make solid contact … with a square face … on the correct path … a rhythmic swing will help produce those desired parts of the golf swing.I believe that those desired parts of the golf swing need to be understood.
When I used to give lessons … my students hit very few golf balls. It was a lesson – not supervised practice. Most of my students didn’t really understand the golf swing – that’s why they wanted a lesson. Sometimes, very good players get a little off, so their lessons are more supervised practice … the instructor needs to see why they’ve gotten off their game.
However, most of my students did not have a clear understanding of the golf swing. In fact, they were over-loaded with information.
They needed to put that information into a hierarchy … much of the information was irrelevant to what they needed to learn.
So, I wanted my lessons to make sense. I didn’t want the student to just memorize some information … I wanted them to logically understand how a good golf swing works.
People came to me obsessed with head movement or body turn or a straight left arm … no one ever came with any concept of contact.
So, we went immediately to contact. Once that was understood … then it got interesting. How does a player get the club to proper contact? That’s the biggie. I believe that before impact, the club has to get into the “slot” … that from the “slot” the player can get to a good impact position. And, that it’s almost impossible to get to proper impact if the club doesn’t get into the “slot”.
So what it this mysterious “slot”? Well, it’s a position about halfway into the downswing. If you came to a stop, the hands would be about waist-high and the wrists would still be cocked … the right elbow would be almost hitting the right hip …and the weight would be more on the left foot.
No matter what your set-up looks like or what type of backswing you make … to be a consistent player … you need to get into this “slot” position.
Like anything … a good golf swing has a system of priorities. Of course everything has an effect: grip, stance, posture, turn, weight shift, etc.
However, they can not all be weighted equally. That is misguided. And, is why most people don’t understand the golf swing.
The purpose of the golf swing is to hit good golf shots. Good golf shots depend on good contact/impact. A good golf swing needs to get into the proper position…to then get to good contact/impact.
I love golf swing discussions. However, too often we can’t see the forest for the trees. All players need to understand impact … and how to get to impact.
Please spread the word.
GM/Head PGA Professional