What Is a Golf Swing ???
Its the first question I ask every new student and it’s the first question Id like to ask you?
What do you think? … Is it a carefully controlled takeaway followed by a downswing on an inside attacking plane? Is it a dynamic turn followed by a carefully timed hit? When I ask this question the answers I get are often very creative and detailed just like these ones.
After this has gone on for a minute with my new student I have to end the confusion with a simple answer.
The Golf Swing is nothing more than a THROW. You’ve been throwing things all your life haven’t you?
This concept is so important for your game and will be extremely mind clearing / confusion busting and especially important for beginning golfers to hear and learn before they’re exposed to all the conflicting instruction / apps/ golf channel / YouTube videos etc.
I was on the range yesterday with a little time between lessons and spotted a couple that were struggling to make the ball go anywhere and I stopped by to teach them this concept.
Now as luck would have it one was right handed and the other a left handed golfer . The concept applies no matter how you play
Once I had asked them this same question and said that the golf swing is nothing more than a throw I calmly went to the tee and hit a ball one handed well with little or no effort. I asked them as I would ask you can I make the golf swing look any more simple than that?
They both answered no with a confused look on their face…
Now as you get to know me I’m a real world results kind of guy and I want YOU to experience this feeling NOW… so follow along with what I taught this couple and tell me in the comments how its worked for you ?
The first thing I had them do was just to hold on to the club with their right hand if they’re a right handed golfer and with their left hand if they’re a left handed golfer. This is the arm you’ve chosen to throw with for your golf swing . (If you’re a right handed golfer who throws with your left arm for your best success you’re going to have to learn to throw right handed and the same applies if your a left handed golfer who throws with your right)* that’s not to say you couldn’t deliver a powerful blow with your front arm but you’ll more naturally and much more quickly learn an easy throwing golf swing with what I’ve recommended here
Choke down on the club so that you’re almost at the shaft so that the clubs effectively lighter for you to move
What I want you to do here is make some one handed throwing motions taking the club back and throwing it through to a full finish. As you’re doing this I want you to pretend you and I are up at the cottage and were having a competition to see who can throw their club farther out into the lake. There is no result other than imagining the club flying out of your hand and landing far out in the lake. Notice as your making this throwing motion how you use your whole body to throw the club out into the lake. Notice how light your arm feels using this throwing motion compared to what you may be doing now.You’ll know if you’ve made a good full throwing motion if you can finish in balance on your forward leg with all of your weight there and you can balance a drink on your back foot and keep it there until the ball stops
3. Think of all the times you’ve thrown something whether that’s a football, baseball, Frisbee…it really doesn’t matter …your lower body starts the motion forward BEFORE you hit the ball. I often have students that are finding this concept a little difficult to feel to put their body in a position as if they were going to hit or punch me but do the punch in slow motion … try this yourself … I’m willing to bet the first thing you moved was your lower body stepping first towards me before you hit me. You intuitively know that you would have minimal power with just hitting me with your arms
4. When you feel comfortable with this one armed throwing motion I want you to try and move to a two handed/ armed throw …notice I haven’t said hit a ball yet How does it feel … are you shifting your weight first before you hit the ball ? …and are you still winding up in a good finish position with your drink balanced on your back foot?
5. When you feel comfortable with this two armed throwing feeling lets start hitting some balls with it
6. Concentrate on feeling a throwing motion and do your best to detach from the “thinking” part of your brain ….its very hard to give up control but the paradox in golf is that the more your give up control the more effortlessly you’ll swing and hit good shots
7. When you first try this new throwing motion there are two big problems that may show up … the first is topping the ball and the second is hitting behind the ball. When you top the ball you can either be keeping your weight on your back foot at impact or coming up through impact.
8. If your weight is still on your back foot you need to feel like your shift forward with your throw happens sooner and if your still topping it then we need to focus on your posture.
9. The very best quick fix for posture is not to keep your head down but to focus on your butt and knees and for the purpose of this simple exercise I want you to focus on hearing grass every time you swing a club. To help you remember that I’ve created a slogan that Ive used for many years that all my students know and it goes like this … “No Ass – No Grass! ” what do I mean by that ? …well most students postures don’t have enough flex in their butts at set up and through the swing and in fact lose this posture during their swing …but instead of getting complicated I just want you to hear grass on every practice swing and real swing you make from now on – that should really start to help your posture and when you don’t hear grass your number one thought should be your *%$ is misbehaving and straightening out losing its flex. It could also be your knee action but lets worry about that later.
10. If you’re still hitting behind the ball and you know or feel your weight shift is better the only other possibility is that you are casting the club with your arms / wrists losing all of your power hitting the turf first but for the focus of this lesson you’ll greatly improve on your whole swing by focusing on a good weight shift first and we can fine tune your power angles later.
11. So your new throwing motion or “golf swing” consists of a throw to your target , having a full drink balanced on your back foot at the finish of your throw (a drink you enjoy until your ball stops) , and hearing grass on every swing your take from now on.
With just theses simple thoughts I have seen countless golfers seasoned as well as new find a natural golf swing / throw for themselves and I sincerely hope after trying this exercise you’ll be on your way to finding your best golf throw too
Oh and that couple that I stopped to help? … Well the gentleman started to hit much better shots even though it was a big change for him from his hitting action with no lower body motion at all and the ladies throwing motion was really fantastic to watch …instead of hitting at it frustratingly she was starting to throw the club and hit some amazing shots that she couldn’t believe Now was everything perfect with their golf “throws” ? … no ….but at least its a good and correct starting point on the way to real improvement.
If the golf swing can be as simple as a throw why are you complicating it ? That’s not to say that you can’t work on simplifying your throw and learn the key positions of your throw to make it more repeatable and reliable under some friendly pressure – but why complicate it beyond that ?
Stop thinking about the million parts to the golf swing and “Just Throw It!