by: B. J. Hathaway
Think about your golf swing and what your real objective is when you swing a golf club. I will often ask a new student what they are trying to do with their golf swing and the answer that most often comes back is “just hit the ball”. Sometimes I will grab their club, align to the ball, close my eyes and strike the ball down the range and hit a pretty good golf shot. The point being that when I make a proper golf swing there is no “hit” impulse, the real objective is to let impact occur as the club moves through the swing arc.
Now think about many of the common errors golfers are plagued by: casting, scooping, reverse-pivoting and outside-in swings, these can all be caused by an improper concept of what the golf swing is really about. The first object of the game is to shoot the best score possible and secondly to accomplish that goal by moving the ball from one location to another with accuracy and efficiency.
Imagine the example of a rock swinging on a string and how it moves in a perfect circle. Now let’s replace the rock with a golf club head and continue twirling the club head around the circle and watch how uniform the movement is around the arc. If we turn the arc so that it slopes towards the ground at about 45 degrees, this would start to resemble a golf swing and if we then placed a golf ball in the way of the path of the club head the ball would fly straight towards the aiming direction of the swing.
With this example we would see there is no apparent start or end of the motion and the ball merely gets in the way of the orbit of the club head. In a perfect world we would all swing this way and yet 99.9% of golfers don’t because of what? Because their philosophy of the swing is flawed. Almost all of those poor shots that you fight over and over are because you believe that impact is the finish of the golf swing. Therefore you will accelerate and decelerate the wrong body parts, lose timing, come out of posture and otherwise be terribly inconsistent because you are trying to “hit” at the ball instead of moving it from one location to another through the advantages of the club swinging through an arc.
The fix is of course through proper training and under the watchful eye of your golf professional, but I would encourage you to make some swings and focus on finishing the swing and the feel of letting the ball get in the way. With some practice you will experience a feel of freedom and ease that will lead you down to road to more consistently happy golf.
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