Golf Swing Basics – Part 2

In part 1 we described the two separate movements involved in understanding the golf swing. We also proved with a simple exercise that the arc created by your arms will often result in pulling the hands in as you approach the ball. This pulling in of the hands will often be at the root of your slicing problem.

To understand why you are pulling your hands in as you near the ball you need to take a look at the second movement involved, the twisting motion of the body. This motion is what helps you generate force behind the ball to drive it forward. When you are slicing the ball still goes in the forward direction but it also spins in the perpendicular direction which causes it to go left or right. This perpendicular force is caused by pulling in your hands as you near the ball.

There a few reasons that can cause you to pull your hands in. The best way to explain this is to take the example to the extreme. Imagine taking a back swing and then twisting your body without bringing down your club. Once your hips are facing forward, bring the club down. In this scenario the only was to actually hit the ball is to bring your hands closer to your body as you approach the ball. This is what causes the club to travel from further away from your body to closer to it, which causes the unwanted spin in the ball.

Twisting your hips too fast compared to your downswing is not the only reason for pulling your hands in. A lot of beginners start their swing by pusing their club away from their body, just as described in the exercice in part 1 where no forward or backward movement was allowed. In order to hit the ball on the way down, they have to pull their hands back in and this causes a lot of spin in the perpendicular plane which leads to a slice.

Our brains like symmetry. This means that if the back swing is done improperly the rest of the swing will also be faulty. To exacerbate the problem, a lot more force is applied on the way down as we’re trying to get as much distance as possible.

If you want to improve your golf swing the most basic thing to learn is the back swing. If you can get the club from behind the ball to up above your head with perfect form and master this movement you’ll consistently get straighter and longer shots.

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