Proper Golf Swing – The Left Fingers – Pointing You To Better Swing Performance!

A proper golf swing begins with the hands – more specifically the fingers!

The fingers play an immense role in creating a proper golf swing.

The fingers directly connect the golfer to the club. They are charged with the responsibility of providing the golfer with both club feel and control.

In this article we’ll point to the fingers of the left hand and explain their contribution in shaping the proper golf swing.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King discusses the fingers of the left hand and their rightful place in executing a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“How tightly should the club be gripped? You hold it firmly enough to maintain control, firmly enough not to stifle the feel of the club head which you must acquire, firmly enough not to freeze or lock the wrists.

You must fight against what may be a natural tendency to apply a vice-like grip. I have already described how the left thumb is pressed with a “gentle firmness” on the shaft. That is the degree of pressure to be applied to the grip as a whole a “gentle firmness” in contrast to a vice-like seizure of the shaft. Too tight at address invariably means too slack at impact.

Now I return to the fingers of the left hand. You know now that the main pressure will be in the top two or three fingers of the left hand and the two middle fingers of the right.

My personal conviction is that many teachers and writers of text books on golf tend to over-emphasize the left little finger. The player is urged to concentrate on wrapping this left little finger round the shaft, but I prefer to put the emphasis on its next-door neighbor, the longer and stronger finger, for two reasons. In the case of the majority of people the little finger is very short and has limited strength because it is so rarely used in the various tasks which the hands perform in the general activities of life.

Secondly, too much applied pressure with the little finger of the left hand has a stiffening effect on the wrist. Take a club and try it for yourself. Do you not detect a definite tightening in the wrist?

Now switch your attention to the next finger, the third finger of the left hand which you will notice is quite a bit longer and undoubtedly stronger than the little one.

When you wrap this third finger firmly on the shaft the little finger will still fulfill its rightful task of augmenting the security of the left hand-grip, but you will feel (with the third finger dominant) that the wrist retains its suppleness and the power in the left hand-grip is concentrated more through the centre of the hand.

If any finger is the master finger in the left hand-grip it is the third finger, more suited by nature for the job.

I can cite the case of a scratch golfer to illustrate this fact. During the war this player had a mishap which deprived him of the use of the left little finger which remained permanently bent over. He thought this was the finish of golf for him. He could not even place the little finger on the shaft, but a year or two after the war he was persuaded to give it a try once more.

Almost at once he began to hit the ball well, resumed playing with a handicap of 3, was back to scratch in no time at all, and won his county championship and this with a useless little finger he could not even place on the club. His salvation was the third finger of which he had full use.

Until your hands have been strengthened and trained you may find the correct form of gripping in all the detail which I have described strange and uncomfortable. With this may come a tendency towards a vice-like grip and an urge to spread the hands on the shaft. Resist both these temptations. Instead, strengthen your hands. Train them to the point where the correct grip will give you a feeling of confidence and security throughout the swing“.

A proper golf swing begins with correctly using the fingers of the left hand to provide the right grip on the club!

Use King’s professional advice to help improve the feel and control in your swing pattern!

Check back soon for more articles and posts to help you achieve a proper golf swing!

Improve Golf Swing – Building A Better Swing At Your Address!

To truly improve golf swing performance all golfers need to perform a close examination of their address.

The address reveals much about a golfer’s handicap and quality of movement – signaling to the world the level of golf they are capable of playing!

Golfer’s looking to improve golf swing performance need to fully understand that a correct address shapes the perfect swing pattern from beginning to end.

Shaping the perfect swing pattern is essential to improve golf swing performance. It is through this shaping that the golfer learns to feel their swing.

In his book, “On Learning Golf”, author Percy Boomer offers some expert advice to help golfers improve golf swing performance. He explains, in great detail, the address to the reader – helping them put feeling into their form.

Boomer writes;

“The experienced eye can make a very accurate guess at the handicap of a player after seeing them make a few practice swings, and as soon as their address is completed we can be sure of their quality.

Now at first glance it might seem that it would be simple enough for anyone to learn to stand correctly before the ball—to cultivate an impressive address. Yet there is this difference which enables the cognizant to recognize even the subtle variation between the good and the very good golfer before the ball has been struck.

It is an interesting point and one of some practical importance, because it is directly related to the true aim and purpose of the preparatory movements. We can recognize a golfer’s quality in these movements because they express both what they intend to do and how they intend to do it. The difference between the good and the ordinary golfer is that the good one feels their shot through their address.

Whether or not they have learned deliberately to play by feel, the good player feels, through their carriage and balance as they addresses the ball, the coming movement that will bring their club face squarely against the ball. Briefly to analyze the feeling of carriage and balance—they feel they are set inwards and behind the back of the ball and their legs, hips and shoulders are all braced, inside and behind the ball.

Now this is a point where I must ask you to stop and consider and analyze carefully exactly the meaning I want to convey by the word braced because this is most important to a realization of the correct feel of the body.

My dictionary defines a brace as “anything that draws together and holds tightly,” and I think that is clear and that it expresses the feeling we have when we are braced. But you may try it and promptly come back with the question, “But how can I feel braced and yet not become stiff?” A very pertinent question, and I will try and give you the answer.

When we take lessons in deportment we are told to walk with our hips pulled in, in other words to brace our hips. Yet we know that this does not make our carriage stiff; it makes it not stiff but firm and decisive.

So also, when I tell you as you address the ball to keep your elbows close together, you will immediately feel a sensation of drawing in your elbows the one towards the other. As a consequence your arms will not feel like two separate and independent arms but like a linked united pair of arms; yet they will not feel stiff. The “holding together” of your shoulder blades holds the top of your structure together and links up with the power from your hips. You will find your biceps being pulled into your thorax, your shoulders and arms being drawn together, and, if then the stomach is drawn inward, one definite (inward) direction of brace is set up.

The second direction in which we brace our bodies at the approach is upwards, yes upwards, towards the sky! The natural tendency as we stand to our ball is to droop from our hips and curve our backs. But if we are good golfers we resist this tendency by an upward brace—slightly bent over but pulled up to our full height and neither drooped nor curved.

Set like this we will feel our left side as straight as a poker, though not as stiff as one, and our left foot pushing down into the ground. Of course as the weight is equally divided between the feet, this pushing down is a feeling in the right foot also. The result is a highly desirable one; as a reaction to our upward brace, we feel ourselves standing firm as we address the ball—a thing we are frequently told to do but rarely told how to do!

So with our hips, shoulders, and arms braced and the body stretched upwards and braced, we no longer feel a loose, flabby, drooping figure but an upright and yet compact one. But we have one more direction of brace to add—this comes from the hips and I can best describe it as a twist forward which completes the bracing up of the whole body at the address.

As we stand to the ball our feet must not be too wide apart; the right foot should be at right angles to the line of flight, the left one pointed slightly out; a line across the toes of both feet should (like the line between the shoulders) be parallel to the line of flight. From this position, we twist our hips round (horizontally) to the left, not as far as they will go but as far as they can go in comfort, i.e., without pulling our hips out of shape. How far this is depends on how supple we are. Probably the degree of movement will be only slight, but the effect of this forward leftward twist is to tauten up the whole body without stiffening it.

Because we are anchored, first by our feet to the ground and secondly by our square-set shoulders held up against the forward pull of the hips, the right knee does not resist so we find our left side straight and our right side bowed inwards. And these, left side straight and right side bowed in, are very definite feels which come from (and can be used to check) correct bracing.

These three directions of brace should now make us feel a complete unit, which we can think of as “the set.” I think they are what makes the good golfer feel compact. They give the feeling that we can carry the club head back away from the ball by the body twist inwards and behind the back of the ball. In other words, if you are properly braced there will be no sensation of wanting to lift the club head up. This is important; we should never feel that we lift the club head, but that we carry it back around with the body and along the ground.

This feeling that the club head keeps down is equally necessary in the follow through, after we have sent the ball on its way. We must feel that we have dispatched the ball out and along but not up“.

Improve golf swing performance by examining where it all begins – at the address!

Try incorporating Boomer’s advice into your golf swing practice routine.

Check back soon for more posts and tips to improve golf swing performance!

Beginner Golf Swing Instruction – 5 Easy Steps to Getting a Grasp on the Grip!

Students in beginner golf swing instruction programs have a difficult time learning how to correctly grip the club.

With the right instruction however, knowing how to correctly grip the club can be easily understood.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs use different methods and techniques to help their students properly grasp the grip!

Some beginner golf swing instruction programs use check lists and check points to assist their students in properly gripping the club at the address.

In the book, “How to Master the Irons, an Illustrated Guide to Better Golf”, authors Gene Littler and Don Collett provide some beginner golf swing instruction to help guide student golfers through to the correct grip.

They write;

“…check points concerning the grip are:

1. The V formed by the thumb and forefinger of the right hand should be pointing toward your right shoulder.

2. Pressure points of the right hand are the two middle fingers. They are the gripping fingers, while the forefinger and thumb provide the finesse and feel of the grip.

3. Position the right forefinger (as noted above) so that it points directly toward the target and intended line of flight during address.

4. The right-thumb position is on the left side of the shaft—not straight down the shaft.

5. Do not allow more gripping pressure in the right thumb and forefinger than in the two middle fingers. The thumb and forefinger tend to “take over” too soon if they are in firm control of the swing during the backswing and early part of the downswing. They are the agents which help destroy your rhythm and timing, and they forcefully come into play only as the hands enter the hitting area.

All things considered, you must, create the feeling in molding a good grip that the hands are working as one. The closer you can come to this—and it“.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs use different methods and techniques to help their students get a grasp on the grip!

Use Littler and Collett’s checklist as a guide to help you properly grip the golf club.

Check back soon for more beginner golf swing instruction articles and posts to help quickly improve your golf swing and game!

Improve Golf Swing – Using “Reverse” To Put Drive Back Into Your Swing!

In their efforts to improve golf swing performance, many golfers dissect the golf swing into separate phases and components.

Though most of the swing pattern can be divided into generally defined phases, there are some hidden, local movements which do not fit neatly into these groupings. One such phase is the reverse.

To improve golf swing performance golfers need to understand the reverse and its role in a successful swing pattern.

The reverse is the point of the swing which shapes both movement and flow. Done incorrectly the reverse will destroy any golfers chance to improve golf swing performance.

In his book, “On Learning Golf”, author Percy Boomer offers some expert advice to help golfers improve golf swing performance. He eloquently explains the reverse in greater detail.

Boomer writes;

“Now let me describe an important little local movement hidden in this part of the swing—the reverse. The reverse is the part of the swing in which the club head is thrown over and pulled down. It requires a special name because it has a special feel, a feel curiously detached from that of the rest of the swing. We have our main feel of control and power down in our nether regions, but at the moment of reverse we are conscious of something happening up above, which is not in accordance with what we are doing down below.

What happens at the reverse is that the club head-having so far to go—takes longer to get to the end of its journey back than does the body, the turn of which is soon exhausted. So before the club head has arrived, the body has begun to come back. As to check the return body movement, or to check the completion of the club head’s travel, would create an undesirable pause in the flow, we let them go on, and the club finds itself behind the body movement both in time and in position. This is as it should be.

When we are told to allow our wrists free play at the summit of the swing, it is so that we shall not break up—by introducing muscular hand force—the flow of movement which we have intentionally set up in the reverse region.

The feel in this region is that the club head is still going back when our force center begins to pull forward. The wrists do not break at a given point; their break is a retarded action set up to delay the club head and yet to keep the movement smooth. The swing is a continuous flow of movement, and we destroy its continuous character if we divide it arbitrarily into two parts—”up swing” and “down swing.” There is no up swing and no down swing; there is the swing complete. For the first three feet back from the ball we are “all together,” but after that the club head—owing to the longer path it must take—loses ground, which it only catches up at the moment of impact with the ball. It will catch up then, even if you try to prevent it, and the further it has lagged behind, the faster it must travel to catch up.

So far in this chapter we have been concerned in analyzing the local feels which occur in the course of the swing, but this is only because, like the musician, the golfer has to decompose a piece before they can play it. But the feel at golf is a transitory one, and soon these transitory local feels blend into the feel of the swing as a whole”.

Improve golf swing performance by mastering the reverse!

Try implementing Boomer’s advice into your golf swing practice routine.

Check back soon for more posts and tips to improve golf swing performance!

The Proper Golf Swing – It’s the Hands That Hold the Key to Proper Golf Swing Performance

Learning to execute a proper golf swing is a complex affair for most golfers.

The process can be confusing, especially to the beginner golfer. To successfully coordinate all the necessary body actions into a beautifully synchronized movement can prove difficult task to even the most experienced golfer.

As intricate as it may initially seem, a proper golf swing begins with correct operation of the hands.

The hands “hold” great importance in performing a successful swing pattern. The hands shape the swing controlling the club, club head and timing. Without the hands a proper golf swing is almost impossible to create.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King provides greater insight into the key role the hands play in a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“The role of the hands in the operation of sending the ball to its objective is a subject of endless argument. The importance I attach to the hands may be gauged in the first place by what I have to say about the grip. I want to deal with it at some length and in considerable detail.

My belief is that while the beginner needs to give a lot of attention to applying their hands in the manner in which they can retain control and impart feel of the club head and obtain the maximum power from the shaft, the more experienced and advanced player, having developed strong and well-trained hands, more naturally gets the hands fitting into the swing unit as a whole without always realizing it.

For one thing the top golfer has developed a sound and constant grip on the club which in itself PERMITS the hands to work properly. You may find the odd good player with a suspect grip, but you will seldom find a bad one with a good grip.

…The grip is the first step we take towards the shaping of the swing. Slackness or movement on or away from the shaft at any stage of the swing can throw the whole operation out of line and completely wreck the timing.

I go so far as to say that conscientious work on the grip until it is correct in all its details will contribute more than any other factor towards the building of a finely shaped swing. The feet, legs, back, shoulders all have their essential parts in the movement, and good hand-action in itself will not bring these members into play as some pundits would have us believe.

But without the proper use of the hands these other physical members will not be able to function as smoothly as they must“.

The hands play an important part in the execution of a proper golf swing pattern.

Use King’s advice to help you quickly develop a successful golf swing!

Check back soon for more articles and posts to help you achieve a proper golf swing!

Beginner Golf Swing Instruction – An Easy Exercise to Develop a Smooth, Consistent & Powerful Swing!

Beginner golf swing instruction programs organize their lessons into simple, practical, easy to apply and understand sessions.

This helps student golfers grasp swing fundamentals with greater speed and success.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs know a smooth, consistent swing motion can only result from correct use of the body and arms. For some student golfers however, learning to properly incorporate this body/arm action into the swing pattern can be challenging.

To aid their students in learning this swing action, beginner golf swing instruction programs often inject ingenious exercises and techniques into the lesson plan – each designed to produce and reproduce proper motion in the swing pattern.

In the book, “How to Master the Irons, an Illustrated Guide to Better Golf”, authors Gene Littler and Don Collett offer some beginner golf swing instruction of their own. They explain a simple swing exercise which teaches golfers how to properly use the body to generate “terrific” swing power!

They write;

“One of the best methods I have found of developing a smooth, consistent swing is an exercise most golfers use when they warm up before playing a round of golf. It is a simple little maneuver designed to train a golfer to entrust their swing to their arms and body instead of their hands. Begin by assuming the position of address, and make certain that you are comfortable and relaxed. Then, with the upper part of your arms and elbows in close to your chest, turn your body back so that the arms are about belt high. The left shoulder and left arm are highly instrumental in this turning movement, with both the shoulder and the arm forming a pushing-back type of action.

Next, swing the arms forward until they are about belt high in front of you, making certain that the lower part of the body—the left hip and left leg-initiate the forward swing, as the arms are swung out toward an imaginary target. The right hand also turns over the left hand as the arms are swung forward. Perform this swing back and forth for a few moments, letting your left knee and right elbow flex on the backswing and then your right knee and left elbow on the follow-through. You will soon get the feeling that you are swinging with your legs and hips and that your body is swinging the club. This creates the feeling of the one-piece swing that all of the good players have and talk about.

This swing exercise also emphasizes a feeling that you should have when performing a full swing: that of having your body generating the power and your hands applying it, at the last possible second, with a whip-like action of the wrists and hands. If you have entrusted your swing movements to your body and arms, the hands will automatically lash out and whip the club-head through the ball with terrific accelerating speed“.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs use exercises designed to teach golfers how to properly use their body to produce a smooth, consistent and powerful swing pattern.

Try incorporating Littler and Collett’s swing exercise into your practice routine.

Check back soon for more beginner golf swing instruction articles and posts to help quickly improve your golf swing and game!

Golf Swing Mechanics – The “Triple Duty” of the Left Hand

Due to club design, the golfer’s left hand plays a major role in proper golf swing mechanics.

The left hand serves three important functions in the golf swing – positioning the club, maintaining the proper club position during the swing pattern and ensuring the correct clubface angle at impact.

From start to finish, the left hand’s “triple duty” is the key to successful golf swing mechanics.

Unfortunately, many golfers fail to fully understand and appreciate all three capacities of the left hand in successful golf swing mechanics.

In his book, “Golf Can Be an Easy Game”, author Joe Novak offers greater insight into the importance of the left hand in proper golf swing mechanics.

Novak writes;

“Golf clubs vary in length—from the 33-inch length of a putter shaft to the 43-inch length of the driver shaft. All clubs have handles on a graduated scale of lengths.

It is perfectly natural that the player should first place the club behind the ball, and from the placement of the club they will automatically know just where to stand, which is the second move.

However…let me call your attention to the fact that there is a certain peculiarity in the construction of golf clubs. The face of the club, the part that meets the ball, is not parallel with the shaft. It is “hooked in,” that is, it is angled so that it points off to the left a matter of two to five degrees. This exists in all properly designed clubs.

To those unfamiliar with this peculiarity, difficulties can be created at this very step.

However, understanding the hooked-in face construction of the golf club, the player can and will place the club properly to the ball.

The proper way to place a golf club to the ball is to tilt the handle of the club slightly in the direction of the shot. The shaft, in other words, is leaning or tilted slightly forward in the direction of the shot. Because of this forward tilt of the club handle the left hand will be directly over the ball and not over the club head.

Players who fail to understand this peculiarity of golf club construction place the club to the ball so that the shaft is perpendicular—that is, straight up and down, instead of being tilted or leaned forward slightly.

Obviously, only when the shaft is tilted forward slightly is the face of the club square with the line of the shot; and when the shaft is perpendicular, or straight up and down, the face of the club is aimed off to the left of the line of the shot.

In addition to this failure of incorrect aim, there is one other important reaction that arises from the way the club is placed to the ball, and that has to do with the way the left hand fits to the club. If there is any one thing that is important in a golf shot, it is the way in which the left hand works. As a matter of fact, it will be learned that the left hand action is the very crux of every golf shot. Actually, the left hand has a triple duty in a golf shot:

(1) Creating or determining the position of the club will be in during the swing.

(2) Keeping the club in the desired position.

(3) Bringing the club into and through the ball.

Now, the proper position of the left hand on the club is as follows: the hand is more or less on top of the shaft. When it is in the proper position, three knuckles of the left hand are in clear view when the player looks down at his hand and the left thumb is at a point more or less behind the shaft.

All this happens naturally, if the shaft of the club is tilted forward slightly when it is placed to the ball.

By comparison, if the shaft is placed incorrectly, that is, straight up and down, then the left hand will automatically shift to a point in front of the handle instead of on top. Only one knuckle, instead of three, will be in view and the thumb will be right on top of the shaft. This is a weak position of the left hand.

Carried to extremes, the correct position, with the left hand on top, would tend to produce hook shots, whereas, the incorrect position, with the left hand too far in front, would tend to produce slice shots.“

When evaluating your golf swing mechanics – remember the “triple duty” of the left hand.

Use Novak’s professional guidance to correctly position your left hand, helping execute proper golf swing mechanics and successfully swing the golf club!

Check back soon for more tips and posts to help improve your golf swing mechanics!

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