The Proper Golf Swing – Your Road to the Proper Golf Swing Begins with a Correct Address!

A proper golf swing is the direct result of how well a golfer positions themselves at address.

Many golfers, however, are blind to this obvious fact.

The proper golf swing is truly the culmination of all its preceding procedural steps.

To secure their best chances of executing a proper golf swing, the golfer must perform all the preliminary steps correctly, methodically and consistently. Failure to complete any one of these actions will dramatically reduce the golfer’s chances of swing success.

With some quick, professional instruction on how to correctly approach and address the golf ball, a proper golf swing is easily achievable.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King offers some professional direction of his own. He explains the correct approach to addressing the golf ball – helping the golfer to effectively and continuously perform a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“Note what the first-class player does. They take the club from their caddie; mold their hands on the grip to induce the initial feel of the club head and square up the face to the grip before they address the ball. Only then do they sole the club behind the ball with grip and club-face still, of course, square to the intended line of flight.

The positioning of the feet, the actual taking up of the stance, comes LAST in this brief order of procedure in preparation for the playing of the stroke.

The average amateur reverses this procedure. They take their club out of the bag, takes up their stance with the club vaguely grounded behind the ball and then fiddles with the hands and club head in the course of adjusting their grip.

This blurs the mental picture of the intended stroke and frequently builds up tension. It is the reason why so many mediocre players vary their grip on the club from one shot to the next without even realizing it.

Get the club-face and grip squared up BEFORE you place the feet in position.

And having done this in the correct order you will set your feet (for a straightforward shot) parallel to the intended line of flight just wide enough to take the width of your shoulders when using the driver. The weight should run through from the soles to the heels of both feet.

Bend forward from the waist, don’t lean, slightly flexing both knees. A glance will enable you to check that the club-face is lined-up squarely and here I would raise a point about which many people have a wrong conception, especially where iron clubs are concerned.

The front bottom edge, or leading edge of the base of the iron club, is the one with which you line-up, not the top edge. This front bottom edge must be set at right-angles to the proposed line of flight. Do that and the blade will be properly squared up. Many players feel, quite wrongly, that in this position the face of the club is open. Nothing of the sort. It is square, the position you want. Make sure you get it, but NOT by turning your club head AFTER you have settled your grip. If necessary you must move away from the ball and reapply your grip so that with the bottom, or leading, edge squared to the intended line of flight your hands, too, are squared up with the two “V”s pointing to a spot between the chin and the right shoulder.

Your club is now properly set at the back of the ball.”

A proper golf swing is a direct result of a golfer’s positioning at address.

Use King’s advice to help you consistently swing like a pro!

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The Proper Golf Swing – Practice Golf Nets to the Rescue?

Many golfers work diligently year round to develop and maintain a proper golf swing. Some golfers install practice golf nets either inside or outside their home – allowing them to rehearse their swing pattern regardless of temperature or weather conditions.

At home or at the clinic, practicing swing patterns using a golf net is certainly a major convenience. For all its convenience however, golfing nets can sometimes detract and not contribute to a proper golf swing.

To truly benefit from using a practice net golfers must be able to correctly interpret its feedback, which for the untrained amateur, can often times be misleading. Here in lies the problem. If golfers are to move toward creating a proper golf swing, any and all changes to the swing pattern must be based solely upon reliable and accurate information.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King offers his professional opinion on the pro’s and con’s of using practice nets to help golfers develop a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“First, let me answer those critics and they include some of my fellow-professionals who assert that golf cannot be properly taught in the confined space of a net.

Their argument is that the instructor cannot see where the ball goes. I have a ready retort. The teaching professional should never have to wait until the ball lands before deciding what needs to be done to the pupil’s action. To work on the basis of what happens to the ball implies that the instructor, in order to counteract a slice which they have seen on the open practice ground, is going to suggest a correction which may lead to a hook or at best prove only a temporary remedy.

This is an attitude which I condemned in the opening paragraph of this book.

Now I have a pupil, who came to me shortly after having one single lesson from another instructor. Long before the end of that one lesson he had lost confidence in the man who was advising him.

What happened was this. The pupil hit a few shots up the practice ground, shots which, as far as he could see, were straight though he (the pupil) was not entirely satisfied with the way they were struck.

Yet the instructor kept on describing them as “cut”, a comment which puzzled the player. In due course he really hooked one and at once the instructor exclaimed “That’s a lot better. That was a good shot.”

“But I hooked it badly,” protested the pupil. Whereupon a discussion ensued which revealed that the pupil was aiming at one particular landmark in the distance while the instructor had believed him to be aiming at another well to the left!

Had the instructor been correct in his assumption, then it naturally follows that the man striking the shot must have been lined up wrongly in the first place.

Can you wonder that the pupil came away feeling that this particular teacher couldn’t tell a good shot from a bad one?

In my net I was soon able to re-shape this pupil’s swing where it was needed. Today he is still my pupil paying periodical visits for a check-up.

The teaching of golf boils down to the one essential fact that the behavior of the ball in flight is dictated by the club-line at and through the ball, by what happens in the hitting area, at impact and through into the apex of the swing. True, out on the course there is the wind to be accounted for, but a well-struck shot played with due regard to the strength and direction of the wind will not go astray.

I am concerned with the player’s swing and their club-line in the delivery.

And one thing is certain. If the advice imparted by me in the confines of my net (which happens to be a converted squash racquets court) failed to work out on the course my pupils would soon be going elsewhere. Instead of more and more past, present and prospective pupils waiting for a vacant space in my appointments book, the entries would dwindle to the point where I would be sitting around waiting for someone to turn up.

Of course it needs a knowledgeable teacher to instruct in a net, one who can detect club-line errors at and through the ball. Anyone who needs to await the final result of the shot before coming up with a stock diagnosis would obviously be at some considerable disadvantage in a net. Moreover the instruction can be carried out in a net under conditions which are not hostile to the pupil. By that I mean that the weather, whatever the time of year, cannot mar or ruin the lesson.

How can teacher and pupil properly get down to work when the former’s teeth are chattering and the latter’s hands and limbs are chilled to the bone out in the open on a bitterly cold day? It is asking altogether too much of human endurance.”

It takes a little know how to correctly use a net to develop a proper golf swing!

Use King’s advice to help you make the most of your net practice!

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Golf Swing Mechanics – Keeping It Simple for Greater Distance & Direction!

Many golfers have a difficult time mastering golf swing mechanics.

For some golfers, it seems, the more they practice their golf swing mechanics the more confusing their swing becomes.

This is because, left to their own devices, golfers have a tendency to make this process more complicated than it has to be.

Let’s remember to always keep golf swing mechanics simple.

In his book, “Golf Can Be an Easy Game”, author Joe Novak offers some useful advice on how to approach the sometimes illusive topic of golf swing mechanics. He explains to best manage golf swing mechanics, golfers need to narrow their focus of attention to two items, the body action and the hands.

Novak writes;

“Let’s consider golf from the positive standpoint, and from this positive standpoint simplicity and conclusiveness can and will be reached.

The first point of understanding that one must have in regard to golf is that various clubs were designed and added to the golfer’s bag in order to automatically produce different shots or different effects. Having these different clubs reduces the game to the simple task of using the same swing on each and every club.

If the player has a good swing they will play well; if they have a bad swing they will play badly. The perfect golf swing is something that is basically done with the body. Naturally, the arms and hands enter into a golf swing most importantly, but the actual swing of the club, the actual movement of the club, is done with a movement that originates in the body.

Bobby Jones, the great golfer, once expressed it as follows: “My golf swing is a something that starts within me.” I thoroughly agree with this notion—that the golf swing starts within the player—it is a something that is done with the body.

However, in every golf stroke there are two swings: an upswing and a downswing. The upswing is accomplished by using the right side of the body, and the downswing is done by using the left side of the body, and therein lies a catch.

To use the right side the player must be balanced with their weight on their right foot. To use their left side they must be balanced on their left foot. And this is the first lesson in golf. A player cannot use their body any better than they can shift or transfer their weight to the right foot, so that the upswing can be made with the right side, and then back to the left foot so that the downswing can be made with the left side.

Once the player has learned to handle their weight so that the right side can be utilized to raise the club to the top of the swing, and the player has learned to reshift their weight to the left foot so that the left side can be utilized to pull the club down into and through the ball, they will be in a position to learn lesson 2, the only other lesson they have to learn.

Lesson 2 pertains to the hands.

As the player swings the club up and down, they will soon discover that there is a need to keep the club in the proper position as it is being swung up and swung down. This keeping the club in position is something that is done with the hands, but they can never be utilized to perform this important function unless the player has first established the ability to use their body as the basic means of motivating the club.

That, in a nutshell, is what the golf swing is all about. Just as there are two basic requirements to every golf shot —distance and direction—so, likewise, are there two things to learn. First, a sense of body control and body action with which to swing and motivate the club, and it is with this that the power or force in a golf shot is determined and controlled. Second, the direction of a golf shot is regulated and determined by the position of the club as it contacts the ball, and this club position is something that is created and controlled by the action of the hands.

Actually, this business of club position is the crux of each and every shot in golf. As the club is positioned, so the ball flies”.

Mastering golf swing mechanics does not have to be a troublesome and complicated process.

Try using Novak’s advice to help you gain a working command over your golf swing mechanics.

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Improve Golf Swing Performance – Timing & Mechanics – The 2 Keys to a Successful Swing!

Question…What elements of the swing pattern are essential to master for a player to truly improve golf swing performance?

Most professional instructors would agree BOTH timing AND mechanics are the two critical components which make up a winning golf swing.

These two components together help guard golfers from faulty swing patterns, swing planes and power leaks. Should any of these faults exist; a golfer will never improve golf swing performance or play golf to their fullest potential.

Any student of the game looking to improve golf swing performance should concentrate their practice and efforts on these two facets of the swing pattern.

In the book, “On Learning Golf”, author Percy Boomer agrees too that, to improve golf swing performance, a player must master both their timing and mechanics.

Boomer goes on to write;

“Now for our grosso modo exposition of how the swing works.

The beginning of the movement is in the feet; the movement passes progressively up through the body, through the arms, and out at the club head. What we try to do is to make the club head come down in the same path time and time again—in such a way that the face of the club comes squarely into the back of the ball every time. We have one fixed point (the feet) and one moving point (the club head) which we desire to move along the same line time after time. So the golf swing might be compared to the drawing of arcs with a pair of compasses. The reasons why we cannot be so precise in our stroking as the compass can, are that we are supported on two legs instead of one and we are full of flections and joints!

Again, we have not only to bring the club head down through the same line time after time; we must bring it down so that the club face is square with the ball at the instant of impact—and because the path of the club head is a curve, this means that impact must be timed correctly to an infinitesimal fraction of a second in the sweep of the swing. Also the club head must be accelerating at the moment of impact.

So we have not only to set up the mechanism to make a good swing, which we can all soon do if we only swing at the daisies, but we have to time this swing to the fraction of a second. Now I think that most of us overrate the value of good mechanics in golf and underrate the value of accurate timing. I was once watching, with a pupil of mine who had a most perfect swing, a fellow whose action was not pretty—to put it kindly. But he kept hitting nice long shots down the middle. “Not much to look at,” I remarked to my pupil. “I would not care a damn what I looked like if I could repeat like that chap!” he replied.

The awkward one could repeat his best shots time after time. His mechanics were ungainly but his timing was near perfect.

Well, you may say, if that is so, why should you go to so much trouble to give us a good mechanical swing? The answer is that good timing plus a good swing is better than good timing plus an awkward swing. The best swing, mechanically, is the one that pulls the ball a little and then makes it turn a bit to the left at the end of its flight, but if you get your maximum golf happiness out of a swing which slices the ball all around the course, there is no reason to alter your mechanics!“

A solid command of both timing and mechanics are necessary to improve golf swing performance.

Try following Boomer’s advice and focus on improving your swing timing and mechanics.

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The Proper Golf Swing – 2 Simple Exercises to Help Master the Backswing!

A proper golf swing is truly a work of art. It is both a graceful and beautifully sequenced movement which all begins with the correct backswing.

The backswing is the key to a proper golf swing.

It is here that most golfers foul up their swing pattern. Many golfers seem to have trouble either correctly remembering or understanding this phase of their swing instruction – a huge obstacle in achieving a proper golf swing.

To solve this problem, golf instructors have devised ingenious exercises for their students to perform. These exercises are geared toward helping students develop a greater working command of both the club and movement during the backswing phase.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King presents two exercises which help golfers quickly master the movement of the backswing; helping them on their path to performing a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“Here are two exercises which will help you to master the main essentials of the backswing.

The whole art of swinging the club back from the ball to a position in which you are poised to deliver a solid and powerful blow is largely governed by a system of control running diagonally down the body from the left shoulder to the right foot.

First, the shoulder, and with it that priceless knack which may seem elusive at first but which you must work to acquire, upper-left-arm-leverage.

Unless you keep that left shoulder UP you cannot hope to achieve upper-arm-leverage, which comes as near to being a secret formula for success as anything in the golf technique. More than any other factor it made Hogan a phenomenal player of all the shots in the bag. Among the lesser men it can make a good player into a very, very good one.

This simple exercise should give you the feeling more readily than any other I know. You do not need a club for this exercise. Just take up the address position and with the left shoulder up grasp the extended left arm with the right hand at the point where the left hand joins the wrist.

Now perform the backswing by turning the shoulders and chest over the stomach and carrying the hands to the top. Do this a number of times daily and keep doing it until you develop the feeling of how the upper left arm is operating.

The second exercise (it could more properly be termed an expedient) is an aid to those who have trouble in keeping the weight on the inside of the right foot as the backswing develops, and the body turn takes place under the control of the right knee and right hip.

Many fine golfers have to fight against a sway creeping into the movement. One such is Guy Wolstenholme, British Walker Cup player and now a professional.

To counter the tendency to sway and to maintain the weight on the inside of the right foot he practiced with a golf ball wedged between the outside edge of the right foot and the ground. This not only acted as a buttress but helped to train the muscles as he required them to be set. In this way the right hip was prevented from riding too high and the right knee was held in the same position as at address“.

A correct backswing is the key to a proper golf swing.

Try incorporating King’s two exercises into your practice session!

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Golf Swing Mechanics – Timing is Everything!

All golfers are taught the fundamentals of golf swing mechanics – that is the easy part.

The harder task, for the student golfer, is learning to put all the swing components together in a beautifully choreographed and precisely timed movement. A smoothly timed movement is essential to creating that powerful and seamless swing pattern and expression.

Golfer’s who possess the very best golf swing mechanics but lack the necessary swing rhythm and coordination will never play golf to their true potential. How frustrating is that?!

How do golfers develop this timing which pieces all the golf swing mechanics together? Take a tip from author Joe Novak.

In his book, “Golf Can Be an Easy Game”, Novak shares his perspective on the importance of timing and its affect on golf swing mechanics.

Novak writes;

“The formula reads as follows:

Ultimate results depend on post factor efficiency.

These seven words succinctly describe the artistry of a golf swing; there are things to do, but there is a certain time to do them.

First the golfer must handle their weight; but shifting the weight from one foot to the other does nothing of itself, it only places the player in a position where they can use and utilize their body correctly.

Secondly, only when the golfer has the basic or prior footwork so that they are in a position to use their body to swing the club, are the hands free to exert over the club the proper sense of position and control, and the ability to apply the club correctly to the ball. In other words, a golf shot only flies as the club makes it fly, and how the ball flies is a direct result of the club position. The club position is a direct result of what the hands are doing, and what the hands are doing is the post factor that determines ultimate efficiency.

No wonder so much time and effort is concentrated on the correct grip in golf.

I have often said that a runner runs with their feet, but a golfer golf’s with their hands. Of course, for the runner to get their feet in action, there is a lot of arm and shoulder work, and for a golfer to get their hands working, there is a lot of footwork and body action.

To repeat, there are three basic factors in golf:

1. Footwork, for balance
2. Body action, for power
3. Hand action, for club control

But to these three factors there is an order of importance, a delicate sense of timing that so many golfers miss. They fail to get the knack of properly coordinating these three factors into a working arrangement.

As there is a certain order of importance, so likewise there is a certain order of performance in these three basic operations of a golf swing. In other words, in the properly executed golf shot the player moves smoothly from one operation to the other, but all operations function collectively towards the final goal of applying the club to the ball. So there is in the golf shot an order of importance and an order of performance which precludes any such thing as a one-piece swing. Be prepared to reach your ultimate goal of a smooth, flowing performance through a natural step-by-step procedure rather than through any short cut.

The other comment I wish to make is that if there is error in the performance of any operation in the swing, then such an error would multiply and increase as it would be carried on into the next operation. So there must be sure performance in the execution of each of the three factors”.

Professional instructors know golf swing mechanics alone are not sufficient enough to create a winning golf swing – timing is necessary.

Implement Novak’s professional advice into your practice routine!

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Beginner Golf Swing Instruction – The “PLANE” Truth of the Backswing and Downswing!

Beginner golf swing instruction programs understand the importance of having a consistent swing axis, swing pattern and swing plane in one’s golf game.

Many student golfers, however, have a difficult time learning to successfully repeat the proper plane in both the backswing and downswing phases of their stroke.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs know the students struggle comes from the need for slightly different angles of approach in both the backswing and downswing.

In the book, “How to Master the Irons, An Illustrated Guide to Better Golf” authors Gene Littler and Don Collett expand upon this topic and offer their own professional advice.

They write;

“Only the better players fully understand and appreciate this concept of the swing, yet it is tremendously important in the over-all development of a repeating swing. Precisely speaking, the swing plane encompasses both the backswing and the downswing. However, the angle is slightly different going back and up from when it is coming down and through the ball. The backswing plane is determined by your height, your arms, and the distance you stand from the ball at address. Visualize, if you will, a line running from the ball to the top of your shoulders. The pitch, or angle of this line, is the plane along which the backswing operates.

The plane for the downswing is not as steeply inclined, and it projects slightly outward (inside out) through the ball. To insure that you swing up and down on this swing plane, the body, arms, and hand movement must work in perfect harmony throughout the swing. The movements, particularly the first part of the backswing and the start of the downswing, must function smoothly and correctly so that one part of the swing, for example, the arm movements, does not work separately from the body movements. To stay on the backswing plane, simply swing back in a one-piece action. Getting on the downswing plane is a little more difficult, however. This movement is more difficult to master, which is one of the prime reasons why many golfers suffer the despair of complete frustration when they attempt to move into the downswing correctly. Actually, the golfer changes planes without thinking about it when he initiates the downswing by turning his hips to the left and toward the target. This moves the body to the left and lowers the right shoulder— this latter movement is a potential swing-wrecker if the shoulder is permitted to rush around ahead of the hips. Always remember, the right shoulder works behind and then under your chin, not around and over it.

You can check your swing plane in another way if you have a large mirror. Take a club and swing it to the top of the backswing. If your arms and hands are at a point between your shoulders and head, you are too upright. Conversely, your swing is too flat if your hands and arms are below your shoulder. The desired position is with your hands directly to the right, or behind your right shoulder at the top of the swing, if you are a right-handed player.

The plane helps form what is known as a “grooved swing.” By swinging up and down in this slot position, your swing will take on a consistency that will not only give you confidence but will free you of the mental strain and worry about whether your swing will hold up under pressure. It almost has to, for the movements of the body, arms, and hands are performed almost instinctively during the backswing and downswing.“

Beginner golf swing instruction programs teach their students the importance of having proper swing planes in their golf stroke. “Grooving” the correct plane in both the backswing and downswing phases of the stroke can instantly improve your driving performance.

Try incorporating Littler and Collett’s advice into your swing practice!

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