Golf Swing Mechanics – The Press and Its Role in a Winning Swing Pattern!

Executing a seamlessly smooth, well coordinated and highly potent swing is the essence and overall goal of golf swing mechanics.

Winning golf swing mechanics require the golfer to correctly execute both the forward and reverse press. Together they maintain balance, generate power and synchronize all the various moving components – blending them all into one fluid, well timed expression of the club.

Unfortunately, many golfers struggle to correctly incorporate these two actions into their golf swing mechanics.

In his book, “Golf Can Be an Easy Game”, author Joe Novak describes in greater detail the roles of the forward and reverse press and their rightful place in winning golf swing mechanics.

Novak writes;

“The swinging of a golf club is a double-handed, ambidextrous motion which completely involves the player from toes to fingers. It is this all encompassing involvement of the player in a properly executed golf swing that gives a golfer that completeness of ease, grace and rhythm.

Being the two-legged creatures we are, it is understandable that to swing the club up and to the right we should balance ourselves on the right foot, and to swing the club down and to the left, we should rebalance ourselves on the left foot. However, at the very outset of the golf swing a quandary is presented.

In assuming the initial position from which to start the swing, the natural position for the hands on the club places the right hand in the lower position on the club handle. This invariably causes the player to relax the right knee slightly and by so doing the player finds their balanced on the left foot. As long as they remain balanced on the left foot, it is unnatural to move the club from the ball.

However, through the simple process of the forward press, a slightly added forward movement of the right knee, the player can make a complete change of knee positions and balance on their right foot. Thus they can use their entire right side from hip to shoulder to lead their body into the diagonal stretch action, whereby the club can easily and naturally be raised to the top of the swing.

This handling of the knees—the forward press and the reverse press leave the player so balanced, when the top of the swing is reached, that it is possible to reverse the knee positions and thus rebalance the player on their left toe. The entire left side from hip to shoulder can then be used to lead the body into the diagonal stretch action to the left, so that the club can be brought down into and through the ball with a full, free, powerful movement.

There is no shortcut to this one-two action of the forward press and the reverse press and it will set the body up so that it can follow in perfect timing with the movement of the up and down swing.

In addition to balancing the player so that they are ready body-wise to go into the swing, the one-two of the forward press and reverse press accomplishes one other thing. It moves the hands in a slight forward movement and carries the hands back. It thus places them in a perfect position so that the hands can set or cock the club into position, in harmony with the upswing action of the body.

There is no shortcut to this one-two action of the forward press and the reverse press. Not only will the body be set up so it can swing the club up on the inside, but the hands will be put in a position where their action of cocking the club into position can be synchronized.

Incidentally, it is this four movement rhythm which made Bobby Jones a golfing master“.

Winning golf swing mechanics require that the golfer correctly perform both the forward and reverse press.

Use Novak’s expert advice to properly incorporate the forward and reverse press into your swing pattern!

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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.

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The Proper Golf Swing – 8 O’ Clock – The Best Time To Begin The Downswing!

The true definition of what constitutes a proper golf swing is open to debate.

It is universally accepted however, that to create a proper golf swing pattern, different movements of the body and club must rhythmically come together.

Fusing both the body and club together into one well coordinated and timed mechanism is critical to consistently executing a proper golf swing.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King uses the hands as an example to illustrate the important role correct coordination and timing play in executing a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“The club head is released into the delivery when the hands have descended to a point almost level with the ball, at which point the club head is still lagging, POINTING TO EIGHT O’CLOCK, maybe even higher but certainly not lower.

My experience is that pupils generally find this eight o’clock position of the club head one of the most difficult features of the swing to achieve. But how worthwhile it is to strive for. The hallmark of the outstanding player is one who lets the club head go into the same hitting area and maintains the club-line through the ball consistently with each shot. It makes for constant accuracy with the various clubs.

Let me put it this way. Take a fairish golfer with a good-looking shape to their swing but with an unsure delivery. Inferior timing and hand-control cause them to vary the position of the club head as it comes in for release into the hitting area.

There they are with three balls lined up to be struck from the same spot with, say, their seven iron to the green. With their inconsistent delivery the landing area for these three balls is liable to be extensive. They are likely to pitch one on the back of the green, one on the front, and the third probably short. This takes no account of any deviation from the line which may occur.

Work and train yourself to give the hands time and room to bring the club into the eight o’clock position from which you will be poised to make that carpet-beater action at and through the ball.

Now do you see why the shaped swing must be harnessed to a shaped delivery? Let me repeat that the way to train your hands to give you this eight o’clock position is to give them time. Wait for it before you let the power pour into the back of the ball”.

A proper golf swing is the result of successfully fusing together the body and club into a well coordinated and timed mechanism.

Use King’s expert advice to help get the most from your swing pattern!

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Golf Swing Tip – 6 Simple Tips To Drive The Maximum Distance!

Golfers are constantly on the search for that elusive golf swing tip holding the hidden secret to longer drives.

Truth be told, one reliable golf swing tip could instantly transform both your drives and your game, saving a golfer years of struggle and frustration.

Great news! Here at www.golfswingstip.com we’ve found not just one such golf swing tip, we’ve uncovered six of them!

Each golf swing tip listed below, implemented alone or collectively, has the power to narrow the gap between the promise and reality – helping golfers drive the ball to the maximum distance and to their fullest potential.

In the book, “The Winning Touch in Golf, A Psychological Approach” author Peter G. Cranford, Ph.D. reveals six such tips to improve the golfers driving game. Each golf swing tip could make all the difference in your golf game!

Cranford writes;

“The first requirement for obtaining greater length is an understanding of the fact that very few golfers attain their maximum effective distance, and that it is not likely that the reader has. Some day we shall have a test that will indicate the maximum distance for each golfer, but until that time we must believe that there is a good bit of difference between how far we do hit and how far we could hit the ball.

The second requirement for distance is exercise of the will to hit. Many golfers do not obtain the distance they should because they do not hit the ball as hard as they can. Somewhere along the way they found a method of hitting the ball more squarely by hitting it easily. This produced the common golfing delusion that you can hit a ball just as far by hitting it easily as you can by hitting it hard. Those who have made this “discovery” or have picked it up on hearsay are convinced that they cannot hit it hard and squarely. They lose the will to hit hard. This becomes a habit, difficult to overcome.

One reason for the difficulty is that as soon as a “soft” hitter begins trying to use more power, they add a variable and begins to miss the ball. To hit a ball easily and squarely is quite different from hitting it hard and squarely. The latter requires a completely new set of attitudes and learning habits. This re-learning produces a temporary slump which will cause many golfers to return to the “soft” hit. In fact, golfers who can hit a shot hard and straight will have difficulty hitting the same shot easily and straight. For power then, the golfer must exercise the will to hit and then learn how to apply it mechanically.

The third important requirement for distance is a proper image of how the ball should behave in flight. The best trajectory has an angle of 11 degrees. Many golfers go for years sacrificing distance because they accept a trajectory that varies greatly from this angle. Even worse, many become reconciled to a high cut shot, the greatest distance-killer known to man after the outright dub or shank.

The fourth requirement for gaining distance is avoidance of the attempt to get distance with straightness in a piecemeal fashion. One golfer says, “First, I will learn to hit it straight and then I will hit it hard.” A second golfer says, “First, I will learn to hit it hard, then I will learn to hit it straight.” Of the two, the second is more apt to eventually wind up with a long straight shot. But even this method can be improved upon. A third golfer who concentrates from the beginning on the long and straight shot will come out soonest with the longest straight drive. This involves the psychological principle of learning by wholes rather than parts—a method which is generally advantageous.

Golfers who concentrate first on learning to hit hard or to hit straight are both in danger of having their game disintegrate when they try to put the two pieces together. This will occur because old tricks of timing will have to undergo readjustment.

The club will be moving faster or slower. Old muscles will be given new tasks. The whole natural feel is changed, arousing anxiety. This mental conflict is sufficient to demoralize learning. Slumps and discouragement generally follow, and the golfer tends to return to old inefficient ways, blocking long range improvement. Out of all this have grown the well known observations, “They hit it a mile, but you never can tell where it’s going,” and “They hit it straight, but they just won’t hit the ball.”

The fifth requirement for probable additional yardage is experimentation with club-head weight, club weight, length of shaft, and stiffness of shaft. No formal research has been done in this area that I know of. I have done some experimenting and have been able to lengthen my tee shot some twenty yards by the use of shafts which have varied from 46 to 50 inches, and which, peculiarly enough, have given me greater accuracy.

There is a shaft length and club weight which is just right for each individual golfer. This variation is much greater than it is generally considered to be. A slow but strong swinger, such as I am can get more leverage and hence greater speed with longer shafts. A very fast but weak swinger would be at the other extreme and could do better with shorter and lighter clubs.

The sixth requirement for distance is a type of ball that suits one’s swing. Not everyone can get maximum distance out of the high-pressure balls. Also for winter play, it is an advantage to use a ball-warmer. A ball travels best at 87 degrees. At 40-50 degrees, a ball will be appreciably shorter. Finally, there is an advantage in using a new ball, and one with a record of uniform compression. The advantage may be only a few yards per shot, but this advantage is multiplied by two on long holes“.

Just one solid golf swing tip could totally transform your driving and propel your golf game forward!

Use Cranford’s professional advice and tips to help you drive to your fullest potential.

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Golf Swing Mechanics – Elbow Your Way To A Winning Swing!

Many golfers intensely examine any and all of the golf swing mechanics relating to the hands, hips and feet.

Some golfers however, fail to properly consider the right elbow and its important contribution to sound golf swing mechanics.

Correct placement and function of the right elbow is crucial to maintaining balance, hand position and power. All these are the goal of solid golf swing mechanics.

In his book, “Golf Can Be an Easy Game”, author Joe Novak describes in greater detail the role of the right elbow and its place in winning golf swing mechanics.

Novak writes;

“…if the right elbow is locked tight against the right side on the backswing, a whirling, twisting body turn must result. Of course, from such a back-swing there is bound to be that all too early hit with the right hand, which will throw the club to the outside of the line of flight and only an outside-in hit can be executed.

A majority opinion in golf is that the right elbow should be tucked in close to the right side as the backswing is made. In many cases pupils have been asked to place a handkerchief on their right side and told to hold it there by pressing their right elbow against it. The players are then asked to prevent the handkerchief from falling out during the swing.

Such practice tightens and tenses the player body-wise, and forces them into an excessive body turn.

In all golf swings done correctly the left knee kicks straight forward and as this is done the right elbow kicks straight back, all of which provides a very balanced position. As the right elbow kicks back it naturally bends and the elbow goes free of the body—in fact, it is this bending of the elbow and the contraction of the right arm that actually raises the club to the top of the swing so naturally.

This act of letting the right elbow go free on the back-swing is of great value in ultimately developing the proper hitting position of the hands at the time of impact with the ball.

With the right elbow going free and away from the body on the backswing, it becomes possible for the right elbow to drop straight down as the downswing starts. This permits the right hand to remain on an inside position on the downswing, and from this inside position, the right hand creates a strong base against which the left hand and left arm can pull the club into the ball. This combination of the right hand being on the inside as the hands come into the hitting area helps to naturally produce a powerful one-two action of the hands as the ball is contacted. As a result, the natural hit from the inside ability that has been so strongly and properly urged throughout the years occurs quite readily. This is, of course, the hand action that all big hitters in golf acquire; in fact, it is the only way for the hands to work“.

Correct use of the elbow is essential to performing sound golf swing mechanics

Use Novak’s expert advice to properly position the right elbow and get the most out of your swing pattern!

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Beginner Golf Swing Instruction – Good News! For Better Swing Performance, No Fancy Footwork Needed!

Beginner golf swing instruction programs teach their students the importance of proper footwork and its place in the overall swing pattern.

Many students in beginner golf swing instruction programs however, fail to fully appreciate the true role footwork plays in a successful swing pattern.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs are truly puzzled by this.

Correct positioning of the feet is an essential element of swing mechanics and performance. The feet serve two vital functions in the swing pattern: providing balance to control the golfers swing axis and anchor points from which the golfer can generate swing power.

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 on proper footwork and positioning.

They write;

“In the over-all concept of the swing, the importance of good footwork is sometimes neglected. If a golfer can learn the basic position of the feet early in their career, this important facet of the swing will give them little trouble in later years. At the outset, they will learn that a perfectly balanced and coordinated swing can only be achieved through proper footwork. It is possible to become a fair golfer with a swing that looks good from the waist up, but you cannot become an accomplished, consistent player unless you are properly balanced from the waist down. And that means good footwork.

While we mentioned earlier that there are three different stances, the basic position of the feet in relation to one another does not change.

THE LEFT FOOT

The left, or front, foot is always turned out slightly to the left. With the foot in this position, a player can transfer their weight to the left side more easily and quickly on the downswing. They can also hit through the ball with greater power and comfort because the directional force of the swing is toward where the left foot is aiming—to the left. You can test this yourself by purposely positioning your left foot perpendicular to the line of flight and swinging a club. There is no noticeable discomfort or awkwardness on the backswing, but as you move into the downswing you should be able to feel the strain and restriction of power in the left side, particularly the left leg.

THE RIGHT FOOT

Position the right foot so that it points almost straight ahead. A common mistake is to address the ball with both feet pointed out, whereas only the left foot should be in that position.

With the right foot positioned so that it points ahead, or almost so, instead of to the right, the weight shift on the backswing becomes more centralized around your spine rather than on the extreme outside of the right leg and right foot.

Check yourself on this point the next time you take a practice swing. If your weight is on the outside of the right leg and foot, the spikes on the inside sole of your right foot will be off the ground. Don’t allow this to happen or you will have trouble balancing yourself during the swing. When a good player reaches the top of their backswing the weight is centered on their right foot and heel. There is a definite feeling of the weight being there, and you can create this feeling by stopping at the top of the backswing for a few moments in the correct position. Repeat the procedure until you can swing back and down through the ball without your weight moving to the outside of your right leg and right foot.

Positioning the right foot in the manner prescribed above does one other important thing: it restricts the hip turn slightly while allowing a full shoulder turn on the backswing, thus creating a live tension in the hips and left side. It is much like stretching a rubber band—the stretch is performed on the backswing, and the counter action, or snap back, takes place when the hips initiate the downswing. The spring-like tension that is built up in the left side muscles through this stretching process of turning the shoulders fully while restricting the hip turn slightly results from the correct positioning of the right foot.“

Beginner golf swing instruction programs know both proper footwork and foot positioning are critical to swing success.

Try incorporating Littler and Collett’s expert advice on footwork into your next practice routine.

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Golf Swing Mechanics – The Clubs & Their Role in Successful Golf Swing Mechanics

For many golfers mastering golf swing mechanics are one of the most frustrating challenges of the game.

Many golfers fail to recognize that their choice of club plays a major role in executing successful golf swing mechanics.

Truth is – using the wrong tool to complete a certain task will make the assignment unnecessarily more difficult and maddening! This same principle applies to golfers and their selection of clubs!

Each club is designed to serve a certain function – distance, loft or rolling. For the club to perform its correct purpose – directing a ball to its intended location, golfers must simply learn to consistently execute one single swing pattern possessing the proper golf swing mechanics.

In his book, “Golf Can Be an Easy Game”, author Joe Novak expands upon this concept in greater detail. He explains that many golfers make their golf swing mechanics and game much more difficult than they have to be. For Novak, golf is an easy game to master, requiring the golfer to perfect one simple swing and let the clubs do the heavy work!

Novak writes;

“Every good golfer learns that it is one thing to swing a golf club, but it is another thing to know what position the club is in while it is being swung.

…this is a good time to tell you what an easy game golf is, and what an enjoyable game it can be with a correct understanding of the simple facts:

(a) A golf club will only do what the player makes it do.

(b) Each club is designed for a specific purpose, and only when it is applied to the ball in its true, natural state will it produce the effect for which it was designed.

(c) Basically, there are only three clubs in golf:

1. The driver, shaped so that it drives the ball on a low trajectory and is therefore used for distance shots.

2. The iron, formerly called a lofter, does exactly what the name implies—it lofts or lifts the ball. This club is used to place the ball into position in certain spots on the fairway or on the green.

3. The putter, which would be better named a “roller,” is so designed that it rolls the ball; therefore, it is the club used to accomplish the very purpose of the game—roll the ball into the cup.

But golfers are not limited or restricted to these three clubs. Golfers get themselves a set of two or three, more generally four, but sometimes even five, drivers. They carry a set of three or six, most generally a set of eight, irons. They usually add to this outfit a heavy weighted club to get the ball out of deep grass or sand traps. And, the above clubs, along with a putter, generally constitute the set of 14 clubs that a golfer is permitted to use in tournament play.

Now, having such an outfit is a perfect waste of material unless each and every club is swung in the same way so that the various differences in the shapes of the clubs can each perform their objectives. In other words, golf is an easy game to play, because the player has a specific club or tool for each shot or effect that is desired. All they have to do is to learn the one basic swing and apply it to each club.

By comparison, the game of tennis is difficult. In tennis, the player has only one club or one racquet, the ball is never in the same position—it is either high or low, in front of them or behind them—and to make their shots successfully the tennis player must learn and be able to play several different strokes. But not so the golfer. If they correctly learn the one stroke, they can simply let the club do the work”.

The correct choice of club is a major contributor to successful execution of golf swing mechanics.

Use Novak’s expert advice to help you get the most out of your clubs – the tools of the game!

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

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