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!

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

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!

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!

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

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!

Beginner Golf Swing Instruction – Properly Addressing the Address!

Beginner golf swing instruction programs teach their student golfers the importance of correctly addressing the ball.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs know the basic principle of swing mechanics – initiating a swing from an improper address position results in a faulty golf swing pattern.

Some student golfers struggle to learn the various stances of address and how/when to apply them properly.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs make a sincere effort to simplify this potentially confusing topic for their students.

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 the address and its various stances.

They write;

“The more skilled a player becomes, the more they realize the importance of aligning themselves properly with the ball. This technique involves more than just stepping up to the ball and hitting it down the fairway or toward a distant green. It involves knowing how to address the ball and where to address it in relationship to the stance and the direction in which they are aiming. In the fundamental sense of the word, we refer to the basic body position over the ball as the address. Within the framework of the address come the basic stances, or foot positions, we use for hitting various shots.

The Address

Squaring up to the ball is an important feature of a good golfer’s swing, and it simply means your feet, hips, and shoulders should be square, or parallel to the line of flight. It is a basic tenet of golf that if you are out of position at the address you will be out of position during the swing. It is important, therefore, to practice setting up to the ball properly so that it becomes an automatic procedure. You will then be able to concentrate fully on hitting the shot without having to worry about where it is going.

The Stances

THE SQUARE STANCE. Although there are 14 different positions for the feet, or as many as there are clubs in the bag, there are only three basic stances: the square, open, and closed. In the square stance the feet are positioned on a line which should parallel the intended line of flight. The ball is between the feet and on a line slightly left of center. The weight is equally distributed. The hands are positioned ahead of the ball so that the shaft of the club and the inside line of the left arm form a straight line from the shoulder to the clubface.

The square position permits a free, full shoulder turn and is recommended for hitting the medium irons, the four, five, and six. The only modification I make in each iron is in the position of my right foot. For a five-iron, my feet are about the width of my shoulders. I widen my right foot for a four-iron about an inch, and narrow it an inch for the six-iron in relation to my five-iron stance.

Whatever stance you take, always remember to be comfortable, yet firmly set up over the ball.

THE CLOSED STANCE. This is the power stance used for hitting the long irons and wood shots. In this stance, the right foot is withdrawn from the line of flight, permitting a fuller body turn than the other stances. The ball is positioned about two inches inside the left heel, and the hands are directly over the ball. Weight is evenly distributed between the feet.

THE OPEN STANCE. In the open stance your left foot is withdrawn slightly from the line of flight. This tends to “open” the entire left side toward the hole, particularly the hips, which initiate the downswing. The weight is about 60 per cent on the left side and 40 per cent on the right side. This allows the weight to become more centered on the back-swing rather than on the right side as in fuller shots. Less physical effort is thus required in shifting the weight to the left side on the downswing. In setting up on the ball, position the hands so they are ahead of the ball, which is centered midway between the feet. This stance is recommended for the short irons and all pitch shots and chip shots“.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs know the important role a proper address plays in a winning swing pattern.

Try incorporating Littler and Collett’s expert advice on address positions and their various stances into your next practice session.

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

Proper Golf Swing – 2 Actions That Destroy a Proper Golf Swing!

A proper golf swing requires the correct initiation of the downswing phase of the swing pattern.

Many golfers perform two fatal movements when beginning the downswing phase – taking the club back inside the line and keeping the club-head close to the ground.

Both these actions rob the golfer of any chance to execute a proper golf swing.

Understanding exactly how these two movements destroy a proper golf swing may help golfers more effectively avoid them.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King explains in greater detail the negative consequences these two actions have on a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“What is of the utmost importance is achieving a smooth and correct start to the backswing, and straight away I want to warn you against those two misleading pieces of oft-repeated advice which you may have heard and to which I referred in my opening chapter.

I say most emphatically you do NOT take the club back inside the line; you do NOT concentrate on keeping the club head close to the ground in the initial stage of the backswing.

Let me explain. If you take the club back inside the line with the hands you either produce a flat concave plane or cramp the backswing. This results in a loop at the top of the swing which throws the club head outside the line on its way to the ball. As you will see, the correct turn of the body must bring the club head back inside without a conscious effort to ensure it. And the extended left arm will give full width to the movement.

A deliberate endeavor to keep the club head low and close to the ground in the initial stage of the backswing is almost certain to have the effect of bringing the left shoulder too far down and collapsing the left side, two evils which we want to avoid at all costs. The correct body-action, incorporating a free smooth turn of the shoulders can only be accomplished by keeping the left shoulder UP, not down.

I want to straighten out these two dangerous misconceptions before detailing the correct backswing“.

A proper golf swing involves the correct initiation of the backswing phase of the swing pattern.

Try implementing King’s expert advice to help avoid these destructive actions and improve proper golf swing performance!

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

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, 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.


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.

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

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