Golf Swing Basics – Part 1

The first thing to understand about the golf swing is that it is composed of two distinct movements. The first movement is pretty obvious and is the one you probably think about when you think about a basic golf swing. It is the movement of the arms that make the club face move from the ground, then travels behind you, then over your head and then back behind you, and finally in front of you. The second one is a little more suttle and is produced by twisting your body from the hips to your shoulders. Mastering the golf swing means mastering and syncing these two separate motions.

Many players don’t understand the function of these two forces. The center of the arc produced by the arms must remain constant throughout the whole swing. This allows us to keep the distance of the club constant when we return the club towards the ball and allows us to keep our eyes on the ball the whole time. It’s also important to remember that the pivot is located between the shoulders where the power of our swing is directly transfered to the club.

Let’s take a closer look at the arc created by the arms. This movement often causes the hands to be pulled in close to the body, resulting in nasty things like slicing. This can be easily demonstrated by imagining the following scenario. Take your usual stance and place your club face on the ground just behind the ball. To illustrate what happens on that plane swing the club but don’t make any horizontal or back to front movement.

What will happen is the club will simply travel from the ground up over your head and the downswing will just bring it back down behind the ball. By observing the down swing closely you will notice that you will pull your hands in to prevent the club from hitting the ground. Also, on the up swing, the club head will travel away from your body before coming back over your head. Lastly the club face will perpendicularly cross the line where you intend to send the ball. At the end of the swing you will draw your hands in.

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