Golf Swing Improvement

Golf Swing Improvement

By Barry H. Nolan

“Counterintuitive” is an understatement when the issue is tension/looseness in the golf swing.

We’re trying to hit the ball with a 1-inch-square sweet spot on the clubface.  And, that clubface is moving quickly many feet from the ball and then many feet back to the ball.  The intuitive response to this challenge is to try to be in control of the club.  Control means using muscles which means tension.

However, just the opposite is true.  Jim McLean, in his book The Eight-Step Swing, has a sentence that all golfers should burn into their minds:

To gain control of your shots, you must give up control of your swing.

At no point in the full swing should you feel as if you are in control of your club.  You should have at best a vague idea where the clubhead is.  The clubhead should feel as if it’s a rock on the end of a string.  Your entire body, above your waist, should feel utterly loose, relaxed, throughout the entire motion of hitting the ball.  Your “grip” should be as soft as it can be and still enable you to start the backswing.

Find some movies of the swings of Bobby Jones and Julius Boros.  Here’s how soft their “grips” were.  You’ll see them start their backswings by beginning to move their hands, but their clubheads don’t start to move until their hands have moved around six inches.

At address, above your waist, get as relaxed as you can.  Maintain this feeling throughout your attempt to hit the ball.  Many muscles above your waist will indeed fire, but you shouldn’t feel them do so.

If you can keep your abdominal muscles loose, then your hips will be able to fire ahead of your shoulders.  You’ll no longer be bothered by golf’s most frequent fault: coming over the top.

Get out of control!!  The wilder your whirl, the faster your clubhead will move, and the more consistent will be the pathway on which your clubhead is whirling.  To gain both accuracy and distance, get out of control.  Get utterly loose above the waist, out to the tips of your fingers, and let it rip!!

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