By Barry H. Nolan
Believe it or not, ‘swing’ is very misleading as the overall description of what a body does when it hits a golf ball. Yet ‘swing rhythmically’ is one of the most commonly used phrases in golf instruction.
Here are two ways in which ‘swing’ is misleading. Through the ball, the clubhead rotates 180 degrees in one-tenth of a second. Stop and think about this. Amazing we ever hit the ball straight.
Might the word ‘swing’ connote less than it should, tell only half the story, and therefore mislead? In addition to the perceptibly rhythmic move of many pro’s ‘swings’, something else very important is going on, but the word ‘swing’ gives no indication of this speedy clubhead thrash.
Are lots of golfers, having always heard the word ‘swing’, practicing hard to create a rhythmic move to and fro–having no idea at all that they should be building into their ‘swings’ the right tension-free positions and moves to create this wild clubhead rotation?
Here’s the second way in which ‘swing’ is misleading. In Five Fundamentals, Ben Hogan said: “The hips initiate the downswing. They snap back to the left with tremendous speed. The faster they go the better. They cannot go too fast”. Biomechanics research into the golf ‘swing’ uncovered that hip and thigh muscles are the muscles used most aggressively by the body when hitting a golf ball.
So the fiercest move by the body when hitting a golf ball is a snap of the hips. Hmmmmmmm. How can a vicious snap be the primary move within something labeled a ‘swing’?? It can’t. Forget ‘swing’.