Swing the Whole Golf Club

There are two prominent strains of thought in golf swing theory. One is that you swing the clubhead. The other is that you swing the handle. But what you really want to do is swing the whole club, not just a part of it. Doing that irons out swings flaws almost instantly and leads to better shots in the same amount of time.

Have you ever chopped wood? You swing the axe in the exact way that you should swing the golf club. You swing the whole axe. Both ends of the axe, the handle and the head, are traveling in the same direction at any moment. That might sound obvious, but it’s a more subtle point than it appears.

Hold a golf club in front of you, with one hand in the middle of the shaft. With the club hanging vertically, move your hand to the right. The grip end and the clubhead both move in the same direction. This is how the axe is moving when you bring it down on the wood. You know that’s how you get maximum power, so that’s what you do.

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Now with the club hanging vertically in front of you again, push the grip end to the right and, with your hand as a pivot, let the clubhead react to the left. The two ends of the club are moving in opposite directions. If you swing the axe this way, not only would you lose power by slowing down the axe head, you would well miss the wood because the head is now flailing around instead of continuing on a directed path.

How do you put this idea into your golf swing? Swing the club back so that the club doesn’t pivot at any time. Breaking your wrists deliberately will do that. Take the club back as a unit and let your wrists break when they have to. Not sooner, not later.

On the downswing, do the opposite. Swing the club down as a unit and hold onto your wrist break until the momentum of your swing makes you release it. If your wrist break releases too early, this is called casting, a short name for the two ends of the club moving in opposite directions.

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To see how this really works, hold the club with your right hand (left hand, for left-handed golfers) in the middle of the shaft. Slowly swing the club back so both ends move in the same direction, i.e., there is no pivoting around your hand. Now swing the club slowly back down, again watching the entire club move as a unit. There’s no pivoting around your hand as the clubhead comes into the ball, not handle going backward as the clubhead goes forward.

Once you understand this idea, start taking slow practice swings so the club moves exactly like this. When you can put this movement into your swing at normal speed, better ball striking is assured.

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by Bob E. Jones