Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Five Keys To A Good Golf Swing

Golf Swing Tips Developed After 20 Yrs. Of Research By Swing Teachers. Try It Today! www.StackAndTilt.com

Copyright (c) 2011

Scott Cole Golf is one of those activities where the participants are often trying to find the best way to achieve their goal. It is similar to trading in the stock market, where individual traders with little experience are constantly trying to find the Holy Grail to riches. In the case of golf, golfers are often trying to find the Holy Grail golf tip or golf swing that will help them break 80 or become a scratch golfer. An observation of the golf swings of some of the game's most successful players over the years suggests that there is no one way to play the game best. Probably the three greatest players of all time are Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods. However, none of their swings looks very much alike. Consider the swings of other top players over time. Bruce Lietzke had a successful career on the PGA Tour, with 13 victories, yet he practiced very little. He has a classic over the top slice move, and that is the shot he favored. On the other hand Kenny Perry has the opposite swing from Lietzke and favors a draw shot. He has won 14 times on the PGA Tour. There have been many other players over time with what would be regarded as unconventional swings. The 2010 PGA Player of the Year Jim Furyk is probably the most visible example. He has a very unorthodox swing, but is also one of the most consistent players of the last 15 years. Lee Trevino is another such player who was very consistent in his days on tour, but clearly had an unorthodox swing. On the other hand, Adam Scott has one of the nicest looking swings on tour, yet displays very little consistency. So what makes a good golf swing? What most amateur golfers should strive to achieve is a swing they can repeat consistently. They should strive for a swing that they can repeat consistently, and one that results in consistently solid ball striking and consistent ball flight. This means it really doesn't matter whether the player consistently slices the ball or hooks the ball. If the golfer has a good idea that will be the case, and they have a good idea how much the ball will curve in that direction, then they have achieved a consistent golf swing. The first key to a good golf swing is balance. Most golfers who struggle do not have good balance during the swing. Poor balance leads to inconsistent ball striking. Poor balance can mean too much of a sway back and forth from side to side during the swing, or from heel to toe, or toe to heel. No matter what the balance issue, the golfer will struggle. The second key to a good golf swing is a consistent spine angle from set up to just past impact. A changing spine angle will lead to very inconsistent ball striking. One example of a changing spine angle is one where the golfer's body rises during the back swing. When this occurs, the golfer then must find a way to sink back down in the down swing, otherwise they will miss the ball entirely. What often happens is that the club attacks the ball from an angle that is too steep, and this can result in a variety of ball flight issues. The third key to a solid golf swing is a weight transfer that moves forward in the downswing through impact. The conventional swing requires a modest weight shift to the rear foot during the back swing, and then back to the front foot in the down swing and follow through. Some newer swing models, such as the Stack and Tilt swing do not require as much transfer of weight to the back foot. Instead, more weight is kept on the front foot, but in the downswing, this weight still goes forward with a hip thrust. Many golfers often finish their swing with their weight on their back foot, and this results in poor ball striking. The fourth key to a good golf swing is proper connection between the upper and lower body and proper sequencing. There must be consistent connection between the upper and lower body throughout the golf swing. If there is any disconnect, such as the arms moving without any move in the lower body, or keeping the head down too long in the follow through, there will be inconsistent ball striking. Furthermore, the body must move in the proper sequence in order to achieve good ball striking. For instance, if the upper body starts the down swing once the back swing is completed, there will be a loss of power. A release of the hands too early in the down swing will also result in a lack of power and consistency. The fifth key to a good golf swing is tempo and rhythm. Each golfer must find the right tempo and rhythm for their own swing. Some golfers do well with a fast tempo, while others do well with a slow tempo. However, this tempo MUST be faster in the down swing than in the back swing. Too often, in an attempt to hit the ball hard, a golfer will start their swing too quickly, and the end result is a deceleration in the down swing into impact. Furthermore, there must be good rhythm in the swing. There should be no choppiness in rhythm during the swing…it must be one continuous motion with no herky jerky type action in the swing. What is noticeably absent from this list is the normal list of fundamentals such as the grip, stance and posture, alignment, takeaway, weight shift, swing plane, etc. While it may be ideal to work toward certain goals with these particular fundamentals, it is certainly not required that all be perfected in order to achieve a consistently performing golf swing.

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What Golf Swing Model Is Right For You?

Copyright (c) 2010

Scott Cole In lockstep with the golf training aid industry, the golf swing model industry has begun to grow rapidly. The visibility of such top teaching pros as Butch Harmon and Hank Haney over the last decade, has resulted in many top instructors going public with the type of golf swing model they like to teach their students.

Until the late 1980's and early 1990's, we didn't pay too much attention to golf instructors outside of the major golf publications such as Golf magazine and Golf Digest. Instructors such as Bob Toski and Jim Flick were among the more popular teachers in the 1970's and early 1980's. We would read about golf tips in those magazines, and occasionally read a book by Ben Hogan, or Jack Nicklaus. In the mid 1980's, there was a little increased exposure on golf instruction as some PGA Tour pros had some success with a teacher by the name of Jimmy Ballard. Curtis Strange was among his students and he won back-to-back U.S. Opens in 1988 and 1989.

However, it was when Nick Faldo's career really took off at the same time as Strange's success that golf instructors started to receive more attention. Faldo rebuilt his swing to make it more reliable under pressure with the help of David Leadbetter. As a result, a new industry was born. Leadbetter went on to create a golf instruction empire by opening academies around the world. He became a golf swing guru over night and attracted a stable of top players to his academies. Ernie Els became one of his top students. During the early to mid 1990's, Greg Norman was the top player in the world, and he was coached by Butch Harmon.

However, it wasn't until Tiger Woods came on the scene that Harmon became more visible. Harmon became a household name as Tiger went on his rampage from 1997 to 2001. After Harmon, Hank Haney became the guru of the moment, when Tiger switched to Haney in 2004 after leaving Harmon in 2002. Haney had a somewhat different teaching philosophy compared to Harmon and had success with Mark O'Meara before Tiger. Over the last decade, the golf instruction industry as literally exploded. As it has become clear that the improvement in equipment over the years has not helped the average golfer to lower their scores, golfers are looking to the golf swing gurus for the Holy Grail. And, many instructors have tried to oblige them. Golfers can now find a whole host of golf swing models on offer throughout the internet.

These models include the One Plane Swing, Two Plane Swing, Rotary Swing, the Moe Norman swing, Stack and Tilt swing, Peak Performance Swing, Perfect Connection swing, Simple Swing, Golf Machine and others. Some swings are sold as more biomechanically sound and will result in both better scores and a pain free round of golf. Other swings are touted as the new hot swing model on the PGA Tour. And still others are built around the golf swings of famous ball strikers such as Moe Norman and Ben Hogan. So, what is the best golf swing model for the individual? The answer is that it is none of these models in particular. Each and every one of these swings can work for a period of time, but a consistent golf swing is often fleeting. Why? Simply because of life circumstances. We have children, we end up with less time to play and practice. We injure ourselves, we are laid up for months at a time, and the injury stays with us. The real answer is that there is a set of basic fundamentals in the golf swing that every golfer should strive to improve upon in their own game. This includes the grip, stance and posture, and how the body should move during the swing.

How much you want to turn the hips and shoulders, tilt the spine one way or another, etc., will be a function of your body type and your physical abilities. There is no perfect swing model that can be applied to everyone. There is, however, a swing that will work better for each individual. Take the case of Ben Hogan. Early in his career he was known to fight a nasty hook and it kept him from having much success. Hogan was very flexible, and this was most evident in his wrists. As a result, he had the ability to move his hands quickly through impact, and if his body was in the wrong position, he would hook the ball. Many golfers simply do not have flexible wrists like Hogan, nor the flexibility in the hips. Therefore, trying to copy Hogan's swing would prove futile to most golfers. Hogan understood this. The swing he built for himself was meant to fight a hook. He held the club with a much weaker grip than most people. Most people slice, so if they tried to copy his grip, their slice would be worse.

What every golfer needs to do is get a thorough physical assessment of their body. They need to learn their strengths and weaknesses, and then try to improve upon the weaknesses. At the same time, they should work toward building a golf swing with sound fundamentals around their own particular physical strengths and weaknesses. Improving and maintaining a good golf swing takes time and effort. It can be lost as quickly as it can be found if the golfer loses track. Just look at the examples of Ian Baker Finch, David Duval and Michael Campbell, golfers who won major championships only to lose their swings to the point where they could barely break 80 in competition.

Many of the top instructors are now becoming more aware of the physical limitations of their students and know not to force feed a particular swing model down their throats. Golf instruction is now evolving into a more modern approach, much like the training in other sports. With that in mind, the golfer should find themselves an instructor who is understands the impact of physical limitations on the golf swing, and how to work on improving upon those limitations or around them. There is no perfect golf swing model, but there is a perfect swing for each golfer.

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