Monday, February 16, 2015

Discover Swing

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." From the movie Princes Bride


When people use the word swing, I do not think many players think it means what they think it means.
In Ernest Jones 1952 book "Swing the Clubhead" he writes I asked "what is a swing?" of a number of leading golfers during a discussion of a famous player's "so-called swing." the answer came:
"That can mean anything."
"That," I said "is one of golf's tragedies. It should mean everything."
I would contend this is as true today as it was then.
Please consider your definition and what it means to you.
Swing is defined: Verb 1. To move to and fro or backwards and forwards.
We can learn a lot from the definition and it's application in golf:
  • It is a verb. Nothing static is suggested (positions).
  • It's a movement of an object, the golf club.
  • It is one continuous move. The word and conjoins to with fro .
  • The word hit is not inserted between back and forth.
  • It is back and forth and not up and down.
  • It is simple
Now, compare this to your concept and your swing. Does the club swing?

"As for swing, I have come to have a knowledge of it, but how many others have? Perhaps one in a hundred."

How about you, do you have a knowledge of it? No, then there is a way to discover it but you need to conceive of it properly and it must be felt or sensed.

First, he writes "the golf swing can be readily taught, and consistently performed, BUT ONLY IF IS CONCEIVED AS ONE MOVEMENT." This insures the coordination of the body and all its parts which should be "TREATED AS DISASTOUROUS LEADERS BUT AS WHOLLY ADMIRABLE FOLLOWERS OF THE ACTION..."

Next, with free wrists and no arm rigidity experiment with the motion of your club. Become aware, observe and sense it's movement. On the forward swing, does the whole club move in the same direction, at the same time and at the same rate? Does it's motion feel or sense to be the same as other objects that swing?

Then try this: Tie a weight to a string. Swing it back and forth. Then place the string under your fingers while gripping a club and the weight hanging. Start the swing with your hands by "swinging" the club and weight together with half swings. Feel this motion and replicate it with your swing and in your game. For all shots.


Pay particular attention to your wrists "which act as hinges. The unified action of the two wrists, which are flexible, permit you to expand the arc...change direction of the path of the club head without hindering the true swinging motion, without disturbing the rhythmic characteristics of the swing."

"Here you approach your goal, the ability to identify the correct action of the club head through the sense of touch, of feeling." 

"I realize how difficult, almost impossible, it is to teach a feeling. But until one gets it, he has nothing definite. A hit is one of the most indefinite things in golf. It is sometimes yes and sometimes no. A swing is definite. It is totality." It is everything.

I hope for you to have a knowledge of it, this totality, this feeling of a club truly swinging. Discover it so when you say "my swing" you have knowledge of it and the consistent, enjoyable golf it produces.

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