Monday, January 18, 2016

Swing: To Move Back and Forth

The golf swing can be conceived simply and executed effectively as a back and forth motion. 

To some this is unconventional, different or unique but it fits the definition of swing and it can benefit your game if executed.

In the act of swinging, the club head travels back and forth on an arc and a circle if the forward swing is extended. 

It's circular shape is well evidenced.

Please look at the following five pictures that demonstrate the swing. Is your concept a back and forth motion?

Back and over the shoulder

Swing it forward from the end of the back swing.

These pictures display a common and effective method of swinging. Toe up back, the face square on the ball and toe up forward with the whole club pointing at the target. 

It produces a shallow angle of approach, straighter ball flight and other benefits. 

Now observe the following four pictures that demonstrate conceiving the swing in a up and down motion. 

This is also common but the pictures demonstrate that up and down is different than back and forth in both concept and in direction. 

I believe these differences compete with the idea of producing a shallow approach, straighter ball flight and other benefits. 

If you think it is an up and down motion and are interested in back and forth then please consider it as Manuel de la Torre describes:

 "The club isn't up there and the ball down there. They are both on the same circle."

Please read that again and refer to the forward swing pictures above.

Can you see both the club head and ball on the same circle during the swing?

Words have meaning and the concept you possess matters to your game. 

In the definition of swing you will not find the word down because it describes a different concept and direction than forward. 

And physics tells us "if an object is being propelled in a certain direction with another object, the direction of both objects must be the same." 

Down and Forward are different directions. 

Manuel writes it this way: "The club should be swung with the intention of sending the ball to the target not with the intention of driving the ball into the ground..." 

The target is forward. 

Now imagine the difficulty in swinging down at 80-100 mph and then trying to change the direction to forward. It can't be done. But it can be done relatively easily by swinging it forward from the beginning.

For these reasons and the short duration of the swing, I advocate "forward" solely for intent and execution. Especially to the average player who hears it typically described solely as a downswing. 

Use this picture as a mental image of forward as you swing. 

You might ask: Can I miss the ball? No. 

Remember, the club head and ball reside on the same circle. The swing and it's properties are on a tilted plane that matches the ball. 

You will not miss.  

I encourage you to consider these ideas and experiment with them. Swinging the club back and forth is a simple and effective way to conceive and execute the motion. 

It may be different or unique but it fits the definition of swing and it can benefit your game if executed. So try it!

Swing it Forward
All for a Better Game,



  1. Rodd: I like the post. But I'm having trouble distinguishing the difference in the two swings shown in the pictures. Is it a 'feeling' thing?

    1. It is one motion: The club head back & over the shoulder and the whole club forward, pointing at target, & over other shoulder.

      Sensing the club swing is valuable.

    2. I am just reading this post. This makes total sense. Once I read the article and then perused it, I figured it out. I have literally been thinking of it as down and out, I miss the ball a fair amount. I have not played much, but I enjoy it. Changing my whole thought process is key, and I am excited to try this this spring. I am actually changing the way I visualize the swing in my head.

    3. Thank you for reading it and your nice comments. I hope it helps your game (it will).

      Have a great season and please reply with any questions.