“If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they’d starve to death.” – Sam Snead
Here are some thoughts for to ponder as you develop and improve your golf swing.
Developing heightened awareness in your hands is an amazing sense to develop.
Do you know how amazing your hands are?
It’s so easy to forget their amazing potential because they’re so much a part of what we do everyday.
We can get so caught up in the trivial things that are sold to amateur golfers through the golf media channels.
The trivial things don’t directly affect how your golf ball behaves, like how you move your hips, knees etc.
Your hands and the way they move your golf club have a lot more influence on how your golf ball behaves.
So the bottom line is this:
“Consistently straight golf shots are a product of how you use your golf club.”
Your golf clubs have been designed to help you achieve a sound impact – nothing more – nothing less.
Developing your awareneness of the hand pressure your exert on the grip can lead to amazing insights into how the golf club behaves, and more importantly, what you can do with it.
The golf club is a very useful tool when you understand how it functions to achieve straight and consistent golf shots.
The starting point is understanding what the golf club has to do for you to achieve straighter and more consistent golf shots.
The golf club can do basically three things based on its design.
1. The golf shaft swings backwards and forwards along an inclined plane.
2. The club-face rotates around the cylindrical golf shaft as it travels backwards and forwards.
3. The golf-club head accelerates, reaches peak acceleration and then slows down until it stops, as it travels backwards and forwards.
Can you think of anything else the golf club can do?
It seems to me that the key to developing our golf swing potential is to learn how to move the golf club in such a way that the preceeding three factors are easily controlled.
For example, a golf club that travels too far off it’s inclined plane angle either on the backswing phase or downswing phase requires additional pressure to move it back onto its original plane.
Unfortunately when we do this we also accelerate it prematurely (Isaac Newtons second law of acceleration) which means we now have to manipulate the club-face to control the direction of the golf ball.
Manipulating the club-face slows it down even more, not to mention the fact that our sense don’t react nearly as quickly as the golf club motion through the downswing.
In the golf book “Search for the Perfect Swing” the author and physicist Alistair Cochrane’s research suggested that the first time we beome aware of the feel of the impact, the golf ball has already travelled more than twenty yards from the club-face.
Here’s a simple rule to follow.
Develop your golf swing based on the design of your golf club.
In this case, golf club function follows golf club form.
Pull a 5 iron out of your bag and really take look at it. Rather than admiring its asthetics, admire and understand its function.
Put it on the ground and notice its design. Consider that the design really hasn’t changed much since Bobby Jones was burning up the links.
The ball is on the ground to the side of you and the golf club is swung around your body on an arc that allows the clubhead to touch the ground at the right time in the down-swing with the club-face square to the target as the ball is departing from the club-face.
There are no secrets here, just simple laws of force and motion at play.
The design engineers didn’t get it wrong when they designed your golf club – they got it absolutely right.
Possibly they should have attached a tag on a string to the shaft that described the “basic rules for using this golf club.”
Maybe they should have also attached a tag that read “use with great care.”
The golf club is not a hitting instrument, it’s a swinging instrument.
instrument (like a sledge hammer) goes from backswing to impact.
A swinging instrument goes from backswing to finish.
The object being struck (the golf ball) is in the middle of (A) and (B).
In other words a swinging instrument is a pendulum. It travels from (A) = backswing to (B) = finish with the golf ball positioned somewhere at the bottom of the swing arc.
When (B) becomes the golf ball significant problems arise.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a chip, pitch, putt or full swing, the golf club travels from backswing to finish with absolutely no interference from the golfer.
I think that Ben Hogan was right when he said “good golf begins with a good grip,” your grip connects you to the golf club.
If your golf ball isn’t behaving the way you want it to, take a good look at how the placement and pressure in your hands is affecting the “free swinging” nature of the swinging pendulum – also known as the golf swing.