The secret to a great golf swing, to striking the ball better and more consistently, to hitting longer and more accurate shots, is to swing with the correct, precisely timed, sequence.
Distance and accuracy are created by your sequence of movement, far more than by muscular effort.
We talk a lot about the golf swing sequence on this site, and we go into great detail. In the biomechanics section we explain how it works, and in the Full Swing and Wedge Play sections will teach you how to do it, step by step.
All this detail is useful because you’re not yet a great golfer, but you could be, if only you knew what to do and how to learn it. We want to give you a road map that will guide you towards excellence, to help you to become the best golfer that you possibly can be. To do that you’ll need to be able to self-coach, to identify problems and know how to resolve them, and to know how to best spend your valuable practice time each day.
However, it’s easy to become bogged down with detail. It’s easy to forget that the golf swing is fundamentally very simple, and the seemingly elusive golf swing sequence is no more difficult than throwing a ball!
When you throw a ball, or swing a bat or a racket, you start the “downswing” with your feet, stepping into the throw, then fire your lower body, your abs, your back and shoulders, and finally your arm as you release (or hit) the ball.
The golf swing is just the same, it’s a natural throwing motion, something that we can all do without conscious effort, once we learn to stop thinking and get out of our own way! This drill is a great way to feel what that sequence is like in a golf swing, and will serve as a great reminder every time you think that things are getting complicated.
Figure 1. The golf swing sequence made simple video.
- Set up to a golf ball and place two alignment sticks (or golf clubs) on the ground to form a “T”, one stick along the target line, about 4″ (10cm) inside the ball, and one perpendicular to the target line and level with the back of the ball – see Figure 1.
- Address the ball, and then move it just out of reach.
- Turn towards the target and pause, extending your hips, back and arms to reach out and point the golf club at the target. This is the starting position.
- Now turn back briskly, swinging the club quickly away from the target to create momentum in the club head. This should be quite an aggressive move.
- As soon as the club head passes the perpendicular alignment stick, change direction to swing the club head back towards the target, through your starting position to a full, balanced finish over your lead foot.
You will find that you can’t stop the club very quickly, and you will make a significant backswing as your body naturally changes direction in the proper sequence.
You may find it easier to feel this sequence with a weighted club or a driver, to begin with, and then progress to a mid-iron looking for the same sensations.
Once you have it, try hitting balls off a tee this way with a 7 iron. You’ll be surprised how far they fly with a “zero” backswing.
After a little while, you should be able to create the same sensations in your normal golf swing. This should begin to feel natural, just like throwing a ball is, because it is efficient – you´re moving the way that your body is “designed” to move. More efficient means ore speed, longer shots, and more accuracy and consistency.
Remember, sequence is key! Do not try to hit the ball harder. Harder means tension, tightness, and restricted movement. Harder often means trying to power the swing with your upper body. Harder is shorter and less accurate. Speed comes from sequence, and sequence requires relaxed muscles. Try to swing faster, not harder.
Notice how you naturally take a narrow stance, and there is no conscious effort to restrict your lower body to create the “coil” that so many teachers talk about. Separation and power come from your change of direction, not from resistance.
Work on this drill, together with the instruction provided in the transition and downswing sections and you will quickly start to better understand what a great golf swing feels like. After just a few sessions you’ll start striking the ball better, more accurately and further than ever before!