Overview of a Great Golf Swing

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Swing Like a Champion is the simplest, the most powerful and efficient, and the most effective way to swing a golf club.

This isn’t about “tips” or “quick fixes”.  We’re not trying to apply band-aids and compensations to your current swing.

This is a radically new approach to golf tuition, a complete golf swing learning system, born from objective science and designed around the way we all learn new movement patterns.

Swing Like a Champion will quickly transform you into an efficient and powerful golfing machine, enabling you to hit the best golf shots of your life.

There is more to winning golf tournaments than having a great golf swing.  To be the best you’ll also need to work on putting, chipping, pitching, the sand game, trouble play, golf fitness, course management and the mental game, all of which will be discussed on this site.  But Swing Like a Champion will put you further down the middle of the fairway, help you reach more greens in regulation, get closer to the pin with approach shots and be more consistent.

 

With easy to follow, precise and eye-opening instruction, we will teach you how to build the great golf swing you have always dreamed of.

 

You will quickly learn how to:

  • Achieve a world class impact position that produces straighter, more powerful and more penetrating golf shots.
  • Strike the golf ball cleanly, hitting down and through, making it hiss off the club face like the pros do.
  • Lag the club head like the longest hitters in the game.
  • Sequence your movements to preserve lag and generate the power of a tour pro.
  • Release the club correctly, efficiently generating maximum club head speed at the right time and squaring the club face consistently through impact.
  • Use your body correctly to generate more power safely and with less muscular effort, gaining more accuracy and consistency with less strain on the body.
  • Build a simple, efficient, and repeatable swing that delivers maximum results and stands up under pressure.
  • Use the laws of physics and biomechanics to your advantage, eliminating wild shots and generating effortless club head speed.
  • Eliminate your bad habits and rapidly ingrain the correct movement pattern.
  • Use advanced techniques to work the ball and control trajectory, hitting the golf ball high over trees or low under the wind, shaping draws and fades with ease.

The benefits will be dramatic:

  • You will hit the ball further, more accurately and more consistently than ever before.
  • Your buddies will be in awe as you send the ball a long way down the middle of the fairway, time after time.
  • You’ll hit beautiful, crisp iron shots, quickly gaining 2 clubs in distance.
  • You will be able to attack the flagstick like never before.
  • No more back pain or golf-related injury.
  • You’ll make amazing improvements, fast, that will last you a lifetime.
  • Your scores will tumble and you will enjoy your golf more than ever before.

 

What’s more, Swing Like a Champion doesn’t require any particular talent, fitness level or athletic ability, and you can practise in the comfort of your own home without any special equipment.

Because it is a complete golf swing learning system, Swing Like a Champion will support you throughout your golfing life.  You will understand how the golf swing works, and have a framework of practice drills that will enable you to continually improve and refine your swing, avoiding bad habits and keeping you injury free.

 

The Full Swing

This section of the website will describe the Swing Like a Champion swing, and how to learn it, in detail, but here is a quick overview.

If it seems complicated or foreign to you, don’t worry, all will be made clear and simple as you work through the system a step at a time.  Throughout our instruction, we’ll describe the “what”, “why” and “how” of each part of the swing in simple terms and provide drills for perfecting them before moving to the next step.  Using advanced learning techniques, we’ll help you to build and ingrain every aspect of the golf swing so that you don’t have to think about it on the course.

 

Don’t panic!  All this will be made clear and simple, one step at a time.

 

The golf swing is made up of a number of simple and small movements, which when performed correctly and in the right sequence will produce amazing results.

You’ll notice that we don’t talk much about swing planes or specific positions.  These are very important, and we show you how to use them to monitor your progress and analyse your faults, but our emphasis is very much on moving your body correctly.  You can be in a perfect top of the backswing position but still be moving incorrectly and hit a horrible shot.  You can have a perfect impact position but still hit weak shots.  If you move your body correctly, the club will move correctly and strike the ball beautifully.

You need to follow the program laid out on this site, step by step, taking the time to learn and ingrain each move correctly.

There are no shortcuts.

 

There are no truly effective quick fixes, only temporary ones.

 

The Golf Loopy 8-Week Program is a great place to start.  It takes the instruction presented here and teaches you, session by session, how to apply it in practice for optimum results.

 

Swing Like a Champion describes the standard full swing for all clubs.  Adjustments for speciality shots like driving and shot-shaping are discussed in specific articles, but these are minor.

 

Conventions

Throughout this site, we describe positions and movements for the right-handed golfer.  Apologies to the lefties out there, but rather than complicating the descriptions for everyone with terms like “lead hand” and “trailing foot”, we think that it’s easier for all this way.

Because the golfing world is still dominated by the US and the UK, we use inches, feet and yards, pounds and ounces.  Metric conversions will be given where appropriate.

Spelling shouldn’t be a major issue, but we use UK English.

 

Setup

Setup might seem uninteresting, but it’s the one thing you have full control over, so it’s worth learning how to get it right every time.  If you position yourself the same for every shot, and you move your body in the way we will teach you, then you’ll hit the ball beautifully every time.

The golf swing is a rotational movement around, and powered by, your legs and core.

To swing effectively you need to be able to generate maximum club head speed through impact, this will require a stable platform that enables us to utilise the big muscles in the legs and core.

You want the ball to be 4 or 5 inches (12cm) behind the bottom of your swing arc, which is the point of maximum extension where the club bottoms out at the deepest point of the divot, directly below the centre of your shoulder joint.  This will enable you to use the golf club to optimum effect, the way it is designed to be used, generating a downward strike with the sweet spot of the club face and producing a penetrating, predictable ball flight.

If your legs and core are the engine room of the golf swing, then your shoulders are the transmission.  It is important that they are positioned so as to be connected to the core for efficient transmission of speed.  Your shoulders do not drive the golf swing.

Your weight should be over the front of your ankles, not the balls of your feet, to facilitate rotation around the hips and protect the knee joints.  So many teachers still tell you to put your weight further forward, towards the balls of your feet, as if ready to jump… where exactly is it you want to jump to in the golf swing?  Balancing your weight forwards of your ankles activates you quadriceps and puts strain on your knees, causing some of the most common golfing injuries as you try to turn more around the knee joint.

The knee joint is designed to flex, not rotate.  You want your weight over the front of your ankles so that you activate your glutes, the strongest muscles in your body, for stability and leverage.  This forces you to rotate around your hip joint, which is the way the human body is designed to move.  This means you can generate enormous power and speed without fear of injury.

The stance width and lateral position of the golf ball remain the same for all clubs when making a standard full swing from a normal lie.  The driver is a special case, as are speciality shots like chip shots and sand play, and these are discussed separately.

Most tuition describes stance width in relation to your shoulders, this is incorrect.  You rotate around your hip joints, so, for stability and a consistent impact position, you need to build your stance around your hips.  We will teach you how to move your body so as to deliver the club head powerfully to the same impact position, relative to your body, every time.  So why move the golf ball back in your stance or widen your stance width?

  • Your stance width will probably seem fairly narrow, each foot being the diameter of 2 golf balls outside of hip centre.  Stand in a relaxed position with your legs straight down, then move each foot outwards by the diameter of 2 golf balls (about the same as the width as the heels on your golf shoes).  This will enable you to shift your weight correctly and consistently while providing adequate stability.  The golf swing is primarily rotational, there is some small lateral movement as you shift your weight and move over the left side for impact, but not a big sway or “heave” through the ball.
  • Activate your abdominal muscles, pulling them in and up, engaging the pelvic floor muscles — feel like you are pulling the pelvic floor up and in toward the centre line.
  • Your shoulders should be depressed and retracted, activating the big trapezius and oblique muscles and making your core feel “connected”.
  • Your ankles are rolled in slightly to place your weight inside the ankle for greater stability.
  • The golf ball is positioned one golf ball diameter inside your left heel, your head is behind the ball.
  • Your feet should point straight ahead.  If you have restricted hip movement you may angle your left foot outwards slightly (up to 30°), but this is rarely necessary.
  • Bend from your hips to address the ball, letting your hips drop back as you keep your torso in good posture, your spine intact. This should give you a great flat back, great posture.
  • Your arms should be free of tension, hanging directly beneath your shoulders.
  • Your spine angle towards the ball will be slightly more upright as the golf club gets longer and you stand further from the golf ball, which will naturally move your hands slightly further away from your body as your chest pushes your upper arms out.
  • Your knees should be relaxed, with the back of each knee directly over the back of the ankle joint.
  • You should feel balanced over the inside-front of your ankles.
  • Keep your chin up, your chest up and out.
  • With the club in your left hand, the back of your hand should be level with the inside of your left thigh.  Throughout setup, the club shaft should remain vertical when viewed from face on.
  • Bring your right hand to the club by tilting the whole of your core to the right as you move your hips one golf ball diameter to the left, keeping your head still, your spine intact and your shoulders retracted.  Your sternum (or the buttons on your shirt) should point towards the inside of your left knee.
  • The fronts of your elbows (the antecubital region) will point straight forward when standing in good posture.  As you take your grip, your left elbow can be allowed to naturally rotate internally (clockwise) a little, but you should externally (anti-clockwise) rotate your right elbow a little, so that if you “curled” your right arm by flexing the elbow, the your hand would be lifted more towards the right side of your body, not in front of your face.
  • The “V”s of both hands should be parallel and pointing towards your right ear, with no gap between the thumb and index finger of each hand.
  • Your grip pressure should be as light as possible without letting go of the club during the swing, and the wrists should be loose and free of tension.

 

You can learn how to set up to the golf ball perfectly, every time, by performing the drills in the full swing setup section of the Swing Like a Champion system, starting with Golf Swing 101 – Setup: Basic Posture.

 

The Takeaway

This is a very simple movement that almost all amateurs do incorrectly because they’re not taught how to move.

You can make a terrible takeaway and still make a good swing, but you’ll have to make compensations throughout the rest of your swing that require precise timing, leading to inconsistency for even the very best players.

Golf Loopy will quickly teach you how to do this move properly and your game will improve immediately.

 

  • Keeping your hands, arms and shoulders passive, and your body in good posture, rotate your chest by using your core muscles, especially your obliques, to pull your upper body around.
  • Your shoulder blades should remain depressed, in good posture.  Your left shoulder will protract slightly as you feel a reach in your left arm, but your right shoulder will remain firmly retracted.
  • Your hips should not rotate during the takeaway, but your whole spine may shift very slightly to the right to facilitate weight shift.  It is vital that you separate the rotation of your shoulders from the rotation of your hips right from the start, as this will help your brain to trigger the correct sequencing on the downswing.
  • Shift your weight by pushing your right heel into the ground through the inside of your ankle.
  • Feel loaded into your right ankle and right glutes.
  • Your hands remain directly in front of your sternum as your chest rotates.
  • Your shoulders flex very slightly.
  • Your left wrist begins to slightly internally rotate so that the club face points vertically when the shaft reaches parallel to the ground.
  • Both arms remain straight, and your right arm should be externally rotated, the inside of your right elbow will be pointing up at the sky.
  • At the end of the takeaway, when the shaft reaches parallel to the ground, your hands will be above your toes and your thumbs at the same height as your trouser pocket when viewed from down the line.  The golf club head will be outside your hands, and the club face slightly “toed in”.

 

You can learn how to make a great golf swing takeaway, every time, by performing the drills in the full swing takeaway section of the Swing Like a Champion system, starting with Golf Swing 201 – Takeaway: The Perfect Golf Swing Takeaway.

 

The Backswing

Again, this is a very simple and relatively small movement.  You’ll learn that the arms don’t have to swing across the body or go really high to hit the ball a long way, in fact you’re losing power and introducing inconsistency that way.

The most effective way to swing the golf club is to keep the arms in front of the chest and connected to the powerful muscles in the core.  You’ll use bigger muscles and generate much more club head speed.  Your arms won’t have to race your chest back down and rely on perfect timing to strike the ball well.

You’ll learn how the golf swing is powered by “pulling” with the big muscles of the legs and core.  Throughout nature, pulling is much more effective and stable than pushing, the golf swing is a prime example.

You’ll notice something here that will improve your golf swing immediately.  You turn your shoulders not by reaching across with the left shoulder (pushing), but by pulling on the right shoulder blade.  Before they come to us, many of our students have decided (or been taught!) that they can’t make a full shoulder turn.  When you know how to move it’s easy, we’ve never met a golfer who couldn’t do it.

During the takeaway, the hands and golf club move primarily laterally (caused by turning the shoulders), 6 parts back (away from the target) to 1 part up (in front of the chest) as the right shoulder blade pulls back and down, the backswing is primarily vertical, 6 parts up to 1 part back, as you continue to pull the shoulder blade and the shoulders flex.  For takeaway through backswing, think “back then up”.

 

  • Continue to turn your upper body, now by pulling your right shoulder blade in and down (towards your spine).  Note that, because you are in correct posture from setup, your shoulder blades are already retracted, so this move won’t pull your right shoulder down, it will rotate your chest and shoulders perpendicular to your spine.
  • Your left shoulder is relaxed and passive, it must never push.
  • Your shoulders flex to bring your right elbow level with your right pectorals.
  • Your right arm flexes while remaining in front of, but with your elbow always below, your shoulder, drawing your (straight) left arm in front of your chest.
  • Your upper right arm externally rotates a little to keep the club on plane.
  • At the top, your right forearm points straight down and your hands are level with the top of your head, your left arm is straight but relaxed, and your left wrist is flat.
  • Everything is pulled by your right side, by your right shoulder blade, obliques, hip muscles and glutes.
  • Your left shoulder is pulled across very slightly, but your right shoulder remains depressed and firmly connected to your core.
  • Your arms and hands should remain relaxed and free of tension, but at the top you will have coiled your torso enough for your back to face the target, which would restrict your breathing if you were to try and hold that position.

Your new golf swing will probably feel short, you’ve made a full shoulder turn without pushing your arms across your chest, so the club won’t reach parallel.  This is correct.  The power of the swing comes from your full shoulder turn and stretching the muscles in your core in the transition, and activating your glutes in the downswing, not from the distance the club travels.  Swinging your arms across your body independently of your shoulders would only mean you’d have to race your arms to catch up with your body on the way back down, separating them from the power of your core, and you’d need perfect timing to hit the ball well.

You can learn how to make a great golf backswing by performing the drills in the backwing section of the Golf Loopy Swing Like a Champion system.

 

The Downswing

Just as the backswing was made by pulling with the right side of the body (the right shoulder blade in particular), the downswing is powered predominantly by pulling with the left side, this time with the core muscles in the hip and trunk as the left leg (glute) drives into the ground.

It is useful to think of the golf club as a whip rather than a bat.  You’re trying to generate maximum club head speed through impact by “cracking the whip” at the right time.  When you start to time it correctly, you’ll feel the club “snap” through impact.

Again, you’re always pulling with your muscles.  By pulling in the correct sequence, you’ll be able to create a solid and stable base, to stretch and fire the biggest and most powerful muscles efficiently.  We’ll teach you how to sequence this correctly to generate tour-calibre lag and maximise club head speed through impact.

You should feel as if your body is moving in the opposite direction to the golf club at all times.  During the downswing you’re pulling the left side away from the club.

By pulling with the left side of our core and planting our left heel, you are able to maintain your spine angle for accurate and powerful ball striking.  Pushing with the right side causes your hips to come in towards the ball and makes you stand up out of the shot.

  • The first move down is to shift your weight over your left ankle by pulling with your hip and activating the left glute for stability.
  • There is a transition between backswing and downswing where your right shoulder blade is still pulling back as your left hip pulls back down.
  • The aim at the beginning is to stretch the big muscles in your left left side, specifically the obliques, to enable them to pull powerfully a moment later once your weight has shifted.
  • Your left ankle pushes into the ground, activating the left glutes.
  • Your upper body, shoulders and arms, are passive. They will begin to drop as a consequence of pulling with your left side, but you won’t actively engage them until late in the downswing.
  • Once the majority of your weight is over your left ankle (your hands will have dropped naturally straight down below your shoulders) you pull with your left obliques.
  • If you’re doing this properly then the golf swing will feel almost effortless, but you’ll hit the ball further than ever, and after a round of golf your obliques will feel like they’ve had a workout.
  • Remember, you are pulling with your left side, not pushing with your right.
  • If you fire your upper body too early you will be throwing away most of your club head speed.
  • As the club continues to drop, you begin to pull down with your right arm, as if you’re trying to pull the handle off the club.
  • Your right arm (primarily the triceps) fires into impact much like it would if you were skimming a stone on a pond.
  • Your grip pressure should feel light and consistent throughout the swing, with no tension in your wrists.  In actual fact your grip pressure will increase in response the club getting heavier due to centrifugal force, but it feels the same throughout the swing.
  • As you release the club through impact, your right hand is done, it’s still on the club to help control it a little, but it’s involvement is essentially over.  If you’re still trying to add speed with your right hand at impact, you’ll interfere with a free release and actually slow the club head down.
  • The left hand is responsible for controlling the club face.
  • At impact, your right shoulder should remain connected and back, it almost pauses as the club releases (“snaps”) through impact.
  • At impact, 85% of your weight is over the left ankle, and your head is still behind the ball.
  • Your left ankle, left knee, centre of your left hip, and centre of your left shoulder, are all aligned vertically at impact.
  • At impact, the golf club is de-lofted, with the hands ahead of the ball and the back of the left hand angled slightly down towards the ground.
  • The left side of your core continues to pull through impact.

 

You can learn how to make a great golf downswing by performing the drills in the transition and downwing sections of the Golf Loopy Swing Like a Champion system.

 

The Follow-Through

Much like the takeaway, some might regard the follow-through as irrelevant, the ball has already gone, what difference does it make?

Well, by learning to do it properly you can ensure that you release the club properly for maximum club head speed and accuracy, and you can improve your consistency.

We’ll also teach you how to monitor your follow-through to help analyse what may have gone wrong earlier in the swing.

 

  • You continue to rotate into the follow-through, still pulling with the left side of your core.
  • Your head stays down and back.
  • You don’t “keep your head still”, you will allow it to be pulled around at the top of the follow-through.  You do, however, need to keep your head down, and your eyes on where the ball was, after impact and well into the follow-through.
  • Because you continue to pull with your left side and have all of your weight over your left ankle, you are able to maintain your spine angle long into the follow-through.
  • Your finish will be well balanced over your left ankle, only the tip of your right shoe will be touching the ground for balance, indicating a full and correct weight shift.

 

You can learn more about what makes a great golf follow-through in the follow-through section of the Golf Loopy Swing Like a Champion system.

 

If you have any questions or comments about this or other articles on Golf Loopy, please send us an email.

 

So let’s get started building the golf swing of your dreams, take a look at How to Use the Full Swing System then begin with Golf Swing 101 – Setup: Basic Posture as part of the 8 Weeks to a Great Golf Swing programme.

 

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