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swing question to people who play tennis and golf

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a theory, but not sure about it, wanted to gather some thoughts. I seems to me that about 2/3 of the way through the backswing in golf, the right arm / hand is roughly in the same position (similiar muscle memory feel) as it is during the tennis serve backswing. At that point however, the path of the club in the golf swing and the path of the racquet in the tennis serve diverge greatly (in tennis this is where your elbow starts separating from your body moving upward into the serve). As a tennis player first I get the feeling I have a strong muscle memory that activates the hand and forearm at that point and subconsciously wants to route it where I would for a serve. I get the feeling that if I can get past that point and resist the muscle memory manipulation, then then the rest of my golf swing continues and I usually have a good swing. If I cannot pass the point without the right arm / hand muscle activation, then the rest of the swing could be just about anything depending on whether it is a little twitch of full fledged yank of the club.

Does this make sense to anyone else? If you play alot more tennis then golf, have you ever noticed an urge to activate the right hand/arm as you are nearing the top of the backswing and subsequently destroy that particular golf swing?

Mainly curious about other thoughts on this.
post #2 of 11

Re: swing question to people who play tennis and golf

I do play tennis and golf but I seem to be better at golf (and now play much more golf than tennis). What you are referring to sounds like what we in golf refer to as the "flying elbow". I had this problem when I first took up golf; I played tennis for years before I ever tried golf. I never thought of my flying elbow as a tennis type move but I guess that it does make sense.
post #3 of 11

Re: swing question to people who play tennis and golf

Originally Posted by pendlebg View Post
I have a theory, but not sure about it, wanted to gather some thoughts. I seems to me that about 2/3 of the way through the backswing in golf, the right arm / hand is roughly in the same position (similiar muscle memory feel) as it is during the tennis serve backswing. At that point however, the path of the club in the golf swing and the path of the racquet in the tennis serve diverge greatly (in tennis this is where your elbow starts separating from your body moving upward into the serve). As a tennis player first I get the feeling I have a strong muscle memory that activates the hand and forearm at that point and subconsciously wants to route it where I would for a serve. I get the feeling that if I can get past that point and resist the muscle memory manipulation, then then the rest of my golf swing continues and I usually have a good swing. If I cannot pass the point without the right arm / hand muscle activation, then the rest of the swing could be just about anything depending on whether it is a little twitch of full fledged yank of the club.

Does this make sense to anyone else? If you play alot more tennis then golf, have you ever noticed an urge to activate the right hand/arm as you are nearing the top of the backswing and subsequently destroy that particular golf swing?

Mainly curious about other thoughts on this.
Very interesting thread. To me, regardless of the swing (tennis or golf), the main swing thought would be : turn your body instead of swing the arm/hand. If I were able to keep my hands / arms quiet, just turn the torso and create lots of lag, I'll be able to hit powerful and controlled shots.
Well, just my two cents.
post #4 of 11

Re: swing question to people who play tennis and golf

I wish I could get the ame smooth change of direction from backswing to forward swing in my folf swing that I have in my tennis serve.
post #5 of 11

Re: swing question to people who play tennis and golf

I used to play a lot of tennis - now just a golfer. I don't feel the similarity WRT the tennis serve. However I do notice a good deal of similarity regarding what the right hand (for righties) is doing on the tennis forehand vs. golf swing. The tennis swing just stops sooner.

dave
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Re: swing question to people who play tennis and golf

thanks for the input. as I said this is jsut a theory.

To what Yamhang said, yes that is my intent, to turn the body and keep the hands/arms out of it. However one of my problems is doing precisely that and I have narrowed it down to one very specific point in the swing where my right arm/hand just jump in and take over. If I make it past that point without it happening, all is good. It seems to me it is the point at which the arm happens to be in the same spot rlative ot the body with the holf swing and the tennis serve.

It is just a theory but for me I personally have hit likely a factor of a hundred more serves in my life then hit golf balls, so am wondering if it is a tenins muscle memory that I am fighting.

Thanks again.
post #7 of 11

Re: swing question to people who play tennis and golf

I think the halfway point of the golf backswing resembles the takeback of a forehand, especially if you have one of those loopy big topspin forehands and use a very western grip, which resembles a strong grip in golf.

The thing about the tennis serve is just before you're set to hit the ball, there's a little relaxation of the wrist so you can achieve that maximum "snap" through the ball to get the "pop" you hear on big serves.

I guess that's similar to the pause at the top of the golf backswing.

I used to play alot of tennis and it influenced my golf swing in a negative way because I hit heavy topspin forehands which for me, promoted wrist breakdown at impact.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Re: swing question to people who play tennis and golf

Thanks all, after a few weeks of working on this, I think the flying elbow was the main culprit. A bit of focus on that and I realised it is a very natural move away from the ball to let the right elbow go out (think of the big "C" arc of the elbow on the tennis forehand, which I have). What I think I discovered is that since it is such a natural move for me, nothing registered in my brain as incorrect until later in the backswing when the body is in full compensation mode to try and recover the swing (which is of course, hopeless).

An interesting corollary came out of that discovery, which I do not know if it is related to tennis in any way, but part of the correction was to eliminate my forward press, which I barely even noticed I was doing (again, just felt natural), but in fact was very forward. Getting the clubhead pointed to the belt buckle instead of the left hip at setup for me helped me to setup at address with no tension in the right hand and arm anywhere and allowed the swing path to controlled by the core and without the right elbow and arm trying to take over. The forward press definitely activated the muscles in the right arm right from setup and they would then just become increasingly more active throughout the entire swing.

Still working on this, but the end result when done properly is a simpler and smoother feeling swing for me.

Thanks for the tips.
post #9 of 11

I'm really struggling with playing both sports - I usually get 2-3 days of tennis in a week, and about the same golf. I'd really hate to give up either, and but would probably stick w/ golf. I'm happy to hear that Matt Kuchar plays both sports and in fact, played tennis the morning before winning the Players Championship.  I'm about the same level in both sports (3.5-4.0 tennis, 10 HCP).  I really think tennis has brought in a "hitch" into my golf swing. In tennis, I have a looping backswing and I think this has screwed up my muscle memory for the golf swing. Anyone finding success in both sports? I'd like to be able to continue both sports, especially since tennis has cardio benefits that you don't get from golf.

post #10 of 11

I have fought right hand involvement in my swing since I started playing golf. The association of a tennis forehand actually was a great help,the rotation,swing plane,also because I was used to imparting spin I have never had to fend of a slice either,and the arms tucking inside you on the way down similar to a double bend forehand to generate power so lots of similar feels to draw on.

 

However because of the aggressive nature of a forehand this has given me one of my biggest flaws choking the club handle,throwing away the lag and hitting behind the ball. So for me the cure was to think in terms of my backhand,being a one hander the turn,maintaining wrist angle right into impact using the core muscles down the right hand side of my body,led to me thinking of doing the same thing just the other way round in a golf swing,which means along with training my left hand side to pull,and workouts with bands to train that direction.

 

I constantly have to work on my right hand being softer than the left hand which I find you can grip fairly tight with your fingers,but the sudden choking with the right spells doom in my swing.

post #11 of 11

While hitting some tennis ground strokes the other day, the tennis pro walks by and says that my right arm is bent/collapsed.  I didn't realize this - and tried to fix it. Started hitting better.

 

But then I see this swing tip from my golf guru and see a big difference between golf and tennis - in golf, the right elbow needs to collapse/bent- see video by Zach Allen -

 

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