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3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

You have probably heard these 3 golf swing tips by well intentioned playing partners or golf pros many times however they are pure RUBBISH!!

I'd be curious how many golfers on this forum have heard these very common so called golf swing tips.

1. RELAX - Pure rubbish! How many times have you heard this golf swing tip from a golf pro or a playing partner? The golf swing is a violent action - is there any other violent action you take when you relax? - of course not - This is foolish advice.

2. Be Loose. This is the second cousin of "Relax". When you are "loose" in the golf swing your hips are NOT restricted therefore you will NOT have that important coil in your backswing and your swing will leak power.

3. Take The Club Back Inside - More rubbish! I'm sure you've heard many times how the correct golf swing is from the inside. So some golfers yank the club way inside early in their backswing thinking this will allow them to hit from the inside. These golfers are shocked when they still hit the golf ball from the outside. Hitting the golf ball from the inside comes from proper hip and shoulder action at the start of the downswing. You can take the club back way outside and still hit the ball from the inside - look at Jim Furyk - he takes the club way back to the outside however his move from the top of the swing is pure and from the inside.

Hit 'em Long and Straight!

--John
post #2 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

Well saying the word "relax" without any context is pretty useless. But it is not always golf advice as much as it is a state of mind. I could say "relax your grip a bit", that may be good advice. I could say "relax" as in calm down which is good advice. I don't remember anybody telling me to stay loose.

As for "take the club inside" that advice in itself is probably taken the wrong way. It should be accompanied with a lot of detail.
post #3 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

I agree somewhat, but I think you'll have to read more into what the points mean.

1: You're not supposed to bring a chair on the course, but hitting it as hard and as fast as you can rarely produce good results. The thing is to swing smooth and don't rush it.

2: Being too lose won't help, but we're not talking about relaxing all your muscles. Of course you have to stretch your arms and use your body, but holding the club too hard or trying to throw the club down doesn't work for me.

3: The idea, as far as I've understood, is that you should take the club away somewhat on the plane of the shaft when you take your stance. Of course, you can take the club away any way you want to, but if you take it away outside the line, the chances of you coming down the same plane are higher than if you took it away inside. Using Furyk as an example is a bit cheap, he's got a very weird swing, most players do not swing like he does. Just because he's got a weird swing doesn't mean everyone else should swing like that. You can take the club away on the outside and come down on the inside, you can also take it away on the inside and come out on the outside, but I still think it's useful to take the club away somewhat on the plane of where you want to come down.
post #4 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

I disagree.

What would your advise be in contrast? Grip tightly? Swing with a lot of tension? In my swing, those things are speed killers. I swing my best when I am loose and relaxed.

I can't tell you how many people I've watched swing with the death grip and violent lurch, giving them zero chance of success.
post #5 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

Points 1 & 2 would take a book to do justice. Consider that it takes hand STRENGTH to hold the club lightly, and it takes directional strength to relax the body during the swing, so which came first, the strength or directional education? There are many different muscular tensions which can be employed throughout the body to assist in manufacturing clubhead velocity. The more those are understood and strengthened, the subtler, or looser they can be employed. If educated and strengthened, loose is much better than tight, but loose just for loose sake is counterproductive.

In point 3, the club isn't "taken" one direction of the other unless the swing is powered by the extremities of the hands. If the swing is more efficiently powered by rotation of the core, the club will then follow the path dictated by the rotation of the torso and angle of the spine/thighs.
post #6 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

I think you just read Joe Dante's book, "Four Magic moves to better Golf" where he states just that.

Did anyone ever say to take the club back inside. I don't think so.

Look at any good pro golfer with muscle tone and you will the lead forearm is much larger and stronger than the back one. Clearly, brute strength is applied somewhere in the swing with the lead hand way beyond holding Sam Snead's little bird. Dante believed a good player uses the hand to hold the lag in the downswing.

While you may be able to play with a tight grip, I think it is a problem if the tension creeps into the core muscles
post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

Originally Posted by wachesawgolfer View Post
I think you just read Joe Dante's book, "Four Magic moves to better Golf" where he states just that.

Did anyone ever say to take the club back inside. I don't think so.

Look at any good pro golfer with muscle tone and you will the lead forearm is much larger and stronger than the back one. Clearly, brute strength is applied somewhere in the swing with the lead hand way beyond holding Sam Snead's little bird. Dante believed a good player uses the hand to hold the lag in the downswing.

While you may be able to play with a tight grip, I think it is a problem if the tension creeps into the core muscles
Yes, I did get this from Dante's book...his golf instructional book has helped me more than all the other golf books I have read COMBINED!

--John
post #8 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

Originally Posted by lynchjo View Post
Hi all,

You have probably heard these 3 golf swing tips by well intentioned playing partners or golf pros many times however they are pure RUBBISH!!

I'd be curious how many golfers on this forum have heard these very common so called golf swing tips.

1. RELAX - Pure rubbish! How many times have you heard this golf swing tip from a golf pro or a playing partner? The golf swing is a violent action - is there any other violent action you take when you relax? - of course not - This is foolish advice.

2. Be Loose. This is the second cousin of "Relax". When you are "loose" in the golf swing your hips are NOT restricted therefore you will NOT have that important coil in your backswing and your swing will leak power.

3. Take The Club Back Inside - More rubbish! I'm sure you've heard many times how the correct golf swing is from the inside. So some golfers yank the club way inside early in their backswing thinking this will allow them to hit from the inside. These golfers are shocked when they still hit the golf ball from the outside. Hitting the golf ball from the inside comes from proper hip and shoulder action at the start of the downswing. You can take the club back way outside and still hit the ball from the inside - look at Jim Furyk - he takes the club way back to the outside however his move from the top of the swing is pure and from the inside.

Hit 'em Long and Straight!

--John
I hope this is a joke...I completely disagree.
In a previous post in another thread http://thesandtrap.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8987
Originally Posted by lynchjo View Post
During your practice swing your big muscles are loose because their is no ball to distract you, therefore your swing is smooth and rhythmic. Put a ball down and most amatuers become "ball bound" and tense the big muscles resulting in a not so effective swing...loose muscles are fast muscles...tense muscles kill the golf swing
So this is 180* from what you had posted. This forum is here to help other golfers, not hinder thier progression. Remember, bad advice is worse than no advice.

And I would warn any double digit handicappers from following his advice. Tension locks up your wrists preventing them from turning over at impact. It's proven. You obviously don't want your wrists and club "loose" at the top because that would promote inconsistant ballstriking, but staying "loose" and relaxed with your repeatable swing is what you're looking for.

You'd be hard pressed to find any + handicap player, PGA Pro, top 100 teacher, or any golf pro worth his pay that would agree that you should have a death grip and swing tight. They'll all say that the swing is a fluid mechanic with tempo. You don't see PGA Pro's with white knuckles and gritting teeth before they hit that approach shout or putt on the 18th while in the hunt. You see them breathing deeply and taking easy practice swings to "stay loose". The whole purpose of the waggle is to remove tension before the swing.
As far as bringing the club inside, I think it's more of a thought process during the takeaway than anything for helping those that have an outside-in swing. By telling them to take the club inside it makes them turn thier hips. You just can't tell a high handicapper to turn thier hips, they wont understand what it does, but bringing the club back inside is something they can understand and see. That said, You HAVE to bring the club inside on the backswing. No way around it. The better the player, the sooner the club comes back and in, it's a matter of mechanics when the hips turn. Better players turn thier hips better than high handicappers. I'll guarantee you can't not bring the club inside during your hip turn and hit it consistantly. I've watched my instructor teach new golfers with a crazy and unorthadox aid...the computer chair. He'll have the student sit it it and lock it in place and have the student hit the ball. Then he unlocks it so it swivels and tells the student to use his legs to turn the chair 45* back on the backswing and thru to 45* towards the target. Guess which way hits the ball further and more consistant. This stunt educates the student on the importance of using your legs and hip turns to hit the ball correctly with distance and accuracy. It demonstrates the arm swing vs the body swing.
post #9 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

I just went and hit a few balls as tense as possible and taking the club outside, and the craziest thing happened: I whiffed.

I knew your advice couldn't be wrong so I thought it must have been something I was doing. I went back and re-read your post, but I found I was following it closely so i went back out and tried it again. I made contact, but this time it was a feeble slice that went about 80 yards.

Hmm...

"Maybe I've been swinging correctly all along," I thought to myself. "Maybe this guy is just an idiot."

I loosened up and took the club back inside, and you'll never guess the result! It was a 290 yarder with a 2 yard draw. I'll take it.
post #10 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

Points 1 and 2 couldn't be more wrong. Show me a Pro that looks tensed up and rigid in their swing.......
post #11 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

Originally Posted by lynchjo View Post
1. RELAX - Pure rubbish! How many times have you heard this golf swing tip from a golf pro or a playing partner? The golf swing is a violent action - is there any other violent action you take when you relax? - of course not - This is foolish advice.

2. Be Loose. This is the second cousin of "Relax". When you are "loose" in the golf swing your hips are NOT restricted therefore you will NOT have that important coil in your backswing and your swing will leak power.


Hit 'em Long and Straight!

--John
Relax is a good tip when it pertains to the tension in the arms and the hands. A stiffer set up will hinder the rotation in the backswing and the rotation in the downswing/followthrough.

Referring to being loose, it is a similar philosophy with regard to the arms. As I try to follow in the 5 Lessons, I keep my right knee positioned so I do not sway to the side on the backswing. I don't think being loose referred entirely to the base of the stances (legs/feet). The excessive rotation by lifting the left foot and straightening the right leg will hinder the ability to achieve contact consistently.

The two biggest "Tips" that are a hindrance are "Keep your head down" and "Keep your left arm straight". Those two tips lead to the unnecessary tension in the swing.
post #12 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

Originally Posted by lynchjo View Post
Yes, I did get this from Dante's book...his golf instructional book has helped me more than all the other golf books I have read COMBINED!

--John
That's very interesting. Dante's book did not help me at all. For me it was "The Golf Swing and Its Master Key Explained" by Noel Thomas. I guess that just proves the old saying, "What works for one, may not work for another."

There is something else that should be kept in mind about golf instruction or swing tips. A lot of things can be overdone. As Harvey Penick said, "If I tell you to take an aspirin, don't take the whole bottle."
post #13 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

Originally Posted by rubbery View Post
I just went and hit a few balls as tense as possible and taking the club outside, and the craziest thing happened: I whiffed.

I knew your advice couldn't be wrong so I thought it must have been something I was doing. I went back and re-read your post, but I found I was following it closely so i went back out and tried it again. I made contact, but this time it was a feeble slice that went about 80 yards.

Hmm...

"Maybe I've been swinging correctly all along," I thought to myself. "Maybe this guy is just an idiot."

I loosened up and took the club back inside, and you'll never guess the result! It was a 290 yarder with a 2 yard draw. I'll take it.
Thanks Rubbery, your post had me laughing.

The OP really is rubbish spawned by the era of "power addicted golf". Just read any of the classic golf instructional books and you will learn that relaxed yet athletic poise is incredibly important. Restrict the hip turn? Lots of amateurs don't turn enough. Just look at Bobby Jones. His hip turn was huge. A good number of pros have large hip turn today, and they generate plenty of power.

Peter Kostis drives me nuts with some of the same stuff. I have some of his golf books, and even he admits that the hips must turn, that you need some lateral transfer, some weight shift, etc. Then he goes on to the Konaka Minolta SwingVision BizHub Camera (man I hate that line already) and makes everyone think you need to swing with stiff hips, one-plane, flat wrists, etc. The golf industry needs to stop this "power mechanics analysis mentality" and get back to golf "the ultimate game of feel and control". The average golfer needs to learn smoothness and tempo, not "grip it and rip it".

In regards to the hips, the X-Factor stuff is hogwash. Even the guy who came up with it later came out and said he was wrong and misleading. Now we have a generation of golfers who are physically trying to restrict the body's motion throughout the swing. In reality, the torque is created in the swing by a full turn, and the correct progression of motion on the downswing. Learn to manage the hip turn and you can release even more power from the body. Just look up Shawn Clement on Youtube if you want more proof.

We need to stop teaching people to STRIKE the ball and start teaching them how to SWING the golf club. Golf is not a game restricted to the athletically perfect. Take it from Ben Hogan himself, I'll paraphrase, "a fundamentally correct golf swing is not a violent exertion, it is a physical pleasure" or his most famous line, again paraphrased, "any person of average coordination, with dedicated practice, is fully capable of breaking 80." And by the way, look at Hogan's hips. Those suckers rotated too.

For me, golf is very much like learning to play the piano. I started learning piano at age 5, and I have played seriously ever since, taking classical and jazz instruction. You don't start a pianist with Debussy or Rachmaninoff. You learn the basics, in painstaking slow motion, you learn touch, you learn tempo, then you work up to greater and greater pieces of complexity. Approaching golf in the same way, we learn how to putt, we learn how to chip, we learn how to make short pitches, we learn how to hit short irons, long irons, then woods and drivers. All along we are focusing on tempo and feel, memorizing what works and what doesn't. In the end, it takes the greatest ingredients to success in any endeavor...

patience, dedication, and time.

I'll close by quoting Ben Hogan one last time:

"The secret is in the dirt"
post #14 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

Originally Posted by titaniummd View Post
Relax is a good tip when it pertains to the tension in the arms and the hands. A stiffer set up will hinder the rotation in the backswing and the rotation in the downswing/followthrough.

Referring to being loose, it is a similar philosophy with regard to the arms. As I try to follow in the 5 Lessons, I keep my right knee positioned so I do not sway to the side on the backswing. I don't think being loose referred entirely to the base of the stances (legs/feet). The excessive rotation by lifting the left foot and straightening the right leg will hinder the ability to achieve contact consistently.

The two biggest "Tips" that are a hindrance are "Keep your head down" and "Keep your left arm straight". Those two tips lead to the unnecessary tension in the swing.
You sir are correct. Those are exactly the things I expected to read when I first openned this post.
post #15 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

Originally Posted by kc8kir View Post
Just read any of the classic golf instructional books and you will learn that relaxed yet athletic poise is incredibly important.
Hogan said the same thing in his SI articles. I think relaxed athletic position is the best description. Which is opposite to relaxed couch potato position. :)
post #16 of 40

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

AAAAND the #1 swing tip that destroys a golfer's swing:
-Using Jim Furyk as an example of someone that goes against the norm but still gets it to work.

Honestly - the first two tips you mentioned are not as black and white as you put it. Relaxed muscles mean there's no tension (esp. in the arms). And we all know what tense muscles do to a golf swing. It seems you're a very good golfer, but I would have to disagree with you on your examples. Let's be a bit more specific
post #17 of 40
Thread Starter 

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

Originally Posted by NBGC View Post
I hope this is a joke...I completely disagree.
In a previous post in another thread http://thesandtrap.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8987

So this is 180* from what you had posted. This forum is here to help other golfers, not hinder thier progression. Remember, bad advice is worse than no advice.

And I would warn any double digit handicappers from following his advice. Tension locks up your wrists preventing them from turning over at impact. It's proven. You obviously don't want your wrists and club "loose" at the top because that would promote inconsistant ballstriking, but staying "loose" and relaxed with your repeatable swing is what you're looking for.

You'd be hard pressed to find any + handicap player, PGA Pro, top 100 teacher, or any golf pro worth his pay that would agree that you should have a death grip and swing tight. They'll all say that the swing is a fluid mechanic with tempo. You don't see PGA Pro's with white knuckles and gritting teeth before they hit that approach shout or putt on the 18th while in the hunt. You see them breathing deeply and taking easy practice swings to "stay loose". The whole purpose of the waggle is to remove tension before the swing.
As far as bringing the club inside, I think it's more of a thought process during the takeaway than anything for helping those that have an outside-in swing. By telling them to take the club inside it makes them turn thier hips. You just can't tell a high handicapper to turn thier hips, they wont understand what it does, but bringing the club back inside is something they can understand and see. That said, You HAVE to bring the club inside on the backswing. No way around it. The better the player, the sooner the club comes back and in, it's a matter of mechanics when the hips turn. Better players turn thier hips better than high handicappers. I'll guarantee you can't not bring the club inside during your hip turn and hit it consistantly. I've watched my instructor teach new golfers with a crazy and unorthadox aid...the computer chair. He'll have the student sit it it and lock it in place and have the student hit the ball. Then he unlocks it so it swivels and tells the student to use his legs to turn the chair 45* back on the backswing and thru to 45* towards the target. Guess which way hits the ball further and more consistant. This stunt educates the student on the importance of using your legs and hip turns to hit the ball correctly with distance and accuracy. It demonstrates the arm swing vs the body swing.

No where in my original post did I say "be tense" or have a "death grip" when you swing the club...it's amazing how some people take what you say out of context..reminds me of the presidential debates...

The point I am trying to make is you cannot simply tell a golfer to "relax", or be "loose" and this will magically fix whatever golf swing fault he/she may have...look at Tiger's face at impact when he pounds a 350 yard drive, does he look relaxed to you??

You see this all the time on the golf course. Poor Fred is hitting the ball side ways and his buddies tell him to "relax Fred". What happens, he tries to relax and hits it worse, if at all.

Yes, pro golfers have rhythmic and smooth golf swings however I would certainly not call them "relaxed swings"...so maybe we are hung up on semantics.

Hogan said he liked to feel his muscles were "alive" when he took his stance...no time does he ever say to relax. Later in his career when he developed his power fade he liked to say his grip was a 5 or 6 on a scale 1 to 10..not a relaxed grip, certainly not a death grip.

I feel the proper golf swing is somewhere between "relaxed" and "death grip"...each golfer needs to find his/her wheel house on their own...the teacher can only lead...real learning comes from within...

Hope I have clarified.

--John
post #18 of 40
Thread Starter 

Re: 3 Golf Swing Tips That Are Destroying Golfer's Swings!

Originally Posted by NBGC View Post
I hope this is a joke...I completely disagree.
In a previous post in another thread http://thesandtrap.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8987

So this is 180* from what you had posted. This forum is here to help other golfers, not hinder thier progression. Remember, bad advice is worse than no advice.

And I would warn any double digit handicappers from following his advice. Tension locks up your wrists preventing them from turning over at impact. It's proven. You obviously don't want your wrists and club "loose" at the top because that would promote inconsistant ballstriking, but staying "loose" and relaxed with your repeatable swing is what you're looking for.

You'd be hard pressed to find any + handicap player, PGA Pro, top 100 teacher, or any golf pro worth his pay that would agree that you should have a death grip and swing tight. They'll all say that the swing is a fluid mechanic with tempo. You don't see PGA Pro's with white knuckles and gritting teeth before they hit that approach shout or putt on the 18th while in the hunt. You see them breathing deeply and taking easy practice swings to "stay loose". The whole purpose of the waggle is to remove tension before the swing.
As far as bringing the club inside, I think it's more of a thought process during the takeaway than anything for helping those that have an outside-in swing. By telling them to take the club inside it makes them turn thier hips. You just can't tell a high handicapper to turn thier hips, they wont understand what it does, but bringing the club back inside is something they can understand and see. That said, You HAVE to bring the club inside on the backswing. No way around it. The better the player, the sooner the club comes back and in, it's a matter of mechanics when the hips turn. Better players turn thier hips better than high handicappers. I'll guarantee you can't not bring the club inside during your hip turn and hit it consistantly. I've watched my instructor teach new golfers with a crazy and unorthadox aid...the computer chair. He'll have the student sit it it and lock it in place and have the student hit the ball. Then he unlocks it so it swivels and tells the student to use his legs to turn the chair 45* back on the backswing and thru to 45* towards the target. Guess which way hits the ball further and more consistant. This stunt educates the student on the importance of using your legs and hip turns to hit the ball correctly with distance and accuracy. It demonstrates the arm swing vs the body swing.
Originally Posted by rubbery View Post
I just went and hit a few balls as tense as possible and taking the club outside, and the craziest thing happened: I whiffed.

I knew your advice couldn't be wrong so I thought it must have been something I was doing. I went back and re-read your post, but I found I was following it closely so i went back out and tried it again. I made contact, but this time it was a feeble slice that went about 80 yards.

Hmm...

"Maybe I've been swinging correctly all along," I thought to myself. "Maybe this guy is just an idiot."

I loosened up and took the club back inside, and you'll never guess the result! It was a 290 yarder with a 2 yard draw. I'll take it.
Ahhh...so you went from a "as tense as possible grip" to a looser one and started smoking the ball 290... maybe your original grip was a little too loose and this little excercise made it a lil more tense, more in the middle of the grip spectrum. Your welcome for leading you down the path to enlightenment...hehehehe. Plato said we should live our lives in the middle of the 2 extremes in everything we do. My guess is you never read Plato.

No where in my post did I say to be "as tense as possible" when you swing (but I'm glad this has helped you find your right grip pressure)...this advice is just as foolish as "relax". Just because one end of the extreme is wrong doesn't mean the other end is correct...if someone told you you need to lose weight because you eat too much would you stop eating all together? This is what you're doing, ...don't ya think?

The proper swing is somewhere between "relaxed" and "tense", I feel the golfer needs to find what works for him...
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