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baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Question at bottom if you want to skip my rambling.

I've been playing golf for about 3 months and I'd like to change my swing.

A while back I started on a quest to cure my slice by going back and changing my grip, alignment... well, everything actually. I didn't change things to compensate for a slice necessarily (as in strenghening grip, closing stance) but rather started from square stance with a fairly nuetral (slightly strong) grip and straight alignment and worked on my swing path and timing.

This made me slice less, but I also lost about 20 yards on my drive and the swing I ended up with just feels unnatural and awkward. And the last few days I've been hooking like crazy.

Having nothing to lose I went back to a more natural feeling swing, i.e. a baseball swing. Not only does it feel nice, it is more powerful. Only trouble is, I slice it.

Nevertheless, it really feels effortless, smooth and powerful enough that I think there is a lot I can take from a baseball swing and apply to my golf swing, so the question is....

What mechanics of a baseball swing need to change to make a successful golf swing? I'm sure it's not exactly the same for everyone, but what worked for you?

Or should I forget about this approach entirely?
post #2 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

Don't think of the shaft as your bat. Think of the clubhead as the bat.
post #3 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

I have a friend who things of his baseball swing as his golf swing. It is very counterproductive in my opinion. He ends up almost shouldering the club on the backswing, he has no width in the arc of his swing. I equate it to a band-aid approach.

I play hockey, and there are definitely elements of a hockey shot that apply to the golf swing motion, but i never think about hockey when playing golf...

I think you need to forget the baseball swing if you care about long term results.
post #4 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

The Keys to the Effortless Golf Swing: Curing Your Hit Impulse in Seven Simple Lessons by Michael Tiegue

http://www.amazon.com/Keys-Effortles...5964455&sr=8-1

Amazon.com

Stop trying to HIT the golf ball (baseball swing) and swing the golf club - the ball doesn't move. Read the book, do the drills and DO the 'lighthouse' drills untill you can repeat it in your sleep. 30 hndcp down to 25 by summer's end. That's my prediction.
post #5 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

from a guy who's been there, go get a series of at least 4 lessons from a good teaching pro, do what he tells you, and practice on the range every day you can.
post #6 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

Golf swing & baseball swing= same thing.

Golf is just a low inside fastball. The move is the same... starts with a weight shift, followed by a rotation of the hips with the hands trailing.
post #7 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

I had the same problem for a little while. I think some of the same basic conceps and physics apply, but overall, it's pretty different. What I mean by that is when you slice and or push the ball, it's a lot of the same things going on as when you go opposite field in baseball. Club face is open and/or behind your hands, just like the bat would be if you were intentionally trying to hit to right field. Things like that have always helped me work out problems. So if I'm slicing or pushing the golf ball, I'll think to myself that I need to accelerate my hands through my swing more, like I'm trying to go to center or left center field, and I may also tee the ball up slightly closer to me, and maybe a little more forward in my stance. As far as the physical actions go, the golf swing should be much more controlled and methodical (if that's the right word for it).

Edit: After I re-read my post, I'm not sure if I made it clear about what I was getting at when I said that I'll move the ball slghtly closer and/or forward. The thought on that is that you pretty much couldnt pull an outside pitch, instead you'd hit a weak dribbler if you tried to do that. Once you get the ball a little closer to you, you get it more in your "wheel house". Like I said though, that's only really a way for me to figure out what's going on. It may not work for everyone though.
post #8 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

I grew up playing baseball and I only more recently got into golf. I started by just trying to swing the club like a baseball bat and my results were the same as yours - a big slice. Then I started doing all kinds of weird things (i.e. flipping my hands) to combat my slice. Don't do what I did.

I recently learned that a good golf swing is fundamentally almost identical to a good baseball swing. The sequencing is the same: hips lead the shoulders, shoulders lead the hands, hands lead the bat/club through the hitting area. Hands/wrists don't roll until after impact. This is how you achieve the coveted "lag" in your golf swing. Take a look at these two pictures to see what I mean...




So what about the slice? As I've learned, you have two options for getting the club face square at impact:

1. Take an extremely strong grip, with your right palm facing the sky. This allows for a pure baseball swing.
2. Take a normal grip but learn to keep a bent right wrist and flat left wrist all the way through impact.

The golfer in the picture up above is using a combination of both techniques.

Tim
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

Thanks to everyone for the replies. Lots of good comments.

Those pics are a great comparison.

I will have a look at that book.

Also the inside pitch and hitting to right field analogies seem valid to me.

A couple of things:

- I definitely don't come close to shouldering the bat (that's pretty funny)
- I have taken lessons... and (now that I think about it) one of the things my instructor had me do was practice swing more like a baseball swing because he saw that my rythmn and sequencing were a lot better when I swung chest high or even a foot or two higher than the ground. Somehow that sequence/rythmn breaks down a bit during a golf swing. That is probably the essence of what I'm looking for here.

I would say that I am trying to hit the ball... I will check out those lighthouse drills. I think you're being a bit conservative though... plus 20 yards and on the fairway will take more than 5 off my handicap easily I think ;)

In the shorter term I'm going to try to keep the flat left wrist and bent right like in the pic and see how that goes.
post #10 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

I'll be honest, one of the hardest things I fight is the urge to lift my front foot and step to ensure that big weight shift. It's so tempting, because you know that if done correctly, you'll get some extra distance. There's a good video of Paddy out there, I think it's one of the vids where he does the Happy Gilmore, and he takes a small step forward in his swing to ensure he's shifting his weight. I think he even says that he'll regularly do that when he's warming up. Of course, the reason not to incorporate that into his swings on the tee box is because it's so much more inconsistent.
post #11 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

Originally Posted by iWALK18 View Post
I play hockey, and there are definitely elements of a hockey shot that apply to the golf swing motion, but i never think about hockey when playing golf...
Agreed. While the mechanics of the swing are very, very different, the swing plane is much the same in a good slapshot.

We even curve our blades for control and loft. Different people like different amounts of and types of curve.
post #12 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

Originally Posted by ApocG10 View Post
Agreed. While the mechanics of the swing are very, very different, the swing plane is much the same in a good slapshot.

We even curve our blades for control and loft. Different people like different amounts of and types of curve.
And for any good slapshot, you at hitting the puck "fat"... not a good golf thought.
post #13 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

Originally Posted by daveh View Post

- I definitely don't come close to shouldering the bat (that's pretty funny)
Good! Maybe my buddy just gives baseball swingers a bad name.
post #14 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

Originally Posted by daveh View Post
I would say that I am trying to hit the ball... I will check out those lighthouse drills. I think you're being a bit conservative though... plus 20 yards and on the fairway will take more than 5 off my handicap easily I think ;)
Two things my friend ... I HOPE that I am conservative and that you knock off 10 points from your handicap before August and stay engaged while learning the love/hate dance every golfer has for this sport!!! It can eat you up one day and you can chip in for birdie the next and cannot wait to get back out!

Two, I hope your improvement is only dwarfed by your enthusiasm to continue to improve. Have fun, enjoy and never stop looking for that "next" extra five yards!!!
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

Originally Posted by umpiremark View Post

Two, I hope your improvement is only dwarfed by your enthusiasm to continue to improve. Have fun, enjoy and never stop looking for that "next" extra five yards!!!
Well, I do have enthusiasm... and a season pass. Doing poorly makes me want to go again the next day as much as doing well does.

Thanks for the encouragement!
post #16 of 20

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

I've finally taken a lesson after 7 years of golfing and it helped A LOT! After 2 sessions the local pro has told me 4 things that were wrong with my swing (yes i know that is alot). It's helped to keep my slice under control and get more power to my shot. it definitely takes practice. it's been about 1 month know and things still need work but atleast now i know what to do.

Things I was taught:
1. Weight transfer
2. Slow my swing down
3. Take club straight back and around...almost like twisting my upper body to coil the energy
4. bring left hand through on contact...i'm a lefty

Lessons are worth the money.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice



Hit the course today and tried some things out.

First drive I "tried" to impact as in the picture using what I consider (perhaps wrongly) to be more of a "baseball" swing. Result - wicked and I mean wicked slice.

I gave up and went back to my "golf" swing, the one that I've had some some success with, but feels awkward and is erratic - straight, straight, slice, hook, slice, hook, hook and so on.

One thing I noticed about my "golf" swing is that then it's a solid hit, it's either right down the middle or a push.

The last thing I tried was a change I've recently made to my iron swing that has helped me stop from pulling my shots to the left - a more bent over stance. Along with that, I kept my right arm glued against my body throughout the shot. It felt a little whacky but the result was a long hit with a gentle fade that I can live with.

What I didn't notice until I tried some practice swings at home afterward is gluing my right arm to my body leaves me in a very similar position at impact to the pic above - the one I couldn't achieve by "trying" to.

I'm not yet sure what this all means, but I'm going to keep playing with it.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: baseball swing vs golf swing -- need some advice

Played with this more today. I fouind that keep right arm glued, loose grip, passive arms gave pretty good results. Still needs more work.

This is beginning to sound more like a one plane swing than baseball swing.
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