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Secrets of the Swing; Golf Education Theory The Secrets of the Swing programme was developed to help golf teachers improve their effectiveness. Students who follow the programme will be expected to gain a better understanding of the mechanics of the golf swing and in turn to be able to share this information with their students. The programme grew from a casual conversation. The writers were discussing the teaching of golf and the apparent fact that the average handicap of casual golfers has not improved even with the modern advancements of equipment—clubs, balls, and electronic aides. Perhaps, they surmised, the reason lay with several other factors. These factors include the fact learners and players spend less time on practice, play, and taking lessons, and the traditional method of teaching. The development of the internet has encouraged many golfers to visit the proliferation of golf instruction sites. Although there is much accurate and potentially valuable information online, most golfers do not have the necessary knowledge to sort the correct from the false. Lessons in person with a golfer teacher is the primary means to achieve this and thus make meaningful progress. This prompted a challenge to put on paper the basic principles of teaching alongside the critical components of the golf swing. The handbook is therefore an effort to describe a practical and theoretically based programme to teach golf teachers how to teach. As with all such projects this began as a quest for simplicity; write as few words as will make sense and convey the message. Then the necessity for details and supporting research made its presence known. The purpose has always been to provide a programme designed to help teacher and wouldbe teachers of golf to achieve two simple goals: 1. To better understand the various components of the golf swing and how they interact, and 2. To learn and apply the principles of teaching and learning so students will understand their swing and enjoy the game more. A challenge for the golf teacher is to assist the student to achieve their goals and aspirations while at the same time understanding some of the frustrations and lack of movement awareness many learners experience.

Major Goal The major goal for Secrets of the Swing is to provide qualified golf instructors who will teach students to become more competent and enjoy this amazing game.

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Secrets of the Swing; Golf Education Theory

Definitions The following definitions are used when describing and discussing the various aspects of the programme. 1. ADDRESS THE BALL/SET UP—stand to hit the ball; align with target; use correct posture and grip. 2. BODY—in most cases, unless stated otherwise, reference to the body means the belt buckle/belly button area. 3. SWEEP THE BALL—hit the ball with a sweeping action as opposed to a downward and steeper action. 4. IMPACT—the moment the ball and clubhead make contact. The moment of truth. 5. IMPACT ZONE/AREA—a distance of approximately one (1) metre in the downswing of which half is before and half is after impact. Also referred as the hitting area. 6. SQUARE—unless otherwise stated refers to the relative position in relation to the target line. 7. TARGET/TARGET LINE—the direction in which the golfer intends the ball to travel as it leaves the clubface. The target may or may not coincide with the resting position of the ball after it is hit. 8. PLANE/SWING PLANE—the imaginary path of the club as it travels during the swing.

Common Phrases 1. WRIST COCK—an upwards movement of the clubhead. 2. WRIST BEND—a sideways movement of the clubhead. 3. SWING PLANE—circular motion of the clubhead. Most better players have a more upright backswing and a slightly flatter downswing. Many players swing on one plane. 4. SWAYING—this is an unnecessary sideways movement of the body. 5. WEIGHT SHIFT—this movement towards the target should only begin on the down swing. Weight shift begins from the feet and moves in a chain reaction through the grip to the club. 6. ONE-PIECE TAKEAWAY—hands, arms and body move around together. Practise by placing the butt of the club against your body and executing a half swing. 7. KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN—should be chin up and maintain your balance and posture. Look at the ball subconsciously. 8. WIDTH OF SWING—the distance from the body to the butt end of the club. 9. SLOW DOWN—if you slow down on the downswing you won’t hit the ball very far. 10. GRIP PRESSURE—should feel like holding an injured bird. Pressure will automatically increase at the top of the backswing and through impact.

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Secrets of the Swing; Golf Education Theory

Description of the hitting action A. Downswing to Impact 1. Left arm and shaft are aligned. 2. Right arm is slightly bent at elbow; right hand is bent back (extended) at the wrist. 3. Clubhead swings down rather than out. B. Through Impact 1. Clubhead releases late and square. 2. Left arm bends out (similar to right arm during take away). 3. Right arm is more aligned with the shaft. C. Overall 1. The golf swing is a smooth pendulum-like movement. It does not contain any jerks or sudden rapid accelerations. 2. The weight of the clubhead controls the tempo of the swing and the action, cocking and uncocking, of the hands/wrists. In technical terms this feeling is caused by the centrifugal force which is the sensation of the clubhead feeling as though it is moving away from the centre of the swing. If you release the grip the club will fly off at right angles to the arc of the swing. 3. The body and the grip form the foundation upon which the swing is built. 4. Additional club acceleration is gradually added through the impact zone by the correct use of the hand, arms and unwinding of the body.

Guidelines for a straight shot 1. During a half swing the club and shaft are at right angles to the body. 2. During a half swing the club face is at right angles to the shoulder tilt.

The width of the swing 1. The width of the swing is determined by the distance from the butt of the club to the trunk. 2. A comfortable optimum swing width is achieved by developing a sense of pushing the club away from the axis of rotation, that is, feeling the weight of the clubhead moving in its arc.

How best to achieve four (4) additional manufactured shots 1. Straight High a. Ball more forward at set up. b. More arm swing, less wrists for more low sweeping angle of attack. c. Fuller clubface release straight and up. 2. Straight Low a. b. c. d.

Ball towards centre at set up. Hand more forward. Clubface shuts going back. Steep angle of attack.

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Secrets of the Swing; Golf Education Theory e. Through impact hands forward with clubface square. 3. Fade a. b. c. d.

Aim slightly to the left at set up. Clubface shuts going back and opens coming through. Through impact hands low and forward. Swing line across—out-to-in.

4. Draw a. b. c. d.

Aim slightly to the right at set up. Clubface slightly closed. Through impact hands and clubhead push away from the body. Swing line across—in-to-out.

Basics of Ball Flight. Data gained from studies using Doppler launch monitors, such as FlightScope and Trackman, have provided more accurate information about the factors which influence ball flight.i The two major factors which influence the flight path of the ball: 1. Club face angle at impact, and 2. Swing path relative to the club face.

Swing Path

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Secrets of the Swing; Golf Education Theory

Club face angle at impact.

Club face angle and angle of attack.

Description of the hitting action A. Downswing to Impact 4. Left arm and shaft are aligned. 5. Right arm is slightly bent at elbow; right hand is bent back (extended) at the wrist. 6. Clubhead swings down rather than out. B. Through Impact 4. Clubhead releases late and square. 5


Secrets of the Swing; Golf Education Theory 5. Left arm bends out (similar to right arm during take away). 6. Right arm is more aligned with the shaft. C. Overall 5. The golf swing is a smooth pendulum-like movement. It does not contain any jerks or sudden rapid accelerations. 6. The weight of the clubhead controls the tempo of the swing and the action, cocking and uncocking, of the hands/wrists. In technical terms this feeling is caused by the centrifugal force which is the sensation of the clubhead feeling as though it is moving away from the centre of the swing. If you release the grip the club will fly off at right angles to the arc of the swing. 7. The body and the grip form the foundation upon which the swing is built. 8. Additional club acceleration is gradually added through the impact zone by the correct use of the hand, arms and unwinding of the body. The flight of a centre hit ball is determined by two main factors, the angle of the club face at impact and the relation of the swing path to the club face angle. In technical terms the flight will be a result of these combined forces, called a resultant force. To hit a straight ball the angle of the club face and the swing path must coincide and be straight. Obviously, the ball can finish on the target line when the two combined forces produce the resultant on-target finishing position, for example with pull draw/hook and push fade/slide actions. This is the primary reason to observe the initial direction of travel rather than the finishing position of the ball. When hit off-centre the Gear Effect applies and changes the launch and spin of the shot and therefore the flight pattern and the final finishing position. When the ball is centred at impact 1. the ball starts in the direction of the face angle at impact and 2. it curves away from the club path. The face angle controls approximately 85% of the ball’s starting direction with drivers and with irons approximately 75% of the starting direction. The ratio is reduced as loft is added. The Updated Ball Flight Laws 1. Curvature is created when the path of the club and the face angle point in different directions at impact. 2. When the path and face angle point in the same direction at impact, the ball will travel straight in the direction they are pointing; straight, straight pull, straight push. 3. The ball predominantly starts in the direction of the face angle at impact. 4. The clubface direction at address does not control the face angle direction at impact, although it may be of some influence. 5. The ball curves away from the swing path.

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Secrets of the Swing; Golf Education Theory

Nine Ball Flights

RIGHT-HANDED

LEFT-HANDED

Straight 1. Straight 2. Straight Draw/Hook 3. Straight Fade/Slice

Straight 1. Straight 2. Straight Draw/Hook 3. Straight Fade/Slice

Left

Left

1. Pull 2. Pull Draw/Hook 3. Pull Fade/Slice Right

1. Push 2. Push Draw/Hook 3. Push Fade/Slice Right

1. Push 2. Push Draw/Hook 3. Push Fade/Slice

1. Pull 2. Pull Draw/Hook 3. Pull Fade/Slice

Nine possible ball flight patterns.

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Secrets of the Swing; Golf Education Theory

Laws of the Universe All laws of the universe apply to the golf swing but here we will discuss three; Newton’s laws of motion, laws of angular momentum, and gravity. Newton’s Laws of Motion Everyone will have heard of Newton’s Laws of Motion even if they do not know the details. Here are simple descriptions of the three laws and how they work in the golf swing: 1. The law of inertia; A body stays at rest, or moving in a straight line at constant velocity, unless acted on by an outside force. Obviously in the first instance this law applies to the ball which must be hit by the club to move from its current position. in the second the golfer must move their body and the club to apply the force to the ball. 2. An object will travel in the direction of the applied force and the acceleration will be proportional to the force. A larger force is applied to a 300 metre drive than to a 1 metre putt. In golf the force applied to the ball is most often a result of at least two different forces at impact—the angle of the clubface and the angle of attack. 3. For every action there exists an equal and opposite reaction. The law everyone seems to know. At impact the clubhead pushes against the ball and the ball pushes in the opposite direction against the clubhead. The balls travels in the direction of the clubhead because the applied force is much greater. Compare the results of hitting an impact bag. The golfer must also be in contact with earth at impact so the maximum force it transferred to the ball. Gravity Gravity is everywhere, and affects everything we do. We cannot escape its influence. Gravity keeps us firmly on the ground and returns the ball after its flight. Gravity may be easier to understand in terms of the turning action of the golf swing. Gravity assists in the downswing, helps the ball travel on its approximately parabolic curve, and brings it back to earth. Friction between a spinning ball and air molecules also changes the curve, as can wind, rain, humidity, temperature and altitude. Angular momentum The laws governing angular momentum synchronise with the laws of motion and serve to magnify the forces. The following are important aspects of these two sets of laws in the golf swing. 1. Points close to the axis of rotation, body, arms and hands, travel slower than parts further away, club and clubhead. The club head of the longer clubs travel faster than those of shorter clubs. 2. The faster travelling clubhead will impart more force to the ball. Therefore, the ball will travel faster, further, and sometimes higher than when hit by a shorter club.

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Secrets of the Swing; Golf Education Theory 3. Centrifugal force is the sensation of the clubhead flying away from the centre of rotation. Centripetal force is the effort a golfer applies to prevent the club from slipping from theire hands. The forces are proportional to the length of the club and because the grip prevents the club from flying off at as tangent it seems to take more effort to control a driver than a half wedge shot. It is important for a golfer to learn to feel and use this sensation to sense the head of the club as it travels through the arc like a pendulum. The golfer who understands the laws of the universe and is able to cooperate with them will have gained an important advantage. This advantage is seen as a well-coordinated and seemingly effortless swing. The converse is also true; when a golfer does not know how to use the laws it seems as though they are engaged in an endless struggle.

Take Your Practice Swing onto the Course Surely golf is a simple game. The aim is to hit a stationary round object in to a hole in the ground which is almost twice the diameter of the ball. However, there are some things which are bewildering. Consider ‌ Case 1. A golfer demonstrates an acceptable style of swing--a practice swing. This practice swing is repeated, has rhythm and timing. The club head is now moved behind the stationary ball. The golfer sets their posture and alignment and swings at the ball. The striking swing bears no resemblance to the practice swing. Almost everything has changed: timing and rhythm become jerky, tempo is quickened, and the body assumes weird positions, often with the head being lifted before impact. Looking up to see a bad shot. Case 2. The golfer is able to execute the one-handed drill. The swing is smooth and there is no obvious additional effort to hit the ball. When the club is gripped in two hands the swing becomes uncoordinated and jerky. One may be excused for thinking it is a different person swinging the club. Case 3. On the practice fairway the golfer executes an acceptable swing with more than adequate outcomes. That is, the ball travels in the intended direction. The balls cluster in a reasonably small area around the target or distance marker. The same golfer (Case 3) stands on the first tee in readiness to begin a round. As in case 1 the practice swing matches those executed on the practice fairway. The club head is then placed behind the ball ready to hit the ball. The striking swing is nothing like the practice swings nor the ones executed on the practice fairway. In each case the golfer is unable to take their practice swing on to the golf course. What is the reason for these incidents? Although each golfer would claim their own unique reason for lack of success on the course, the following are presented as a contribution to the discussion. 1. Practice swing. Generally, the golfer focusses on the swing, the rhythm and feeling. Some may watch the club head pass through the field of vision and may feel the whoosh of the club. All the time the focus in on the process. The action.

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Secrets of the Swing; Golf Education Theory Hitting the ball; suddenly the focus is moved. The golfer becomes conscious that the ball is to be hit and most often the maximum distance. This means the outcome has become the focus rather than the process. The golfer has moved ahead of themselves. 2. One-hand drills; there are no serious consequences about the outcome. If one swing is not successful, another ball can be hit. Again, the focus is on the swing, what has to be done. The outcome is a natural consequence of the process. The two-hand grip and swing on the course creates an awareness of consequences of the outcome. Often these thoughts are negative. Memories of past failures, and doubt about the ability to be successful. 3. First Tee, Audience effect; there is no audience on the practice fairway. If anyone is present they are not judgemental because they are focussing on their own swing. In addition, errors and mistakes can be laughed at and other ball hit. Again, the focus is on the process. On the course the perception of the audience changes. The golfer views the audience as judgemental and asks, what if I mess up? Compare this situation to occasions when the golfer plays alone when they do not have an audience. There is also an expectation for golfers to not take too much time over each shot. They are often told, and signs abound with the message to speed up play. Some courses have notices indicating the time it should have taken to reach a particular part of the course. A golfer can use this to justify the need to hurry and as a consequence has an excuse for an error. 4. Self-talk; the simplicity of golf is often compounded by the thoughts and ideas going through the mind of the golfer. Golfers often remember and focus on unsuccessful shots— ball out of bounds on this hole last time; in the rough; in the bunker; a missed putt. All memories of bad outcomes. During practice the golfer expects and anticipates the ball will travel where planned. To repeat, they focus on the process. Practice is associated with positive thoughts where the consequences are simply dealt with. Whereas, on the course expectations are often negative because the consequences are perceived to be more significant. It is not uncommon for a golfer to tell themselves as they prepare to hit, I mustn’t hit it in the water, or out of bounds or into the rough. The ball will obey the laws of the ee. It will travel the distance with the flight and trajectory determined by the direction and amount of force imparted at impact. Therefore, the golfer must learn to take their practice swing and focus to the course. The focus must be on the process and not the outcome.

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Secrets of the Swing; Golf Education Theory

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Stickney II, Tom, (2014). Use the new ball flight laws to understand your tendencies, http://www.golfwrx.com/251459/use-the-new-ball-flight-laws-to-understand-your-tendencies/ accessed 9 January 2019.

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Secrets of the Swing - Background  

Welcome to the Secrets of the Swing. The programme was developed to help golf teachers improve their effectiveness. Students who follow th...

Secrets of the Swing - Background  

Welcome to the Secrets of the Swing. The programme was developed to help golf teachers improve their effectiveness. Students who follow th...