Golf Tips - Golf Is A Game of Fluid Motion

By Tom Ward

Whenever and wherever I've been around this country and also outside the U.S., I've observed literally thousands of golf swings. The practice methods I've seen have ranged from unusual to the insane. It reminds me of the old saying, "People work hard climbing the ladder of success only to realize it's been leaning on the wrong side."

Remember - golf, like other sports, is a game of motion. Why is it, then, that motion seems to be so difficult for most people to comprehend. I've come to a number of conclusions. Here are the three most important ones:

Reason #1: Starting the swing from a stationary position.
Reason #2: The golf ball.
Reason #3: The eyes. (physical vs. the mind's)

Starting from a fixed (stationary) position builds up tension which interferes with motion. With the body stationary, it encourages starting the club head first. Once the club head gets ahead of the legs, there is no catching up. In most all other sports, some part of the body is in motion prior to the swing of contact. For instance, when throwing a ball - football, baseball, basketball, or lagging a coin, the feet and legs are in motion prior to the arm swing. This is the reason that the forward press to initiate the swing is so important. Before starting the club, get some part of the body in motion even if just wiggling the toes. Getting the body in motion allows the left side to set up a one-piece takeaway, synchronizing all m otions in proper sequence.

The golf ball is a great hypnotist. Keeping your eyes fixed on the ball is like a hypnotist staring into your eyes. The ball then hypnotizes you into hitting it. Any attempt to hit with the hands will break the wrist, throwing the club head out of position. Remember, the ball is not your target - the fairway and the green are your objects that you' re swinging to, your targets.

I'm going to pass this thought on to you that's helped me when I've taught the blind: Substitute sound for sight. Concentrate on hearing the sound the club head makes when contacting the ball. That sound can tell you a lot, as well as taking your mind off hitting.

Physical vs. mind's eye: For the body to swing the club to the target, you must first see the target - and since the head is not in position for the physical eye to see the target, we must train the mind's eye to see it. This takes understanding and visualization. When the swing gets underway, the mind's eye must be in control of the physical eye. The player must project to the target. This of course is done with the mind's eye. The physical eye is not in position to see the target.

Comparing golf to other sports, in other sports the players are in a different position in regard to the motion going to target, which allows the use of the physical eye. For example, where is the eye on other sports? On the target. In golf...where is the eye? On the ball. But the ball is not - I repeat, is not - your target. In golf the physical eye encourages the motion to go to the ball. It takes the mind's eye to create the target motion.

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