Understanding Golf Swing Physics

By Glenn Mcanally

A working knowledge of the physics of a golf swing can help a novice golfer avoid amateur mistakes. Golf swing techniques at first will go against everything your mind tells you about how to strike an object with maximum force. This article will teach you some drills that demonstrate how your body must adapt if you want to develop into a competent player.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Hold a golf club parallel to the ground and out in front of you with both hands.
Step 2
Swing the club with just your arms.
Step 3
Listen for a whooshing or whipping sound. The louder or shriller the sound, the faster the club has traveled.
Step 4
Hold the club parallel to the ground again. This time rotate your body, and while rotating, whip the club around with your arms.
Step 5
Observe how the sound was louder and sharper. That is an indication of higher speed.
Step 1
Hold the club out parallel to the ground and directly to your right. You will now see how your body moves the club faster than just your arms alone.
Step 2
Swing the club 180 degrees, from right to left and from left to right, for ten seconds. Count how many times you went back and forth.
Step 3
Put the club in the same starting position. Swing it around 360 degrees for ten seconds and count how many times you went around in a circle.
Step 4
Take the number of times you went back and forth with just your arms and multiply that number by two.
Step 5
Note the number of full revolutions you made with your whole body. Compare the two numbers (swinging with your whole body versus just your arms) and you will see that the number of full-body rotations is higher than the number of back-and-forth swings. This shows you that the golf swing follows the laws of physics: The closer to the rotational axis the force is generated, the faster an object will travel on a circular path.

About The Author

Glenn McAnally is a thriller novelist and life long golfer who lives in Southern California. His most recent work is the action thriller Endangered as well as a story credit for the upcoming Nintendo DS title Elite Forces: Unit 77. He is a graduate of Villanova University.

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