The Destructive Force of Linear Motion

Steering and or guiding the club straight is very often completely destructive to a golf swing.  For the lucky few, a linear swing* can produce weak but straight shots, and a decent short game.  For the masses, it creates chaotic results and worse. 

It makes sense to swing straight, especially in putting and chipping.  It not only makes sense, it something that we can do fairly easily.  To make matters worse, many golf teachers and analyst are proponents of linear motion!!! 

Truth is, linear motion of the arms destroys the swing arc, collapsing centrifugal force.  This means the unless you use your hands and arms to move the club up and forward, the club will crash…  This means on EVERY swing you make, you must use muscular force to recover.  Muscular force means a reaction will also occur, pulling the club off path again…   Another compensation must be made on every swing….

Can you see why I said linear force can be chaotic?  Think about it.  Most golfers complain about their short shots.  When I ask them their tendencies, they typically reply that ANYTHING can happen!!!  Fat, thin, shank, toe….  Who knows, and that makes it difficult to build any confidence!!!

Worst of all, 20% of tour pros, 50% of senior tour pros, and 80% of amateurs over the age of 50 develop the yips most often due to this linear motion.  Bummer. 

Let the arms swing, and ALLOW THE BALL TO TAKE OFF ON A TANGENT TO THE SWING!  No steering, no guiding!!!!

Use the forward pivotal axis (forward leg) to rotate the arms and club on a predictable path! The ball gets in the way and is sent towards the target! 

***Please allow the club to rotate into the followthru!  NO CHASING THE TARGET LINE!!!

*Linear Swing:  Any motion in your golf swing where your arms chase the target line in order to steer or make the ball go straight

Honing a Skill

Skills atrophy if not attended to.  When spring training comes around, baseball professionals shed the rust by practicing.  3rd basemen all over the Florida are fumbling what will be routine ground balls in another month.  Pitchers are throwing wild pitches that won’t be a factor come April.  It doesn’t mean they need to learn new skills.  It certainly doesn’t mean they lost their talent….  It just means all their neurons are firing quite as precisely after time away from the game. 

Coming out of the long winter we had (I know you’re still in it up there in the north… sympathies), it’s time to hone the skills. 

Don’t worry about being perfect, or even that good right off the bat.  Focus on physics compliant technique (using gravity and rotation… aka ‘limp arms slung in a circle’), impact to the correct target and balance.  Be aware while you practice.  Make swings that feel smooth and balance, and let the body get in tune through this experience. 

Poor chipping or putting touch doesn’t mean you need to learn new skills, just some time to fine tune.  Work in the GRAVITY DRILLS on the range, and let them nudge your swing towards consistency over the next several weeks. 

Building a skill is a major project that takes time, patient, and quality drills.  Honing what you’ve already built (especially my gravity students) doesn’t take more changing and fixing, just consistent training and trust. 

Time to let the drills do their job! Best,

Fairway Bunker Shots

You want to know how to hit really good fairway bunker shots?  Make a really good GRAVITY GOLF SWING!  I need to get out a notebook and write down all the different things golf analyst ask us to change or think about in different situations.  How does anyone think that we can play golf with all that silly information?   

Can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to Peter, Johnny, Ralph, Gary, etc… sound surprised when a PGA professional lets his right foot come up on the followthru of a bunker shot!  I’m blown away that they still hold on to this antiquated idea that your must have a quiet lower body…..*

To hit a solid shot:   HEAVE the tension out of your arms and shoulders with enough force to sustain the swing.  Let Gravity bring you back over to the forward pivotal axis and then allow GRAVITY to meet ROTATION.  Move the ball with your TURN!  Move the ball with your FOLLOWTHRU. 

As David always says…..  wait for it….. “PHYSICS DON’T CHANGE.”

The same laws of impact apply to a 140 yard bunker shot as to a 140 yard fairway shot.  The club falls into the back of the ball as rotation around the forward pivotal axis slings the arms and club through the ball, sending the ball off on a tangent to the arc.   The bunker shot simply demands more precision.  It magnifies any tension errors in a swing.  Doesn’t mean you need to do more or different…

Bottom line, while golf analysts keep adding things to do, you can KEEP IT SIMPLE by INTENDING to make a GRAVITY SWING in all situations!!!!

*If you want more on the subject, shoot me a comment or an email and I’ll finish some of my thoughts from above. 

The Swing is a Circle (I mean it!)

Watching this video will show you a lot of things.  It’s a powerful example of the human spirit and mind.  It’s also a vivid example of PHYSICS AT WORK!

Thanks, Meredith, for sending this along. 

****The GRAVITY GOLF student can see that Manuel is still leaking energy.  His swing and balance are very good, but by understanding HEAVE and COUNTERFALL, he could become even better!

Oh yeah….  TRAIN ON ONE LEG!!!!  Every time you practice.  For a lifetime.

The Ball Gets in the Way of the Swing

*I apologize for the blog being late today!  It happened for one of two reasons:

1.  I overslept
2.  The internet went down!!!

    I’ll let you decide….. 


The potential of a rotational swing is path integrity (aka, consistency).  If the arms and club are falling with gravity, and the body is rotating around the forward pivotal axis (left leg for right handed golfers) then as long as the ball is in the right location, it will get in the way of the free swinging club.

AWESOME!  Move the ball with your turn, not your arms.