Golf, Part One: Introduction

The intent of this article, and those that follow, is to make you a better golfer than you are now.

The golfer’s swing is about motion, not ball behavior. The golfer’s primary goal is to develop a repeatable motion. Ball behavior, both distance and directional effects, is a result of motion. One great teacher said to forget the club and the ball. Consistently acceptable shots only occur when the motion is a meld of balance and tempo. Consider these axioms that will later be addressed:

  1. Tension is the most common cause of error in the golf swing.
  2. Manual effort produces fleeting result.
  3. The secret of golf: Eliminate intent to hit at the ball.
  4. Golf is not a hand-to-eye coordination sport.

These tidbits of standard advice are to be explored in further depth:

  1. Hit down on the ball. Manually hitting down on the ball takes the clubhead off of the desired path immediately. There is an easier way.
  2. Hit the back of the ball. Goes without saying, but focus upon striking the true back of the ball leads to errant result. Discover the true path of the clubhead.
  3. Pull down, or swing, with the lead arm. An active lead arm, moving alone, separates from the upper torso, stopping rotation. Blocked shots are inevitable. Find out how to generate a more effective source of power.
  4. Keep the lead arm straight. Translated to a locked lead elbow this results in a tension filled motion and produces blocked shots. Find out where the lead arm is really located.

These are, at the least, misleading terminology! It’s a good bet that much information received about the golf swing is not clearly given, creating shackles rather than better golf.

Understanding these procedures brings one to better golf:

  1. Pre-swing Fundamentals: this has to do with getting ready to make your motion and includes holding the club, establishing a foundation for the motion, and proper aiming considerations.
  2. Clubhead Path: this has to do with training your hands, arms, and the club to stay on their NATURAL paths in putting, chipping, the basic motion, and specialty shots.

The Four Imperatives

  1. An Athletic Readiness, aimed in the desired direction.
  2. A positioning of the hands on the club that does not inhibit a flow of energy.
  3. Knowledge of the path upon which that energy flows.
  4. Trust.

A successful golf motion depends upon these factors. All practice is dedicated to the first three in order to gain Trust. All play depends upon how freely the golfer allows compliance. The game of golf must be played subconsciously: on-course swing thoughts disrupt athleticism! Better players detach themselves from swing thoughts.

This article, An Introduction to the Golf Motion, is the first part of a series written by Michael Lucas, PGA Professional. Look for coming articles in the series: A Look at the Four Axioms; Achieving Athletic Readiness; Aiming & Parallax Vision; The Truth of Ball Location; A Dynamically Correct Grip; more.

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