Over-swinging – the short of it

Sports - October 3rd, 2003

by Paul Jones

Being a golf pro in Japan, I am often asked similar questions by people about how to improve their game. Over the past few months I have received many e-mails from people asking for help with their golf swing.


Q: I’m constantly over-swinging. I have been told this results in my being very erratic with all my shots. Is this true?

A: Many golfers over-swing. One of the most common flaws is that the arms lose their form and thus fold or collapse towards the body. This is most obvious at the top of the swing. When the arms collapse into the body at the top, the angles of power neces­sary for an explosive golf shot are destroyed.

If you are right-handed, you know your left arm position at the top is incorrect if your elbows are bent, bringing in the hands too close to the head. From this position, the tendency is for the arms to straighten out prema­turely in the forward swing.

This “casting” of the club unfortunately creates the maxi­mum club head speed at a position in the downswing before the essential “impact position” and thus creates inconsistent contact.

Many golfers create this faulty position because they do one or more of the following:

■  Make a backswing with the arms only, with no upper body pivot.

■  Over-swing in an effort to create more distance.

■  Grip the club too much in the palms (incorrect)—as a result the wrist cock during the backswing is insufficient.

The proper arm and club position at the top of the back-swing creates leverage—a law of physics that produces club head speed. The first lever is created when the wrists hinge and form a 90-degree angle between the club shaft and the left arm at the top.

The second lever is also a 90-degree angle created when the right arm folds at the elbow, so that the elbow points to the ground, and the right palm is toward the sky. This correct top of the backswing position has the arms and hands extended away from the body, producing the right amount of arc, length and height necessary for power.

A great drill for everyone is to make swings feel as though your arms and club swing three-quarters of the way back, then make a complete forward swing into a balanced finish.

This “shorter” backswing will help you create the correct position with your arms where they are extended away from the body at the top of the swing. This three-quarter backswing will most likely be the correct and full backswing for most golfers.

If it feels a little strange, per­haps you can video tape record your new “shorter swing”— you’ll be surprised at the results both in appearance and improved contact.


TAG Heuer – Worn by Tiger

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Wear the watch Tiger Woods wears. The Link Calibre 36 by TAG Heuer is the preferred watch of Woods.

TAG products are aimed at the active person, and the Link series has taken into account function, design, precision ‘ quality to deliver a product I am sure people will enjoy wearing both on and off the golf course.

For more info, check out www.tagheuer.com.