5 Golf Swing Fallacies To Avoid

By: David Dunlap

Golf is definitely a sport with a difference. The similarity between golf and other sports, such as track and field, ends at the need for a proper technique. Though professional golf may require some basic minimal physical training, the weekend golfer can achieve high degrees of success in the game without following a fitness regime at all. Concentration on a suitable technique, diligent application, avoiding common mistakes and having a positive attitude can produce excellent results in the golf swing and overall game.

When looking for golf instruction, even though someone may want to observe and imitate professionals, the fact is that though spectacular movements can be noticed, the subtle ones mostly skip even the careful observer unless you know what you are specifically looking for. The irony is that it is these subtle movements that are critical in dictating a style and perfecting the art of a swing.

This peculiar aspect of golfing has given rise to many fallacies or myths about the mechanical principles that are used in golf. It is thus imperative to know which ones to avoid. Here we will address a few of the most commonly heard today.

1. "Relax" and "Use a Light Grip"

A very natural combination of a 'relax' and 'light grip' is often used by instructors teaching the golf swing today. Even though 'light grip' relates naturally with 'relax', the admonition to 'relax' actually became standard with golf instructors in order to loosen up their students who were self conscious and frightened to the point of rigidity. Over time these instructions seem to be issued to anyone who starts a training session. However, inability to use these techniques in the correct perspective can do more harm than good.

2. "Be Loose"

Another common instruction, 'be loose', may sound the same as "relax" yet is very different. The swing can be loose even if you are not totally relaxed. A loose swing is the outcome of a big hip turn on the backswing or a sway, bad wrist and foot movement and a certain type of grip.

3. "Stop at the Top of the Swing"

Another fallacious instruction given is with regard to stopping at the top of the swing. It is an established mechanical principle that any object moving in one direction must come to a complete stop before moving in the opposite direction. Consciously stopping at the 'top of the swing' results in freezing of the body movement thus disrupting the rhythm that it significantly contributes to the swing.

4. "Turn Your Hips To The Left"

Don't try and 'turn your hips to the left' on purpose. Hip turning does take place during a swing but more often than not, it is a natural turn after the golfer has moved laterally to the left. When golfers make an actual effort to do nothing more than turn their hips, it results in a ruined swing and poor shot.

5. "Keep Your Head Down"

This is a commonly quoted directive given by most weekend golfers. However, the head needs to instead be kept back through the golf swing and the subtle movements that occur will do so naturally. It is actually completely unnatural to try to fix your head in a locked position throughout the golf swing. By concentrating on this one point too much, you lose focus from the rest of the golf swing that actually helps to generate the power needed to drive the ball forward.

You need not be a professional golfer to improve your golf swing and scores quicly. Better and more consistent golf can be played by the weekend golfer by simply heeding some good advice and practicing sound discipline. The important thing to note is to follow the modern techniques that have evolved over the years, avoid fallacious outdated instructions and learn to manage the game properly.

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