Golf Swing Instruction - The Athletic Motion

By: John Toepel

There is one basic athletic motion which is used in all ofathletics. The golf swing is golf's version of this athleticmotion. It is the same basic motion that is used to hit a tennisball, throw a football, kick a soccer ball, or break a rack inpool.

To describe the athletic motion, let's take a look at thebaseball pitcher. Why the pitcher? You are familiar with thepitching motion and have probably thrown a ball or two yourself.The pitcher does what you as a golfer want to do; throw it fast,accurately and consistently. As a golfer you want to hit theball long distances and down the middle with consistency.

So just how does the pitcher throw the ball? How do you throw aball? It's not complicated. Let's take a look so we can applythese principles to the golf swing. After getting the sign fromthe catcher, the pitcher begins his wind-up by moving his bodyso that all of his weight is on his back foot, the one on thepitching rubber. By doing this, he has caused the arm to beflung away, in the direction opposite from where he will deliverthe ball. When all the weight is on the back leg and the arm isstill going away from the target, he reverses the direction ofthe body by pushing off his back foot. This causes his body tobe pushed toward the target. The arm was still going away whenthe body changed directions. The arm only changes directionswhen it can go no further back and is pulled swiftly toward thetarget by the forward motion of the body. This allows the arm tofunction with maximum effectiveness, speed, and accuracy. Thearm is completely dependent on the body. The arm moves ONLYbecause the body moves it -- not because the muscles of the armitself made the arm move.

Have you ever seen a major league pitcher stand flat-footed andpitch the ball? Of course not. Any pitcher knows that he willhave neither speed nor accuracy if he throws the ballflat-footed. To be effective he must use the big muscles (thelegs and back) to move the body in order to create the speed andaccuracy necessary for a good pitch.

I want you to try to throw the ball as far as you can, but withdifferent rules. In order to be very powerful, you must hold theball as tightly as possible, tightening all the muscles in yourarm and shoulder. I want to see all the veins popping out; thatway I know you are powerful and can throw it far. You knowinstinctively as you tighten up or quit moving the body that youcannot throw the ball any distance at all. In spite of this, Iregularly see golfers holding the club so tightly and flexingthose shoulder muscles, then wondering why they can't hit theball far. Great muscular effort doesn't do the job.

For confirmation of this, tighten up your arms and take apractice swing. Listen for any noise the club makes. There's notmuch air moving, is there? Now try again, this time with yourarms completely relaxed. Listen for the loud noise of the clubthrough the air. There is quite a difference, isn't there?

In order to have the arms and shoulders move at their toppossible speed and with maximum reliability, they must be keptrelaxed. This is achieved when the legs, which are the body'sreal source of strength, cause the arms and shoulders to move.Simply stated, the feet and legs cause the trunk of the body tomove, which in turn causes the arms to move. All types ofathletics are played with the feet moving the body. It all comesfrom the ground up, never from the top down.

For an observation, watch someone throw a bowling ball or throwa horseshoe to a post. The legs move the body, and the arm iscompletely dependent upon them. It's the same in all ofathletics, including golf. Because we are holding this longstick with the intention of hitting this little, innocent ballas hard as we can, this is contrary to our golf instincts.Common sense would tell us that in order to end that poor littleball's life (without missing the ball, of course), we must usethose powerful arms - and never look up? Isn't that right? Notso!

There you have it -- the process through which I developed theConcept Golf swing principles that will take your golf game to anew level. Because these ideas are simple, and because there areonly five fundamentals, you might be tempted to not give themproper reverence. These principles have been tested and provenby golfers just like you. The new golfer, the professional, thehigh handicapper and the plus-one handicapper have all profitedfrom these few simple ideas.

The Concept Golf swing principles are simple, logical, easy tounderstand, and easy to put into action. Everything else in thegolf swing is a result of these few fundamentals -- for allclubs, for all shots. They apply to the full swing, the shortwedge and even the putter. As you understand and accept theseideas and put them to use, you will see great progress in yourgolf game.

It doesn't have to be hard to discover the Par Golfer withinyou

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