For the sake of simplicity, all advice on swings and drills is provided from a right handed perspective; lefties …. well, you know what to do!
I was just reading Homer Kelly’s “The Golfing Machine” for the umpteenth time. It’s a great read, but difficult to decipher because he constantly cross references passages and photos that are not close to each other in the book. If any publishing company ever took the time to edit the book so that it flowed a little smoother, they’d have an all time “Top Ten” golfing book. (not to say that it’s not a “Top Ten” already)
Kelly refers quite a bit to “swingers” and “hitters” in his book. In this issue I’ll explain the differences, as well as his ideas for combining attributes from each method to produce a very powerful strike – if you dare!
First of all, if you have “lag” in your swing, either a swinging or hitting method is very powerful. Obviously, lag is a very important swing component to master.
“Swinging” is generally thought of as a swing that relies on a pulling type of motion to generate centrifugal force as its main source of power and speed. Swinging is pulling.
“Hitting”, on the other hand, is generally thought of as a swing that relies on its power from a more muscular act of thrusting the club through its pattern due to strong right arm and hand action. Hitting is pushing.
I believe that just about anyone could be taught to play golf well with a “swinger” method, but that very few players could be taught a “hitters” method exclusively and be successfull.
Having said that, with some consolidation from both methods it’s possible to get the absolute maximum power out of your swing. A precisely timed and sequenced combination of pulling and pushing, so to speak.
Ocassionally, I teach this combination to either very talented players, or to older players that can’t generate a lot of centrifugal force with their swinging motion for various reasons.
There is one caveat however, the combination is very dependent on correct sequencing and timing, which is why I normally concentrate on teaching a student one method only.
The conundrum is that if you try to pull and push at the same time, the results will usually be disastrous.
My general advice is to settle on one way of “swinging” or “hitting”, and get very good at it through practicing correctly.
For those of you that like to experiment, here’s a way to combine both “swinging” and “hitting” for a very powerful result.
Keep in mind that:
“Swinging” utilizes a lot of centrifugal force, then sliding and turning power.
“Hitting” utlilizes primarily right arm thrust, with minimal rotational powery
A combination method would utilize all of the power accumulators from each method, Kelly calls it a “4 Barrel” stroke. Emphasis is placed on perfect sequencing and timing.
Here’s how to do it:
- From the top of the backswing, with your left arm across your chest, slide your hips towards the target to start your downswing pulling and turning sequence in order to hurl your left arm off your chest (swinger component).
- Wait for the feeling of centrifugal force kicking in as your body slows its rotation and your left arm and club are swinging fast, down, and out towards the ball (swinger component).
- When you feel that centrifugal force, thrust your right arm powerfully into extension (hitter component).Note that you MUST be careful not to engage your right arm too soon.
- Final touch – allow your right hand – with your right wrist still in a flying wedge (cupped) position – to feel like it’s covering the ball (palm working towards parallel to the ground) through impact.
This works great when the sequence and timing are done properly, and if you stay within your limits.
- Maximum power.
- No accuracy loss if done properly.
- Timing and sequencing are absolutely critical or the result will be disastrous.
- You need lots of practice time or don’t try to put this swing in play.
If you are an older golfer that really has lost all of your distance, give this a shot as long as you learn how to do it correctly and practice. I mean – what do you have to lose?
Personally, the risk – reward for this type of swing makes me tend to not use it in any tight situations. I’m not recommending this to anyone for actual play, unless you’ve really worked it out on the range. But if you do get a chance to practice it, don’t be afraid to try it out in one of your “scramble” tournaments when you already have one drive in the fairway!
Love your practice, enjoy your golf,