Loss of Distance

by Horton Smith

I’m sure that sudden loss of distance has crept into your game at one time or other. I know it’s happened to me.

You’ve been out-driving your weekend golf partners all season. Then one day you suddenly discover that you are short man off the tee. When this occurs it is time to review your swing, preferably under the guidance of a professional.

The golf swing should be a connected and coordinated unit, within which proper timing is paramount. Good timing gives the player all the mechanical advantages which have been built into his equipment. When loss of distance occurs, chances are good that the player’s timing is at fault.

However; “timing” is a general term, and proper timing is based on several swing fundamentals. If one or more of these fundamentals are executed improperly, bad timing – and loss of distance – result.

Fundamentals upon which good timing is predicated include: Good posture and balance; proper shifting of weight during the swing so as to achieve maximum control and momentum of the clubhead; and, of course, true alignment of the hands – especially the right – with the clubface both at address and at impact.

Ways to correct any possible short-circuiting of these Basic Require- ments for good timing will be discussed and illustrated on following pages. However, first I’d like to suggest a practice technique that has helped me regain distance.

Strangely enough, this involves practicing puffs from 5 to 50 feet in length. In such practice, power as such is de-emphasized. The premium is on elements of “precision,” such as “touch,” timing, square-to-target alignment of hands and clubface, and simply hitting the ball squarely.

Then, when the player progresses from puffing to short approach shots to full shots, this emphasis on precision will pay off in added distance. Thus, putting practice provides a foundation for full iron and wood shots. It’s like opening a door – once the key (in this case precise putting) is properly inserted into the lock (your swing), the door (longer drives) opens quite easily.

When practicing putting to build a base for longer drives, concen- trate on contacting the ball squarely in the center or “sweet area” of the clubface. Strive for a sharp and crisp sounding “click” as the putter meets the ball. Seek club-ball contact that produces a minimum of jar, shock or vibration.

My friend Frank Walsh used to advise that “as you swing you should train yourself to listen for the click.” Anticipating the click serves both as a goal and a check for a precise swing. Try it the next time you play.

In puffing, though force is a minimum objective, I am happy to “get distance” wit.~out consciously striking the ball hard. The more distance I get on puffs with the least effort, the better I like it. This tells me that my stroke is well-timed and in the groove so that the clubf ace strikes the ball squarely. Then I know that I can expect these same virtues on full shots.

Now let us turn to specific causes for loss of distance and suggestions on how these causes can be eliminated.

Error: Shifting weight to the left on the backswing Often times, in an a ttempt to keep the head steady, a golfer will shift his weight to the left on the backswing. He will proably fall back to his right foot on the downswing, sacrificing a great deal of power.
Correction: Shift some weight to the right leg on the backswing. Make certain that you turn and shift your weight in the same direction as you are moving the club. For right-handed players this would mean that some weight would shift to the right foot in rhythm with the clubhead’s move in that general direction
Error: Swaying or lateral movement of the form.Swaying causes many golf problems, including sliced, topped and “fat” or scuffed shots. However, it is also a major cause of loss of distance. When, instead of turning his body and shoulders on the backswing, the golfer moves his body laterally to the right, he fails to fully extend or coil the muscles of his left side. When these big muscles of the back and legs are not fully coiled, they fail to generate maximum power to the arms, hands and, finally, the clubhead when uncoiling on the downswing. swaying also puts too much burden on the arms which cannot, in themselves, provide maximum clubhead speed.
Correction: Stretch the rubber band. At one time in our lives many of us have played with model airplanes – the kind that are wound by twirling the propeller which is attached to a rubber band. So it is in the golf swing – except that you are the rubber band. On the backswing the body should coil or turn, yet still remain in the same area as it occupied at the address position. Generally speaking, the more fully the coiling stretches the left side muscles, the faster the club (like the propeller) will unwind on the downswing.
Error: Failure to achieve a straight and taut left arm and a fully cocked right arm at the start of the downswing. The golfer who starts his downswing with his left arm bent breaks the “circuit” of power which should be flowing from his legs and back muscles to the club. It’s like shutting off a flow of water by crimping a garden hose. Also, failure to keep the right arm bent, or “cocked”, at the start of the downswing encourages a premature release or uncocking of the wrists.
Correction: Quck weight shift and a “tight” right elbow.Return weight to the left foot immediately at the start of the downsiwng and, at the same time, move the right elbow in close to your side. These combined movements will automatically cause the left arm to straighten and right to cock early in the downstroke. Then, as the clubhead enters the hitting area, the left arm will be ready to conduct power to the club and the right arm can straighten and thrust the hands and clubhead throught the ball
Error: Pulling up in the hitting area. This fault is a result of improper weight shift on the downswing. The golfer has prematurely straightened his right arm and uncocked his wrists well before the clubhead reaches the point of impact. Most all of his power has already been spent.
Correction: Hit down and through the ball. By leading with the left side and holding wrist “break” until the last possible moment, you save your power for the hitting area. This allows you to achieve the maximum clubhead speed at point of impact and to avoid raising your body in the hitting area.

This is an excerpt from a book in the Online Classics Golf Library, an ever-expanding collection of golf books. Membership and lifetime access to the OCG library can be yours with your purchase of

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A complete guide to score improvement for those with little time to work on their game AND A TURBOCHARGE for those that do. One payment, continuous books on golf sent to you to read on your computer or print out and read while sitting on your couch or easy chair.

Bobby Jones golf swing tip

A Most Harmful Golf Theory, by Joe Novak

Without a doubt the most common fault in golf is slicing.

I remember many, many years ago, a British golf magazine relating the story of such a discussion. To prove how the club actually traveled a flaming material was attached to the clubhead and pictures of this flamed path were taken in the darkness of night. I vividly recall the utterly black background with a picture of the club’s lighted path. The club did not go back and forth on the same line.

About the time that Bobby Jones was at the peak of his game, high speed motion picture cameras were being improved and perfected. One company, anxious to demonstrate the efficiency of its product, took pictures of everything that traveled at high speed and eventually they came around to Bobby Jones’ golf swing. With this high speed camera they had pictures of the club at every point of the swing, so they charted the path of the club. Much to their surprise they discovered that Bobby Jones’ golf club did not go back and forth on the same line—as a matter of fact, it did a decided loop. The club traveled inwardly at the start of the backswing, then straight up,

and as it reached the top of the swing it went to the out- side slightly. As the downswing started, the club dropped to the inside again and it remained on that path until the ball was met. At this point it went straight up and over— the club actually traveled through a figure eight pattern. The evidence was undeniable.

In presenting the pictures to the public a great hurrah was raised to the effect that Bobby Jones, the peerless champion, had a flaw in his swing. No one wanted to study a defect, so there was no interest in the films.

It is regrettable that the pictures were not regarded for their true worth. Subsequent study of the golf swing has proven that the club cannot and does not travel back and forth on the same line.

But as most players do not understand the need or the mechanics of shifting their weight, they are forced to use their left side in a sort of turning motion to take the club away on the backswing. This left side action of the body carries the club to the outside of the line of flight.

Add to this the common suggestion of a tight grip with the last three fingers of the left hand and you have a hand action which will throw the face of the club open. What can the player do but pull the club across the line of flight as the club is brought into the ball? After one or two such slices, everybody in the foursome becomes a coach and the routine advice offered is this: “You are pulling your club from the outside in—you are coming across the ball from outside in—now what you must do is to swing from the inside out.” They continue: “Imagine that the ball is sitting on home plate and you are driving it to second base—but don’t try to swing straight through the second base, swing from inside out—swing out towards first base.”

And I see many golfers doing exactly this—and they have cured their slice but they have the most annoying, sickening hook you ever saw because they just replace one error with another error.

All this brings up the subject of just where the club does go as it travels from the ball to the top of the swing and down again into the ball and the follow through. Many golfers feel that the club should go back and forth on exactly the same path. Whether it goes back and forth on the same line has been the subject of many debates.

Bobby Jones

Craig’s take:

Bobby Jones swing is HIS swing. You have to be your own swing doctor and see if this doesn’t answer a question or two that you might have but don’t take it totally literally.  I like Novak because he tells it like it is. This is his method of teaching and it could be fabulous for you. Any swing instructor method can work for you. Funny that now we have technology so that we don’t need to put a flame on the end of a club. This is about having a two-plane golf swing and being ok with it. As you know, I always advocate being ok with your swing!

This is an excerpt from a book in the Online Classics Golf Library, an ever-expanding collection of golf books. Membership and lifetime access to the OCG library can be yours with your purchase of

Break 80 Without Practice,

A complete guide to score improvement for those with little time to work on their game AND A TURBOCHARGE for those that do. One payment, continuous books on golf sent to you to read on your computer or print out and read while sitting on your couch or easy chair.

How to draw the golf ball

Nick Bayley is the author of the highly successful “Draw” System which has been used by over 5000 golfers to hit the ball further, straighter and more consistently. And Nick was recently interviewed by The New Zealand Golf Gazette where he shared his secrets to fixing the dreaded golf slice.

Golf Gazette: Hi Nick, and thanks a lot for agreeing to do this Interview. So let’s get straight into it. Why did you create a system to fix golfers slice and how long did it take to put together?

Nick: The reason I created The “Draw” System was because one day I was surfing the web and I saw a statement that said “85% of golfers slice the ball.” Seeing that statement stopped me dead in my tracks and I decided right then and there to do something to help as many golfers as I could to fix this problem. Because being able to consistently draw the ball is easy, BUT it’s only easy if you’re shown how. Like anything, if you don’t know how to do it, or have never been shown then of course it’s hard or difficult.

From the point of seeing that statement on the web it then took me 3 solid months to create and test what I believe is the best step-by-step “How to Fix Your Slice System” in the world.

Golf Gazette: So what does a golfer need to do to hit consistent draws?

Nick: From all my testing and research it has become very clear to me that all that is required to consistently draw the ball is the following three things.

1. A golfer needs setup for a draw, and 2. Swing from the inside while contacting the ball with a slightly closed clubface, and

3. Have equipment that encourages a draw.

And although it’s possible for a golfer to draw the ball with only two out of these three things being correct, I’ve found that if a golfer wants to consistently draw the ball then they must combine all three perfectly.

Golf Gazette: Clearly you think it’s so easy to fix a slice so why do so many golfers suffer from this problem?

Nick: I believe the main reason is because most of golfers are only ever shown a fraction of what is needed to hit consistent draws. As I’ve said, a golfer needs to setup for a draw, swing from the inside while contacting the ball with a slightly closed clubface and have equipment that encourages a draw. And my system teaches each of these elements in great detail. In essence, my system is giving golfers the complete solution rather than just tips that may or may not help.

Golf Gazette: Apart from the obvious advantage of hitting the ball straighter after fixing a slice is there any other advantages?

Nick: I read some interesting research that Golf Digest did back in 1981 to find out the difference between a fade and a draw. They setup a driving machine to hit draw and fade shots and from their scientific tests they found that on average a draw goes 17 yards further than a fade shot. And it doesn’t take a genius to work out that a slice is going to go even less distance than a fade shot! From the golfers who have tried The “Draw” System this 17-yard increase in distance is conservative, very conservative. Because I’ve found that when a golfer changes from one who slices the ball to one who draws the ball they get a huge increase in confidence. And this huge increase in confidence combined with the change in ball flight from a fade/slice to a draw is gaining most golfers an extra 25-30 yards more distance!

Golf Gazette: Your system has a pretty amazing guarantee but could you explain in more detail what exactly it is.

Nick: Sure, I guarantee this system will fix any golfers slice in 90 days. If it doesn’t then the golfer can send it back and they’ll get their money back with no questions asked plus I’ll pay them an extra $35. That’s how confident I am that it works. And through my follow up with golfers who have tried this system I’ve found that it generally takes most golfers about 30 days to consistently draw the ball. But having said that, the other day I received an email from a customer in Palmerston North, New Zealand who had never, ever drawn or even hooked a ball in all his 7 years of playing golf. And just 10 days after getting my system and following the instructions I recommended he was drawing his shots 70% of the time. And this helped him to win a prize for longest drive, nearest the pin and lowest gross in the first competition he played in after receiving the system. As you can imagine he was pretty excited about all of this and it was a great start for my day getting an email like that.

Golf Gazette: Do you have any other success stories you can tell us about?

Nick: On my website I have over 140 customer comments from golfers in over 21 different countries. And I have more success stories and more coming in daily. But one of the success stories I like the best is from the manager of the Two Under Club here in New Zealand who has been playing golf for some 31 years now. And like many golfers he has sliced the ball since starting to play this great game. He tried my system and is now consistently drawing the ball, which he is both amazed and delighted about.

Golf Gazette: So what exactly do you get people to do in this system of yours?

Nick: On the first four days of the system I teach golfers each element of the setup needed to consistently draw the ball. Then on day five I get the golfer to combine all these elements into one simple setup position that encourages them to draw/hook the ball. Then for the next 14 days I give golfers drills that teach them each stage of the swing from the take-away to the follow-through. You see I’ve found that getting golfers to do drills that force them to do a part of the swing correctly is the quickest way to change a golfers muscle memory. Theory is all well and good but if a golfer can’t feel what they should be doing then all the theory in the world will be of no use to them. After completing all the drills the golfer is then given advice on little things they can do with there equipment to encourage a draw. Plus they are given simple tests that quickly show if their equipment is encouraging or hurting their chances of hitting consistent draws. Most golfers find that they have to do very little if anything to their equipment to help them draw the ball. But for others their equipment will never allow them to hit consistent draws and learning that this is the case can literally save golfers years of frustration and heartache. And finally on day 21 the golfer is shown a setup position that encourages a consistent, powerful draw and given advice on what they should keep doing on a consistent basis (drills etc.) to reinforce what they have done over the past 21 days.

Golf Gazette: It sounds very detailed. How much are golfers meant to practice this to ensure they fix their slice?

Nick: I recommend that golfers spend at least 15 minutes on each daily exercise to fix their slice after 21 days. Also 90% of everything in the system can be done at home so there’s basically no need for practice facilities other than a place to hold and swing a club.

Golf Gazette: Are you serious? With only 15 minutes a day for 21 days someone can fix a slice they may have had for 30 years or longer?

Nick: Absolutely. It’s not the time so much as the sequence that a golfer learns all the steps. It’s like building a house. You don’t start with the roof, but instead you build a solid base and foundation. The same is true in the golf swing. Start at the setup, then the swing, then the equipment. And if golfers are given a simple plan to follow that is based on sound fundamentals, then there is no way anyone can fail.

Golf Gazette: Sounds great. How can golfers get more information about this new golf system?

Nick: Any golfer who is interested in this golf system can get more information at my website: The Draw System

Greens and fairways,


To move the head or not…that is the question


I was reading in another Arnold Palmer book that his Dad always taught him that he could swing as hard as he wanted to but that he had to keep his head still during the swing.

Here’s an exerpt from his book: “Hit it Hard”

The position of your head is an important part of the stance. The head must stay in a fixed position behind the ball. You can keep your eye on the ball and still move your head. Many players have found this out by topping a ball, hitting in back of it, or over it. This is caused by moving the head up or down when drawing the club away from the ball. If the bead is moved from side to side, severe hooking or slicing results.

A With the head fixed, the left shoulder moves under the chin on the backswing and the right shoulder comes back under the chin on the downswing. The head moves only after contact has been made with the ball.

In the National Open at Toledo’s Inverness Club in 1957, I was driving the ball badly, straying into the rough, which is always deep in Open championships. It’s always disastrous to scoring. One time I would drive to the right rough, the next time in the left rough.

The reason improper placement of my head. In trying to get the ball to go straight, I was concentrating on the grip and the swing, when, in fact, it was all in the stance.

Gene Littler, a fellow pro, noticed that my head was moving and told me about it on the practice tee. My straight drive came back automatically when I fixed the position of my head, but by that time I was too far out of contention to make a run for the title.

There are many things that can go wrong with a golf swing, but, if you take a proper stance, you can find out what’s wrong by conducting a little investigation.4

Relax. Don’t stand at attention. Comfort is the key at address. If you can’t be comfortable standing still, think how much tougher it’s going to be when you swing at the ball.

Jack Nicklaus said that his teacher, Jack Grout, had his assistant grab Nicklaus by the hair on his head and had him swing so as to keep his head still. Just recently heard this in an interview on the Golf Channel.

Let it Move

And now an opposing viewpoint…

Holding the head still from the book “Golf Can Be An Easy Game” by Joe Novak

At no time throughout my years of instruction do I remember consciously asking a pupil to keep his eye on the ball. I feel that the player will naturally look at the ball because that is his target, so why bother telling him to do it. Of course, the real reason so much stress is placed on keeping your eye on the ball is that your head will stay still. I disagree with this suggestion, because if one -holds his head extremely still he restricts and inhibits a nice free action in his body.

In the natural course of movement in a golf swing, the act of shifting one’s weight to the right foot does straighten that knee. As the diagonal stretch action of the body is used to raise the club to the top of the swing there is an added straightening of the entire right side. In other words, the combination of shifting the weight to the right foot plus using the right side of the body to carry the club to the top of the swing, automatically produces a certain erectness or straightening of the entire right side. Under the influence of this action the head position is raised as the backswing is made. Then as the weight shifts to the left foot, there is a momentary drop of the entire body position, and consequently the head naturally lowers slightly. However, after the weight moves to the left foot and the left side is used to bring the club through, there is a decided straightening of the left side and again the head is raised slightly.

In other words, the head goes higher as the backswing is made, temporarily drops to a slightly lower position as the downswing starts, but again raises as the swing is completed. Any attempt to hold the head absolutely still restricts this natural body action. Hence I have never asked a pupil to hold his head still.

– The most outstanding exponent of this perfectly natural rise and fall action of a golf shot was Byron Nelson, who carved a record in professional golf contests that will be difficult to match.

Another exponent of this natural rise and fall action of the correct golf swing is Cary Middlecoff, all-time money winner in professional golf.

After a period away from competition, it was quite noticeable that Middlecoff’s swing was tense and restricted due to a very fixed bead position, but in a short time he got into the rhythm of his swing and the slight rise and fall of his bead position during the swing was readily noticeable again. Therefore, don’t freeze arid tighten up your swing by trying to hold your head still.

If the action of your body is correct it will operate within the gyroscopic pattern of the two-way diagonal stretch that all good golfers acquire. If you are within that pattern you won’t have to worry about holding your head still. Don’t do anything to disturb a natural body action.

This is an excerpt from a book in the Online Classics Golf Library, an ever-expanding collection of golf books. Membership and lifetime access to the OCG library can be yours with your purchase of

Break 80 Without Practice,

A complete guide to score improvement for those with little time to work on their game AND A TURBOCHARGE for those that do.

Craig’s take:

I certainly can understand the camp that says “allow the head to move.” However, physics says that it is easier to have accuracy and power when the fulcrum of a lever is at a fixed point.  Meaning, I always focus on keeping my head still ESPECIALLY during a chip or putt.  If you allow it, the swing will pull the head up out of the still position by natural momentum.

golf swing instruction or whether or not to allow head movement is all so very subjective. The golfer ultimately has to decide what is best for him/her.

Arnold Palmer discusses fundamental golf swing tips

Arnold Palmer swing has always been very unique. The following swing tips are from his book: “Hit it Hard”. This was written in 1961 at the peak of his career and a year he won the British Open. He has been swinging a club since he was 3 years old and despite his success, he said that he only hits 2-3 perfect shots per round! There’s hope for us average joes. See links on this page will lead you to more golf swing programs to help you create your best swing. On with the swing tips:

If you would like more instruction like this, sign up for the “Without Practice and The Legends of Golf” above

Arnold Palmer golf tip Swing- Grip : If you don’t hold the club right, you have no chance for a good swing. I have always used the overlapping, or Vardon grip with the little finger of my right hand over the index finger of the left hand.
The left hand is the key. When you swing, you get the impression you are hitting the ball with the back of your left hand.

palmergrip palmergrip

Arnold Palmer golf tip swing- Stance: Don’t stand at attention. The knees are flexed, and the arms are held naturally, neither reaching nor pulled back to the body. The left foot is pointed slightly out and weight evenly distributed between the feet. One thing applies to everybody. Be comfortable. If you have the feeling that you are standing in an awkward position, you’re licked before you start.

Arnold Palmer golf tip swing- Takeaway: The first movement of the club head, the first 12 inches away from the ball, is the most important foot of a golf swing. The secret is to take the club away from the ball slowly on a line almost parallel with the ground. Do it deliberately. It is essential that everything starts at once. In order to hit the ball properly, the odds are against a fast movement back because it throws all the moving parts of your body out of rhythm.

Arnold Palmer golf tip- Full swing: On my drives I concentrate on moving the left shoulder under my chin with a slow, deliberate action until I reach the top of my backswing. Now is the time to turn on the power. I have the feeling that my left hand is pulling the club down. You should be able to feel the weight leaving the right side before you start thinking about hitting the ball. This prevents a quick uncocking of the wrists at the top of the swing and resultant loss of all power. It also helps avert a slice, which takes all the distance from the hit. When the swing has started through and the hands are moving down, let the club head fly, making certain the effort seems late to insure the last-second break of the wrists.

Arnold Palmer golf tip swing bio Finish high: Once contact is made with the ball, the job is only half-done. If you don’t take the swing on to its completion high and around the shoulders, you’re wrong. There is a tendency to stop at impact. Scholars of the game tell me that if you start from the shoulders on the backswing, it’s only normal that you must finish at the same height on the follow-through. I don’t think the follow-through, of itself, has anything to do with the flight of the ball. All the hitting action is produced when the club is behind the ball. But there is no way you can stop at contact with the ball and not follow through, unless you started putting on the brakes before the hit. That’s why there must be a follow-through – to insure that you move the club forcefully throughout the downswing.

More swing instruction

Arnold Palmer golf tip: Beginners who want to learn a swing that is easy to “get it” very fast or long-time golfers who need consistency should check out Symple swing . It’s a DVD program.

If you are like many golfers and have an uncontrollable slice ,or just want to learn a swing you can finally stick with for a lifetime, the best program on the internet is
Nick Bayley’s: Learn to Draw the ball system

Another highly-touted swing method to consider is by The Golf Swing Guru with a free golf swing tip ebook download

Adding fuel to the swing plane controversy

The third basic fundamental, the swing’s plane, is a much misunderstood, highly controversial aspect of the game. This aspect of the golf stroke is influenced most strongly by the degree that the player bends his trunk or torso. The more upright the player stands the more vertical the plane of the swing will generally be. However, the height of the player also has a strong influence on the swing’s plane with the shorter player having a flatter plane and the taller one the more upright plane.
The girth of the player is another factor influencing the swing’s plane. Of necessity the stout person uses a flatter swing than his thinner fellow player. The short stout golfer will need a flatter plane than the tall stout, and the tall stout will generally have a flatter plane than the tall thin.
The short stout golfer needs a flat swing, first to allow the arms to clear the body during the swing, and second, to produce an arc of sufficient circumference to produce adequate power. This type of golfer needs clubs with a flat lie and shafts of medium to medium-long length to aid in executing this wider arc.

Tips for the golf  swing plane

The short thin player could clear his body with his arms while swinging in a somewhat more upright plane, but in doing so he might dig under the ball. To eliminate this digging, such a player would have to use clubs so short as to cut down the swing’s circumference and greatly deplete power. Thus the short thin player should also use fairly long equipment . with flat clubhead lies, and he should also swing on a flat plane to produce more power.

Swing planesThe taller stout player should swing on a plane as upright as possible to allow body clearance and adequate power production.

From what has been said about the swing plane one may deduce that I feel a flat swing produces more power than an upright one. This is not true if the upright swing has as wide an arc as the flat one. It is simply a fact that the flatter the plane the wider arc one can use without digging the clubhead into the ground behind the ball. And the flatter plane allows the arms to have greater body clearance, a major necessity for the stouter and shorter player.

Of course the length and lie of the various clubs within a given set, say from the driver to the 9-iron, have a bearing upon the angle of swing plane. The longer driver requires a relatively flat plane. Each succeeding club throughout the matched set to the 9-iron requires a microscopically more upright swing plane because the shafts become shorter and the player stands closer to the ball.
In all cases care must be taken not to become so upright in swing plane as to cause arm friction with the body, clubhead collision with the ground, or power depletion through shortening of the swing’s arc.

In summing up, a player will obtain maximum directional control and maximum power if his swing plane is as upright as possible but still not so upright as to produce arm-body friction during the swing.

Craig’s take on swing plane:

Listen, I’ve provided this page and others like it because I think there might something here that will help you. It may not be the obvious thing about trying to get a perfect swing plane or a one or two plane swing.  If nothing hits you as useful, ignore this.  Every golfer is different. I personally have never worried about my “swing plane.” I just square and point, that’s all.


Golf swing fundamentals lesson

Note: this illustrated golf instruction is just one golf pro’s advice. You will find that you can hardly get any two golf teachers to agree on anything with regard to what the proper swing is let alone how best to teach it. The following illustrated golf swing lesson can be a good starting point in your quest to create a good swing or if you are more advanced, may help you make that little tweak that can help you get to the next level. If you want to check out a new highly rated total swing system, my top recommendation is

Illustrated golf instruction for the basics of the swing by Joe Novak. Written for right handers.

In the making of every golf shot, there are two parts. First – Assuming the proper position to the ball – This means:

  1. Proper placement of the club to the ball
  2. Correct grip or correct hand positions on the club
  3. Correct placement of feet
  4. Proper position of body

Once this starting position is established, the second part of the golf shot consists of the actual stroke, that is, the actual swing of the club.

To each of the above two parts, there are four distinct moves, and if these moves are followed in the step-by-step procedure in which they are going to be presented, there will be no difficulty in learning and acquiring a perfectly natural, efficient golf swing in very short order.

Let’s learn the 8 moves (Double 4) that can create a perfect golf stroke.

The First 4 Steps of the Position for the golf swing

Step 1 instruction – Place the club behind the ball, using the left-hand only.(Illustrated below-D: strong left position, E: weak position)

If there is any one thing that is important in a golf shot, it is the way in which the left hand works. As a matter of fact, it will be learned that the left hand action is the very crux of every golf shot. Actually, the left hand has a triple duty in a golf shot:

  1. creating or determining the position of the club will be in during the swing.
  2. keeping the club in the desired position.
  3. bringing the club into and through the ball

The proper position of the left hand on the club is as follows: the hand is more or less on top of the shaft. When it is in the proper position, three knuckles of the left hand are in clear view when the player looks down at his hand and the left thumb is at a point more or less behind the shaft.

Step 2 – Place feet in position

The proper place to stand is in a position where the ball will be opposite the left heel. A line running from the ball to the inside part of the left heel will be at right angles to the line of the shot. The feet should be so placed that the toes of both feet are parallel to the line of the shot.

This position is to be assumed on all shots and with all clubs. (editor’s note: many golf instruction professionals advocate this for the driver and then moving the ball back as you graduate to more lofted clubs.)

The feet should never be wider apart than the width of the shoulders. In other words, always use a narrow, rather than wide stance because with the narrower stance it is easier to shift the weight to the right foot for the upswing and reshift it to the left foot for the downswing.

golf grip fundamentals Step 3 – Complete grip by bringing the right hand to the club.


When the right hand comes to the club it assumes a position on the club which is directly opposite the position of the left hand. Whereas the left hand is definitely on top of the club handle (illustrated far left), the right hand assumes a position more or less underneath the club. (editor’s note: this will help most beginning golfers avoid the typical slice, hookers might turn their hands more counterclockwise)

When placing the hands on the club be certain that there is no tenseness or tight grip. Any sense of holding or gripping the club should be confined to the front part of each hand, to the first two fingers and thumb. The thumb of the left hand fits naturally into the hollow of the right hand palm and in a perfectly natural way the overlapping grip is created.

See golf grip instruction page for more detail and tips

Step 4 – Turn or flip the right heel out slightly


In a normal foot position it is generally natural to stand with both toes turned out slightly (illustrated second from left). This fourth and final move is to flip or turn the right heel out slightly so that a pigeon-toed effect is created on the right foot. (illustrated far right, compare it with other right heel pictures above)

The purpose of this move is twofold: first, this outward flip of the right heel places the right foot in a much stronger position for the backswing, and also makes it easier to shift the weight to that foot. Secondly, when the backswing is made, that is, when the club is raised to the top of the swing with the right side, it will be found that because of this outward flip of the right heel, there is a greater freedom in the vicinity of the right hip and throughout the entire right side of the body. This makes it easier to raise the club naturally and to take it back on the inside.

Additional setup tip:

Good golfers all assume a sort of “sit-down” position, whereas many novices in golf act as though their club were too short and seem to bend forward from the waist as they prepare to make the shot. This bending forward straightens the knees and really locks them tightly so that any sense of footwork or shifting of weight is impossible. From the sit-down position the good golfer assumes his knees are easy and relaxed so that footwork and weight-shifting can be done easily. Learn to get the sit-down effect rather than the straight locked knee effect.

Fundamental golf instruction

The Four Moves that Make the Stroke

Step 1&2 – Create proper weight shift and balance starting with a forward press then reverse press


Do not walk up to a golf ball and plant both feet solidly on the ground with weight evenly divided, because you will be really locking up and thereby destroying all chance of an easy, natural swing. All good golfers change their weight from their left foot to the right foot with a distinctive one-two move, the forward press, also called a zigzag movement. The forward press is a slight forward motion, a slight forward bending of the right knee.

This forward kick with the right knee enables the player to do a “reverse press, ” a reversing of the knee positions, whereby the player can balance himself on his right foot and right leg, so that the upswing of the club can be made with the right side of the body. And I want to say emphatically that if there is any trick to making a good golf shot, it is exactly this trick of getting onto the right leg and right foot before the club is picked up on the back swing. From the forward press, there is an easy natural opportunity, a natural impetus to make move 2, which is to reverse the knee positions, and through this reversing of the knees, transfer or shift the weight to the right foot. (All during steps 1 and 2, the clubhead remains on the ground and so do the heels of both feet)

This Step 2 is actually the key move to good golf, because it opens up the way and makes it possible to raise the club to the top of the swing in an easy natural way.

Let me issue a warning. Do not let the importance of this lead you to any exaggeration because an overemphasis of these 2 first moves can produce a reverse effect; causing the weight to reverse back to the left foot. With good players, steps 1 and 2 are done with such nicety and finesse that, to an untrained eye, these moves can and do go by unnoticed.

Step 3 – The player raises the club to the top of the swing.


Golf putting instruction by the best putter of all time, Lloyd Mangrum

For golf putting instruction and improvement, Mangrum places good balance as the first consideration in good putting. Keep the feet close together with an Lloyd Mangrum even distribution of weight, bending at the waist so the head is over the ball, but never leaning forward.

Play the ball from the center between the two feet and make sure the backstroke is a slow easy motion, hands working in unison with no turning of the wrists. The cardinal principle of good putting is to keep the wrists from getting into the act.

Golf putting improvement depends on this: The length of the putt should govern the length of the backstroke, and the tempo of the stroke should remain the same throughout: (i.e., the same speed hitting the ball as it was taken back).

Distance of hitting should be learned by practice, although judgment usually has a lot to do with it as well, says Mangrum. Golf Putting improvement is an art which is not easily acquired and can disappear in a flash. It must be wooed constantly.

One thing which separates the pros from the dubs is their preparation for a putt; in other words, the lining-up. This is a painstaking process for most of the experts, in which they attempt to study and analyze every inch of the putt, particularly the long ones.

Length, the various �breaks� over mounds or along them, the texture of the grass and the weather all must be taken into consideration. Though partners may murmur sarcastically about taking all day, Lloyd believes a putt should not be hit until the player is satisfied he knows exactly how he is going to hit it.

He may not achieve what he planned, but his approach to the problem is correct.

Once the stance for a putt has been taken, concentrate on stroking the ball. There is no time to worry about the contour or variation once you are in hitting position and any lingering doubt will ruin the entire operation.

Putting touch will vary and it may be an advantage not only to change style of club but even the posture when you find you can’t seem to putt well. Lloyd Mangrum, deep student of putting, does not hesitate to try something new when his greens play goes awry. Avoid any extreme stance however in your golf putting improvement attempts.

Mangrum Putting

Learn the 80/20 of putting with Break 80 Without Practice


Emotional Freedom Technique applied to golf by Stephen Ladd

Using TIG routines during your round can prove to be tremendously beneficial to lowering your handicap.

Although some clients initially feel a little self conscious about it, most are soon tapping away proudly. Often times, those who do what I refer to as “Stealth TIG” are doing so not out of embarrassment, but rather to conceal their secret weapon.

It doesnt matter if you are a TIG extrovert, or more on the subtle side – just do it! The next three chapters will show you how to use TIG out on the links. But first, lets investigate some dirty little demons called “NOTs”. Negative Operating Thoughts (NOTS)

The vast majority of all self help techniques and philosophies are based on the following principle: “Your consistent thoughts become your reality.” Now stop and read that sentence again. It really is that important. Let it sink in.

Most people walk around the course (and life) with a constant barrage of Negative Operating Thoughts (NOTs) attacking their selt confidence and eroding their self esteem, and with it their ultimate potential.

These NOTs can be insidious and rather relentless.

The Tap in Golf System provides you with a tool to successfully “neutralize” or “clear” these NOTs. You will be hard pressed to find another technique that is so simple and so effective for this “mother-of-all-problems”.

However, the real dilemma is that we are so conditioned to the presence of these NOTs, that we hardly even notice them. For example, have you ever said or thought to yourself any of the following NOTs?

“Damn, how could I miss that putt? I always choke.”

“Im no good at this distance.”

“Why cant I just ____”

“Clear the water for once this time, pleasel”

“Come on, just follow through!”

“Why cant I just get this right?” Etc, etc, etc.

Think of it this way; suppose you hired a coach to help you improve your golf performance. What would you do if s/he spoke to you in this fashion? I sincerely hope you would fire their ass faster that you can say double bogie!

It is usually painfully obvious when someone else is saying this kind of garbage to us. Then why are we so willing to beat ourselves up and accept the internal abuse?

We all have what I call an “Inner Critic”.

One reason we listen to this Inner Critic is that we believe somehow it is trying to help us. We are under the delusion that such “advice” will actually “whip us into shape” and assist us in playing better golf.

Let me be very clear about this: The inner critic, the voice of your NOTs, is NOT on your side. It has absolutely nothing to offer you – Except evidence of what needs to be cleared with your TIG techniques.

The inner critic does not want you to succeed. Is that clear?!

If your goal is to play to your maximum potential (which I ll assume it is, if you ve read this far), then you must quiet your inner critic and the NOTs that it spews forth. The Tap In Golf System provides you with a simple way to do just that.

How to identify your NOTs:

During my one-on-one playing lessons, I will have my clients literally “think out loud.”

The idea is to get them to actually hear the stuff that is going on inside their heads.  After a bit of practice, most clients become quite proficient at immediately speaking whatever thoughts come to mind.

The result- they are usually horrified at the internal self abuse and “negative framing” of their golf ability and chances of success.

Once a NOT has been identified, simply clear it with the TIG routine.

Craig’s Take:

EFT for golf is a way to clear your interference patterns. Performance = Potential – Interference.

I mentioned in a previous article that as long as you don’t have any conflicting thoughts, that what you think about must become reality. Well, many of us are unaware of the unconscious thought processes that go along with us to the course. That’s your interference. You’ve got to clear them somehow or you will be in conflict and then your unconscious mind will not bother helping you with your silly golf game.

I use hypnosis and my friend Stephen Ladd has a pretty powerful process to do the same thing. Check it out.

About the author:

Stephen Ladd is the founder of The Human Form, a Holistic Health, Fitness and Performance Institute. He has fast become a recognized expert as a Golf Performance Coach having taught successful Tour players his innovative Mental techniques.  He is a widely sought-after speaker and trainer and was recently interviewed by “Golf Guru Secrets.” Tap in Golf is the wave of the future. Find out more by visiting Tap in Golf.

Sam Snead golf tip: Playing Cool Mad

Golf tips by Sam Snead

Sam Snead headshot

Sam Snead

Letting your temper take you over, I saw, was a mistake. When you give in to anger, you lose control. A man who stays cool mad will beat you every time.

In golf, the trick of developing just the right mixture of heat and coolness in competition was one of the most difficult I had to learn. The game turns lots of pros and everyday players into club-throwing maniacs. There’s hardly a locker-room door left in the country without dents in it, and the number of clubs thrown or smashed gets bigger all the time. The number of first-rate amateurs and promising young pros who’ve let their dander rise up and ruin their game is more than you can count. On the face of it, the calm, quiet player should have all the advantage.

This so far from true that I’ll make the statement that any golfer who misses a shot and starts whistling is one of the easiest guys in the world to beat.

You’ve got to have that fire, that thing in you that sometimes makes it absolutely necessary to relieve your feelings – the thing which made Eben Byers and Jesse Sweetser two of the world’s greatest amateur champs prior to Bob Jones’s time. Byers, Sweetser, and Jones all filled the air with clubs. Bad shots drove them wild. Chick Evans was another who got red-necked, and in modern times Byron Nelson could pretzel a club or beat a bush to death with the bet.

When Doc Cary Middlecoff first joined the Grapefruit Circuit of the pros, he was described in a newspaper as `cheerful and placid of temperament” – until the Atlanta Open when Doc 3-putted and slung his club half a mile and howled like a hurt wolf. Tommy Bolt has become famous for his rages. I’ve gone through all this and been as guilty as the next man, so that I’ve formed some strong convictions on the subject.

Show me the fellow who walks along calmly after topping a drive or missing a kick-in putt, showing the world he’s under perfect control, yet burning up inside, and I’ll show you one who’s going to lose. This boy is a fake. His nervous system won’t take what he’s handing it. If you bottle up anger entirely, it poisons your control centers.

Sam Snead swing

The swing triangle

But if you go all the way in the other direction, the practice of kicking tee markers, abusing shrubbery, and wrecking equipment can become such a habit that it also spoils your muscular reflexes. Mad golfers keep their blood boiling and agitated all the time for a reason. Deep down, they look forward to tearing their hair. Without knowing it, they get to hoping they’ll butcher a shot. We’re all show-offs at heart, and guys who break up locker rooms enjoy every minute of it.

Doctors and mind experts go around explaining that it’s perfectly OK to explode on the course because it releases your built-up tensions. They don’t tell you though, how you can rave like a wild beast and break 90.

Good golfing temperament falls in between taking it with a grin or shrug and throwing a fit. I believe you should blow up, at times, if it helps, but only if you can still keep your wits about you. I couldn’t beat any pro if I didn’t get my temper outbreak over with fast, then start thinking out the next shot. It’s like opening a steam valve for a moment, then shutting it. An old-timer in Scotland once said to me, “Make your game as storm proof as you can, ” by which he meant that when everything went wrong, I should be capable of producing my best shots, regardless of my frame of mind.

Which is about as easy, if you don’t work at it, as scratching your ear with your elbow

Sam Snead swing Finish

Sam Snead Beautiful Swing Finish