Power Golf Swing ver. 1.1.2
By: Jack E Johnston
Copyright September 23, 2014
In days past (younger days), my golf drives were 300 yards plus with a set of garage sale golf clubs. Power Golf is similar to the String-Bat Model for swinging a baseball bat.[i] Golf has the advantage that the ball in not moving and it all comes down to timing and form of the golf swing.
Driving and Fairway Woods
- For driving, set the ball on the tee, about one inch high. Ensure that it is not too low, and not so high that the ball goes up too steep to gain distance. For a fairway shot, bring the club head back like hitting an iron shot and hit into the ball (what goes down will go up, which is the basic rule of golf).
- Address the ball with the feet wide of shoulder-width apart and the ball slightly forward of the middle. For shorter shaft woods, move the ball towards the back foot and narrow stance.
- Grip the club with the “Vardon Grip” and ensure that the “sweet spot” is behind the ball. Put the club shaft in the first knuckle of the index finger and below the fleshy part of the palm.
- Apply the second hand with the little finger overlapping the index finger of the first hand. Index and thumb should be pinching the club with thumb on the top of the shaft. Grip the shaft with the remaining three fingers. This is the strong hand week hand grip (Harry Vardon Grip (1870-1937) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Vardon).
- Standing erect, bend the knees as if sitting in a chair.
- Maneuver the feet until the club’s sweet spot is behind the ball.
- Bring the club head back level with the grass behind the ball, rotating the hips.
- The left arm should be straight and the eyes are fixed on the ball.
- Keep the heels of the feet on the ground.
- Bring the club head to the top of the backswing in the biggest arch that can be developed. The club should come to rest at the top of the backswing and be parallel to the target line and parallel to the ground.
- There should be two thirds of the body weight on the inside of the back foot; keep the heels of the feet on the ground.
- Initiate the swing by rotating the hips very slowly and accelerate the rotation slowly. A fast rotation of the hips is not necessary, and could even be detrimental as the club head will pass by the belt high mark and uncock the wrists. When the wrists are uncocked, it will be impossible to pull the shaft to the target. The club head should follow the wide arc of the backswing. The club shaft will come down and be parallel to the ground and belt high.
- Pull on the end of the shaft towards the target, as if pulling on a string connecting the club head to the club grip. There will be a huge resistance felt to the pull, along the shaft and both feet will feel like they are going to slide backwards (this is the reason the shoes are cleated). The club head will uncock the wrists as it completes its wide arc. If the timing is correct, it will feel like pulling on a 40-pound bowling ball and the club head will precede the shaft to the ball and the shaft is bent forward (the head is driving the shaft, rather than the shaft driving the head). It should take all of the strength that can be mustered to pull the club head toward the target. Keep the eyes fixed on the ball spot until after contact; keep the head down and left arm straight (right handed players) until beyond contact.
- Transfer all weight to the front foot, which is planted firmly on the ground.
- The heel of the back foot comes up and the toe rotates to face the foot to the target. The belt buckle should be facing the target.
- Finish high with the club parallel to the ground and neck high.
The physics behind the “Power Golf Swing” is equally simple. As the centripetal acceleration is increased along the axis of the club shaft, the velocity at the club head will increase as the square of this increase in acceleration. Thus, if the acceleration towards the target is doubled, the velocity at the club head will increase by a factor of four. If the acceleration toward the target is increased by a factor of four, the velocity at the club head will increase by a factor of sixteen. Anyone who has swung a yo-yo has experienced the effect of centripetal acceleration. As the yo-yo is swung, pull on the string and the yo-yo accelerates rapidly. For the religious, the sling that killed Goliath can be used, as the sling is put into a circular motion and the tether pulled on. The stone, in the pocket, accelerates to the velocity of a Magnum 357 bullet.
The swing is similar to the above, but adjusting the height of the backswing as necessary. For the five iron, position the ball about one half inch back of the middle or in alignment with the heel of the back foot. For longer clubs, move the ball toward the front foot. For shorter irons, move the ball toward the back foot. The nine and wedge iron ball position is even with the instep of the back foot.
- Bring the club to the backswing with the chosen height for the shot.
- Start the swing by pulling with the left side and hit the ball as if driving it into the ground. A basic principle in golf is that what goes down comes up. To make the ball rise vertically, hit the ball down into the ground.
- Finish the swing as above with the club finishing high around the neck. The weight is on the front foot and the back heel comes up the toe, rotating to face the target, and the belt buckle is facing the target.
In deep grass, put the ball further back and swing to hit the ball first.
- Put the ball off the instep of the back foot. Align the wide part of the club to the ball.
- Open the stance by moving the front foot away from the target line. This will allow room for the hands to come through.
- Start the back backswing directly in line with the target.
- Swing to hit the ball first.
- Adjust the backswing for distance of shot and swing as though throwing the club head to the target. This is the basic pitch and run shot.
- On short pitches or on down sloping greens, open up the club head, and then align the shaft to the large portion of the club head.
- Open up the stance to accommodate short distances.
- This will generate “The Flop Shot.” The ball will stay close to where it lands.
- Open the club face depending on the distance required.
- Open the stance depending on the distance required.
- Dig the feet into the sand for a firm foundation.
- Figuratively put a dollar bill under the ball with the ball in the center. The dollar bill represents the divot to take in the sand. Take more or less sand to adjust the distance. The sand will move the ball. Do not hit the ball directly as it will go a long way. Lift the club straight up and come down at the visualized marked spot behind the ball. Follow through as required by distance. It is not allowable to touch the sand with the club prior to the swing.
- Remove the flag stick from the hole straight up as to not damage the sides of the cup.
- Read the green for slop and knap. Plan a path to the hole by sighting the green from different viewpoints.
- Stand over the ball with the head directly over the ball.
- Visually mark the target (such as two or three ball widths to right or left of the hole or even more for steep slopes) and visualize the ball going on this path.
- A relaxed grip is best with the ball in the center of the club head. Putt the shot with the shoulders, as these are large muscles and will give consistent results as the body fatigues.
- Follow the ball to the hole with the club head until way past contact.
- After surveying the green and choosing the path of the ball, put the putter behind the ball.
- Squat behind the ball and line up the putter square to the line of travel of the putt.
- Holding only a finger on top of the club, take a stance of preference to putt the ball.
- Grip the club with the preferred grip without moving the putter.
- Look at the line of the putt to the hole and rotate the shoulders, bringing the putter back the appropriate distance from the ball.
- Rotate the shoulders to putt the ball on the line with the correct speed to the hole, keeping your eyes on the path of the ball and the hole.
- Pick the ball up out of the cup and start over on the next hole.