The Scientific Secrets of the Perfect Golf Swing
Golfers like to work on their swing and search for the 'secret' or golf tip that can help them improve. Although I'm not a big fan of quick tips or jumping around looking for a miracle cure, correct golf mechanics are important.
There is so much contradiction available in the golf world that it can be hard to know what is right or wrong. I have found that if golfers get accurate information they can swing better and with more confidence. This is always a good thing 🙂
In 2004 I was involved in a scientific study of the golf swing. The research was conducted by an independent team of biomechanics, I was acting as a consultant (read: I'm not a scientist). This was a comprehensive study and involved analysis of motion, ground reaction forces and muscle activity. It was full on but after nine months of researching (field testing, analysis and hours discussing) the scientists had come up with some interesting results. These results contradicted many traditional concepts and had the golf world abuzz. We actually presented the information at the ISBS and I got to tag along (I was actually one of the first non-scientists to speak at the ISBS conference).
Below are 3 ideas that can help you improve your golf technique, help you hit the ball further and reduce strain and stress on your joints;
Most of modern instruction places an emphasis on spinning (turning) your body for maximum power. This is not correct. This spinning and turning causes most golfing problems - most notably a weak slice. Further, the unnecessary body motion makes an already difficult game way more complex. If I'm going to throw a ball with force against a wall, I'm most likely going to have a focus on my hands and arms (move them quickly). Yes, the body will definitely move with this throw, but only in response to what my hands/arms are doing.
If I want to complicate a throwing motion then all I have to do is try and generate the action with a "big muscle" focus. From here you'll spin and over-rotate. Just like many millions of golfers do.
The key for maximum power is to swing your hands and arms. The body acts as a support mechanism - moving in response to your hands and arms. Move your arms first and the body will follow. It should never be the other way around.
Have you ever been stuck under a tree with a restricted back swing, then been surprised at how far you've been able hit the ball? This has happened to many golfers and represents the scientific secrets to a better golf swing. With a restricted backswing you are forced to swing your arms, which is exactly what you're supposed to do. This swing also feels easier because your body is working with, rather than against.
Scientific Secret #2 - How to have perfect timing
Golfers report that when they are playing well they have more time to hit the ball. During these times their timing is spot on. Scientific analysis has helped identify the secrets to having perfect golf swing timing. Here they are;
- club head traveling along the target line for a longer period of time
- club face pointing at the target for longer period of time
We termed this the Flat Spot Principle. Learning to perform the FSP will give you an unfair advantage. You can hit the ball with confidence because you'll know that the ball will travel longer and straighter more of the time. Note: Be sure to read full article at this page for full explanation.
Scientific Secret #3 - How to hit the ball further with less effort
Science has shown it is possible to get more power without straining and hurting your body. Here are the key concepts for doing so;
- Focus on a shorter backswing. It was found that when golfers relaxed and attempted a shorter back swing they actually INCREASED the length of their swing (it felt shorter but the absence of stress and strain helped get them into a really nice position). This could help explain why golfers can report better results when they swing easier and take a three-quarter length swing (see above).
- Allow a bending of your left arm (your right arm if you're left-handed). This not only reduces strain and makes the swing easier to perform, you'll also give yourself a mechanical advantage. A slight bending of your left arm at the top of the swing reduces the moment of inertia and allows you to start the club down more quickly. This gives your swing more speed at the ball - always a good thing.
- Don't wind your body like a spring. Turning your body tight or as far as you can is not the right thing to do. This is sometimes referred to X factoring. You should strive for a relaxed and comfortable swing - not one that causes you pain or is difficult to do. Comfort is neglected in a lot of modern coaching ideals - but it defies logic. How can golfers play (and swing better) when they are being forced into positions that are completely foreign to them?
A bonus Scientific Secret - The Grip
Learning how to hold onto the club can be a difficult thing to learn. There are many pieces of advice to choose from and deciding on the right one is not always easy. Our scientific data identified two key areas that are most important. Get these two concepts correct and you can forget about the rest;
- Choose a grip that allows you to swing the golf club with speed. This should be your greatest priority.
- Choose a grip that YOU find comfortable - not what your instructor says so (again, the comfort thing)
You are free to choose what works for you: Vardon, interlocking or overlapping. Or maybe there's a variation that feels just right for you. Find a method of holding the club that satisfies the above principles and you'll do just fine.
As an extra bonus you may find bulking up your grips to your liking. Get your golf professional to add some extra tape under your grip or experiment with some chunky grips that are now on the market. I can't stress how good a thicker grip will feel to you. When we look at other implements we use with power and speed, all of them have thicker handles (tennis racket, hammer, baseball bat etc). Once you place a thicker grip (just a bit bigger, don't go overboard because you'll lose the advantage) you'll never go back.
These scientific secrets form the basics of BioSwing. One independent scientist was so impressed with the golf swing model that he described BioSwing as the golf swing of the future. A swing model that gives you a simpler, better and more easily repeatable golf swing.
Special Bonus Video
In 2012 some investors paid for a BioSwing video to be shot. It was a massive day, requiring about 14 hours of shooting and a full production team. The end result was a fantastic 19 minute video. If you're quick off the mark you can check out the video at no charge. It would have been easy to charge upwards of $50 for it, but for a limited time the video is free. All you have to do is enter your details on the following page.