Three Killer Scientific Golf Swing Secrets

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 and 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 Scientific Golf Swing Secrets that can help you improve your golf technique, help you hit the ball further and reduce strain and stress on your joints;

golf-pics-from-testing-008.jpg

Golf Science and Biomechanical Testing Studio

Scientific Secret #1 – Power comes from your hands and arms, not your body

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 (and a loss of power). Further, the unnecessary body motion makes an already difficult game way more complex. If you’re going to throw a ball with force against a wall, most likely, you’ll have a focus on your hands and arms. Yes, the body will move with this throw, but only in response to what your hands/arms are doing.

If you want to complicate a throwing motion then all you have to do is try and generate the action with a “big muscle” focus. From here you’ll spin and over-rotate and then you’ll feel awkward and clumsy – just like many millions of golfers do each time they play.

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 backswing, then been surprised at how far you’ve been able hit the ball? This has happened to most golfers and represents the scientific secret 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 how it is meant and overall there’s just less things that can go wrong.

Make a few simpler golf swings and feel the easy power you can produce. Let your hands and arms lead the way and you won’t look back.

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 purple patches their timing is spot on. Scientific analysis has helped identify the keys 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 (FSP). 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. The FSP gives you a mental and physical advantage because you will be working with better biomechanics. It’s a perfect win-win that most golfers are NOT taking advantage of.

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 (like when you take an “easy” swing from the middle of the fairway and then stare in disbelief as the ball sails over the green).
  • 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 an instant power boost.
  • 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 (and hurt)?

A bonus Scientific Secret – The Grip

Learning a better grip shouldn’t be difficult. But there are many pieces of advice to choose from and deciding on the right one is not always easy, so making an informed decision can be tricky. 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. 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.

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These scientific secrets form the basics of BioSwing. One independent scientist was so impressed with this 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.

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90 Comments

  • Steve Wozeniak PGA

    Reply Reply May 1, 2008

    All good EXCEPT the body moves the arms with all great athletes and this is HOW to create speed and power……..Supporting role my booty…….
    These guys are dead wrong,
    My god it’s simple physics…..with all these machines they can’t even see it????

    http://www.stevewozeniak.com

    • B scott

      Reply Reply March 2, 2017

      All other athletes are throwing an object directly with the hand. You can’t compare that to swinging a club to hit the object. baseball and hockey are shorter swings. Polo might more comparable in that you move the hands to a position, than you “try” to stop the hands and let the club whip around. yes the lower body is adding to that equation, but you can’t do the lower body without the upper….that is what most people do. you can however use the upper body correctly and have the lower body as more of a base. of course a PGA player is using both to full potential but us mere mortals…

  • Cameron Strachan

    Reply Reply May 1, 2008

    I’ll put my faith in science thanks Steve…

  • Brian

    Reply Reply May 1, 2008

    Cameron,

    isn’t that level of biomechanical research expensive ?
    how was it funded ?

    regards,

    Brian

  • Brian

    Reply Reply May 1, 2008

    I am curious – have you incorporated much of the Bio Swing into your “natural” swing, or was your swing pretty close anyway ?

  • Cameron Strachan

    Reply Reply May 1, 2008

    Very expensive!

    The university was able to get private funding and some of those involved worked free of charge.

    It is also very time consuming. It took months to test subjects, analyse data and ultimately get it translated into a usable form.

  • Cameron Strachan

    Reply Reply May 2, 2008

    Hi Brian,

    Yes, I’ve learned to incorporate BioSwing into my game. The swing is now very natural and instinctive for me. Learning to make it natural has allowed me to take giant leaps with my swing.

    Regards,

    Cameron

  • Wade

    Reply Reply September 13, 2008

    Cameron;

    When I started golfing, I, like most people had an armsy swing. It caused weak slices. It wasnt until I took some lessons, and was told to get the body to power the swing, that it all came together; powerfull shots with a draw. So, sorry, but my experience is that arm powered shots are good for chips and short pitches, but unreliable and limited in their length compared to body powered/passive arm swings.

  • Cameron Strachan

    Reply Reply September 14, 2008

    Hi Wade,

    It’s important to remember that I’m not advocating an arm and hand swing only. A proper golf swing will be a combination of hand and body. Most golf instruction emphasises too much body – when you can learn to let the body be a support mechanism you will hit the ball further with less effort.

    This is what scientific study has found and this seems to be more accurate than our opinion and perception.

    • Rich cawley

      Reply Reply May 3, 2015

      I shot 74 This last Friday at the tender age of 73 with a slight wind up of the body and a squat on the dn swing . some of my drivers were in
      The 260 to 270 range

      • Cameron

        Reply Reply May 3, 2015

        Great stuff Rich! If you can take one more stroke off that score then you’ll achieve something even more special.

        You certainly don’t need a huge backswing to play great golf. Great job!

  • Cameron Strachan

    Reply Reply September 14, 2008

    Hi Wade,

    It’s important to remember that I’m not advocating an arm and hand swing only. A proper golf swing will be a combination of hand and body. Most golf instruction emphasises too much body – when you can learn to let the body be a support mechanism you will hit the ball further with less effort.

    This is what scientific study has found and this seems to be more accurate than opinion and perception.

  • Jim D.

    Reply Reply September 26, 2008

    Cameron, I also have done my share of research on all kinds of swings since I started back playing @ 2000. I first had a mostly arm swing and came from @ 100 to @ 75 to 80 in @ 2 yrs.. Then…. I started reading all the stuff about how much more powerful a body swing was. My game slowly went downhill. I not only lost power but accuracy as well. Since I am in my 60 s , I thought it was just my age catching up with me. Long story short, after 2 -3 years of frustration , I returned to arm swing after reading a blog about Leslie King method of swinging.Thank goodness!!! My distance improved, my accuracy came back and I am close to par on a good day. It is not unusual to hit a 250 to 300 yd drive. THE STRENGTH IS IN THE ARMS SUPPORTED WITH A GOOD BODY TURN! Thanks J. D.

  • Mike

    Reply Reply March 5, 2009

    Hi, Cameron

    Can you explain more about your scientific research in detail ?

    How was the research project devised to determine which swing type was better ? Who was the subject ? How did you come to the conclusion in which arm swing was better than body swing ?

  • Cameron Strachan

    Reply Reply March 6, 2009

    Hi Mike,

    The scientists used a fairly complicated testing protocol. There were many subjects – about 12 from memory. I didn’t come up with the conclusion. I worked with them and helped them understand the golf swing better. It was a joint venture really – I was led by their research and BioSwing was formed.

    Sorry I can’t give you more detail – but the science remained the property of the Universities involved – BioSwing was all I was allowed to walk away with.

    Strange but true.

    Cameron

  • Jess Macachor

    Reply Reply December 12, 2009

    The problem with most scientific research is that the ones feeding the data do not have enouygh educational background themselves.. I am a trained surgeon and I kinow the body mechanics better than
    many pretentious scientific golf instructors. My lessons are based on simple physice like, molmentum,
    moment arm, and summation of forces. Centrifugal force is not the reasoh for clubhead speed as many iugnorant instuctors believe. There are many axes in the swing and one of the most imjportant axis or axes are the hip joints(ball and socket). The single axis theory is wrong. The X -factor theory is wrong, otherwise the great Bobby Jones could have never driven a ball more than 200 yards because his hips
    turned as much as his shouldeer or zero X-factor.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply December 12, 2009

    @Jess: I agree. Golf coaches didn’t perform this research – Qualified biomechanical researches did.

    We also found some interesting facts about the hips. Most importantly was learning to control them on the way down.

    Cheers,

    Cameron

  • Jess Macachor

    Reply Reply December 13, 2009

    Dear Cameron,
    I have done more than 25 years of research in the golf swing and jusrt published a book titled-Golf Lessons Not For Monkeys.. The tiltel is self explanatory. I have never come across any golf instructor or professionbal golf player who understands the reasons behind the different aspects of the swing like,–why the Vardon or Interlocking grikp is better than a 10 finger grip, why is the driver at center length and now limited to 48 inches? The real reasons for the Straight Takeaway. These are just examples of what readers will find in my book.
    I am just hungry for intelligent conversation with intelligent persons like you. I am close to 70 years old and I wish I could get together with somebody who is influential enoujgh to broadcast my knopwledge especikallyh to the younger generation. Bad side effect is that once people have my knowledge they might not want to read any golf magazine and that’s the risk I’m goling to take.
    Thank you very much for hearing me out, as they say.

  • Jess Macachor

    Reply Reply December 13, 2009

    Dear Cameron,
    I have done more than 25 years of research in the golf swing and just published a book titled-Golf Lessons Not For Monkeys.. The tilel is self explanatory. I have never come across any golf instructor or professionbal golf player who understands the reasons behind the different aspects of the swing like,–why the Vardon or Interlocking grikp is better than a 10 finger grip, why is the driver of certain length and now limited to 48 inches? The real reasons for the Straight Takeaway. These are just examples of what readers will find in my book.
    I am just hungry for intelligent conversation with intelligent persons like you. I am close to 70 years old and I wish I could get together with somebody who is influential enoujgh to broadcast my knopwledge especikally to the younger generation. Bad side effect is that once people have my knowledge they might not want to read any golf magazine and that’s the risk I’m goling to take.
    Thank you very much for hearing me out, as they say.

  • Jess Macachor

    Reply Reply December 13, 2009

    Dear Cameron,
    I have done more than 25 years of research in the golf swing and just published a book titled-Golf Lessons Not For Monkeys.. The tilel is self explanatory. I have never come across any golf instructor or professionbal golf player who understands the reasons behind the different aspects of the swing like,–why the Vardon or Interlocking grikp is better than a 10 finger grip, why is the driver of certain length and now limited to 48 inches? The real reasons for the Straight Takeaway. These are just examples of what readers will find in my book.
    I am just hungry for intelligent conversation with intelligent persons like you. I am close to 70 years old and I wish I could get together with somebody who is influential enoujgh to broadcast my knopwledge especially to the younger generation. Bad side effect is that once people have my knowledge they might not want to read any golf magazine and that’s the risk I’m goling to take.
    Thank you very much for hearing me out, as they say.

  • Jess Macachor

    Reply Reply December 21, 2009

    I know you are intelligent enough to be my partner. Close to 100% of my knowledge is in my book which is cop;yrighted. I am close to 70 years old and I want to teach what I know. I can prove my knowledge in about an hour in a golf range. However, I am not Tiger Woods , therefore I have no credentials yet. I also believed that all the top players are just it seems like autistic learners., learning through imitation. I would like to see a real champion who could transmit his knowledge to the next generation . Right now I am just trying to network with the cheapest way possible because my income comes onlyh from social security.

  • Jess Macachor

    Reply Reply December 21, 2009

    Dear Cameron,
    Thank you very much for your advice. I just bought the computer less than 2 months ago, but I’m trying to learn as much as possible as its uses. I am in the Mid-west so I have to wait for the warmer days before I can apply my teaching method to willing students. Bye for now.

  • Dr. Moran Coxon

    Reply Reply March 6, 2010

    Dear cameron,

    Your Secret #1 is absolutely correct. My web page has a link to my recent article in the International Journal of Sports Science & Engineering entitled “Was Vardon Right ?”. There is no doubt that the bent left arm is superior to the straight (not rigid !) arm in the golf swing. Not everyone will follow the physics but the conclusions are accessible to all and it’s good to have agreement between theory and practice.

  • Groid

    Reply Reply March 11, 2010

    If, Jess Macachor is all he says he is and has done, I THINK HE BETTER LEARN HOW TO SPELL!!!! Any sixth grader could catch all of his mistakes, and there are MANY.

  • Jesus Macachor

    Reply Reply April 7, 2010

    Mr. Groid is right I had so many mistakes in spelling. I should be more careful in writing. That is my daughter’s criticism about my book. English was always my poorest subject. I don’t value language that much as long as much of my communication is understood in science perspective. Language is only arbitratry, not like math or physics . 1 plus 1 is always 2 no matter where you go. If Mr. Groid have a chance to read my book he would appreciate my contribution to the education of the golfing community, that is if he is really serious about learning golf..

  • Jesus D. Macachor, M.D.

    Reply Reply April 8, 2010

    I forgot to invite Groid or he should invite me for I think he’s got more money than I do. I am more careful now of my typing. You are a very interesting and impressionistic person and for that I can give you free lessons in golf that you will never get from anywhere in the world..If you have enough educational background you should understand my lessons.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply April 8, 2010

      @Jesse: I don’t know who Mr Droid is you’re referring too.

  • Jesus D. Macachor, M.D.

    Reply Reply April 10, 2010

    I can not thank you enough for having communication with me. Cameron, it is Groid.I would be lying if I did’nt feel slighted a little bit with his comment about my spelling and I told my daughter about it. However, I already have a thick face because of my many years of research that I was often criticized by my friends.I am also honest about my invitation.

  • Jesus D. Macachor, M.D.

    Reply Reply April 10, 2010

    I read Dr. Moran Coxon’s comments about Vardon. The Vardon and the Interlocking grip are superior to the 10 finger grip because both facilitates a bigger arc and better shoulder turn simply because of the position of the right hand under the left hand in the grip towards the top, Therefore, the right hand can push and pull the left hand and the club higher and therefore also give a better shoulder turn. The left elbow maybe bent a little as long as there is a full shoulder turn. The radius of the arc might be slightly less but the club will also have a longer arc if the shoulder is turned fully as you can see the club pointing down at the top of the swing.Longer arc equals more momentum given the same amount of force. I hope Groid reads this.

    • Sergei Romin

      Reply Reply May 1, 2017

      Hi. I don’t know maybe my comment is too late but… The radius of the arc of the swing’s pattern and actual arc of the center of the club head are always the same. However, when addressing to the ball, you may ‘draw’ a picture(in your mind) with the arc of the club head shorter or longer, which will all depend on the type/kind of the desired trajectory of the ball…

  • Jay McKinlay

    Reply Reply April 8, 2011

    start the swing with the arms?
    bend the left arm?
    don’t listen to professional golf instuctor about grip?
    what a bunch of bull crap I hope there isn’t anyone that takes this serious.
    It’s always about someone trying to make money no matter the cost!

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply April 10, 2011

      Jay: thanks for leaving your comments. I don’t expect everyone to believe in scientific research. In fact most golfers are happy to struggle along doing what they’ve always done. Good luck with your journey.

  • Simon Howell

    Reply Reply July 12, 2012

    Absolutely right…relax in the back swing…and watch how far it goes…particularly important from close range (the scoring shots)…and find your natural rthymn….

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply July 12, 2012

      Thanks for posting Simon. Hope the golf is going well.

  • Henry Szylwin

    Reply Reply August 11, 2012

    You are right on the money! What you describe is how I swing. I know that the left hand and arm create the swing, not the rotation of the body. This is what I found to be true for myself. The body follows and does not lead the golf swing. The flat spot principle is also right on the money! Coiling for power is another bad idea, which masks the importance of feel in the golf swing, the feeling of the clubhead in the left hand. Not having a completely straight left arm is also on the money. It reduces my tension and allows my body to follow the left hand and arm with ease. One thing you did not mention but imply, is that you don’t need as much active energy to swing in a bio-mechanical way. You are not relying on the big muscles, but on the little, more sensitive ones in the left hand and arm. An absence of tension, is key to allowing the freedom of motion needed to hit all the correct mechanic positions, without having to think about them. My key here is simply to maintain a steady spine angle, with my center of gravity remaining for the most part between by two feet. I agree with everything you say, and I know people will greatly benefit from your research.

  • Henry Szylwin

    Reply Reply August 11, 2012

    One more comment? The body is an amazing machine. Following a bio-mechanical model, I believe, will give you your best chance of tapping into what your body can do, without lots of conscious thought, but rather do what is instinctive. I think the golf swing is more like a graceful ballet, rather than a prize fight. I believe the harder you try to swing, the worse result you will obtain. Obtaining an efficient swing, based on ease of motion and balance, is the key to letting your body take over and perform correctly.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply August 12, 2012

      Henry: Thanks for posting. It really all comes down to how we’re able to keep out of our own way when out playing. The more instinctive one can make it the better you’ll play. One thing that I learned from the scientists was that coaching was all about making it simple – bombarding students with technical information was of little use. “Simple” requires some imagination and a willingness to walk a different path.

      Keep up the good work.

      Cameron

  • Scott sherman

    Reply Reply October 1, 2012

    I agree with Steve anyone with a brain can see that over long tour player has a tone of coil. Also the “X factor” is crucial for distance look at Dustin, bubbla, tiger, Rory all have past parallel swings. As a physicist I know that the first rule in science is that if your data disagrees with reality you have an error in your testing methods.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply October 1, 2012

      Scott: X factor isn’t overly easy for “regular” golfers. The idea here is to present a simpler or an alternative way of hitting the ball. Plenty of very good players hit the ball very long with a shorter swing. Tiger comes to mind prior to his so called slump.

      • Javier

        Reply Reply April 16, 2015

        Actually I think you are asumming that you need to coil or have the x factor.I too can swing like them and I’m only 5’7. When I coil and X Factor my drive goes around 290-300. When I swing regular the distance is aroun 270-280. So we’re talking about an avg.of 15 yards loss. That’s not very drastic in my humble opinion!

  • steve westbrock

    Reply Reply November 16, 2012

    big grips has helped me arthritic hands I am a firm believer in arms and hand vs body swing

  • John B

    Reply Reply November 26, 2012

    Cameron, great information since it is based on observable and measurable data, particularly the Flat Spot Principle. Your photos demonstrating it show two reasons how the FSP is achieved. First at impact and just beyond your left wrist is flat, which means your right wrist is bent. Both remain in this condition well after impact. Second while maintaining this alignment your trailing forearm traces the target line by swinging naturally back to the inside. To see this via instant feedback, grip flashlight or a laser pen in your trailing hand, bend your wrist back as it is at impact and swing while maintaining the bent wrist condition. The light should trace down your target line as your trailing hand, supported by the body turn, swings and turns to the inside of the line. This is called forearm tracing and is found in Homer Kelley’s “The Golf Machine”.

  • bernard

    Reply Reply January 5, 2013

    I’m writing this to help beginners. The concepts described here will no doubt help golfers who are beginners’ perhaps lack a little athleticism, or want to find some consistency. Swinging the club with mainly only the arms will absolutely help many because the lack of strong body motion will create a more consistent bottom of the swing arc. Also it will probably make it easier to hit the ball more solidly. That being said make no mistake that professionals do not swing this way. Hogan and Nicklaus in their books as well as bobby Jones describe the body leading the swing.

    Dude i don’t know who did your research but all scientific research of pro swings have proven they swing with body its called……kinetic sequence. So eve though your wrong in your facts I still think this could help people. Please don’t even try to refute as the kinetic sequence is factual well documented and widely available.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply January 5, 2013

      Bernard: Like many, you’re not reading the article correctly. The body acts as a support mechanism – it shouldn’t dominate the motion. I have tested this on all sorts of golfers and gotten fantastic results. Far too much golf instruction places too much emphasis on the large muscles – this over complicates an already difficult game.

      Also, it has also been proven that the best players really don’t know what they’re doing with their swing. Their perceptions are based on feel and this is rarely that correct. There is nothing wrong with this (we’re not that good at feeling exactly what is going on) but trouble arises when thoughts are passed onto others. Probably the main reason why so many golfers struggle to improve their swing.

      You’re stuck in the traditional golf mindset and are missing the point of what I’ve tried to do here – which is bridge the gap between scientific research/data and make it viable for ALL golfers to improve their game.

      Cameron

      P.S. Make no mistake – the scientific research was conducted by an international team of biomechanics. These guys are leaders in their field and I’d back their work over anyone in the golf industry.

  • charles brown

    Reply Reply January 11, 2013

    Absolutely agree with shortening the backswing… I also believe that more power is generated by the shoulder muscles. I hadda learn my swing after many difficult years. Nice article.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply January 15, 2013

      Charles, thanks for stopping by. A shorter backswing definitely gives enough power for most to be dangerous. It is also easier to do than those super long backswings. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Sandwah

    Reply Reply February 28, 2013

    was wondering what your thoughts are on how the body must respond the pulling force of the arms and club in the downswing? if you look at any of the athletic motions in sport, you can see the body leaning away from where the force is being delivered, in order to maintain dynamic balance. and further, have you thought about the fact that if you only focus on the arms and hands to swing the club, that their forward-pulling (toward the ball) energy will force the plane outside the ball?

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 28, 2013

      The body acts as a reactive support mechanism – for the most part it will do this instinctively – i.e. you don’t have to worry about it.

      further, have you thought about the fact that if you only focus on the arms and hands to swing the club, that their forward-pulling (toward the ball) energy will force the plane outside the ball?

      You’re assuming that the human system is able to take in all this information during the downswing phase of the action. It cannot. By focussing on the arms (at least initially – eventually this should become automatic) you give your system the least amount to think about while also giving it enough relevant info for learning to take place. It’s making this phase as simple as possible.

  • Jeff Benezra

    Reply Reply August 8, 2013

    It is an absolute shame that you a spewing this garbage…Everything and I mean everything you are suggesting is completely with out merit and in no way will make anyone a better player. There is not one modern tour player who swings without rotation. Power and accuracy is created through speed and square clubface angle at impact. This cannot be achieved repeatedly unless you use your big muscles to control the swing. The hands and arms are along for the ride and POWER AND SPEED are the result of the hips and shoulders unwinding in a proper sequence. The only things you have said that has even a shred of merit is that if you are relaxed coupled without over swinging (3/4 back swing) you will have a better chance of hitting solidly struck shots. That’s it, the rest is pure and utter nonsense and following your advice on the golf swing will do most players more harm than good. I challenge you to show me one tour player now or in the past who swings like you profess all good players do without rotating their body you must rotate to create power SLIDING CREATES NO LEVERAGE OR LAG!

    YOU ARE DEAD WRONG AND ANYONE WHO FOLLOWS THIS ADVICE WILL HAVE LITTLE TO NO SUSTAINABLE GAINS IN PLAYING GOLF…PLEASE STOP CREATING MORE BAD GOLFERS…HAVE YOU NO SHAME?

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply August 9, 2013

      Jeff, thanks for your comments.

      When I read “Everything and I mean everything you are suggesting is completely with out merit and in no way will make anyone a better player” I knew I was in for something a bit different. I think anyone who thinks this way probably has gotten up on the wrong side of bed.

      Then you say, “The only things you have said that has even a shred of merit…” so obviously you’re not sure what you think.

      I have been writing about golf and the improvement process since 2001. In that time I have realised that unless I’m polarising a few people and challenging the status quo then I’m not trying hard enough. I get a few people like you who pop over and yell and scream. That’s ok to me because I know I’m on the right path. Thanks for making my day 🙂

      • Ben

        Reply Reply October 21, 2014

        Jeff, you should reading the advice again.

        About 80% of tour pros have a bent left arm before impact- its like the 1 inch punch of golf.

        The body produces almost no clubhead speed. The only reason you turn is because you have both hands on the club. It adds about 5-10mph at the most.

        Great golfers use an instinctive athletic body notion to help them achieve the correct angle of attack/path/clubface position.

        if you were skimming a stone I certainly hope you wouldn’t have passive hands and wrists and attempted to clear your hips as quickly as possible haha!

        • Cameron

          Reply Reply October 29, 2014

          Ben, many in the establishment won’t hear your words. They are blind to simpler and better ways. When you use the analogy of throwing a stone it almost makes all the instruction in the golf world comical. Nothing like making something quite simple really complex to help sell a few more golf magazines…

  • rj

    Reply Reply September 12, 2013

    Jeff,

    Tie a lever to your shoulders, attach a club and see how far the ball does by spinning your torso and hips….

    Ben Hogan has stated Bill Mehlhorn was the best striker of the ball he had ever seen. He bent his elbow, swung his arms with soft hands and didn’t try to power with his hips. Many of the oldtimers swung this way with inferior equipment, shaggy fairways and still drove the ball 250+ over 80 years ago. Not everything new is good.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply September 14, 2013

      RJ, I agree. Well said.

  • stevie wander

    Reply Reply September 20, 2013

    luv golf sick of struggling recently using gary edwin right sided swing. some marked similarities
    to yours.arm swing less body rotation I really enjoyed video

    steve

  • Sukh.joshi

    Reply Reply October 3, 2013

    Excellent job indeed.very impressive.along the teaching of Leslie king.look at the world of contradiction in literature of golf.Thanks for your sincerity and effort to help the struggling golfers

  • John Fioravanti

    Reply Reply October 31, 2013

    I very much liked what a read and watched on the videos. I’m going to the range now to work on it.

  • Nathan

    Reply Reply February 12, 2014

    Its quite interesting to see that these string of comments have gone on for 6 whole years so far. Wow. Cameron, I gotta say well done on replying to the comments . You are a true contributor to the beautiful game. I started playing about 10 months ago and I have to say “I love golf” but as with most things in life, in order to play good, it involves lots of practice. I will try out some of your golf swing secrets for sure. After all, you won’t know if it really works unless you try it out. Thanks Cameron. 🙂

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 12, 2014

      Hi Nathan, yes the comments have been going on for some time. This is one of my most popular articles and it certainly ruffles some feathers. Let me know how you get on.

      Cameron

  • PathToThePGA

    Reply Reply March 15, 2014

    Hi Cameron,

    Just wanted to say that swinging with the arms more was a complete revelation for me.

    I have taught myself from online lessons to play the game and currently play off 10 but have an issue with chunking shots and weak fades.

    I have always tried to power the swing by spinning my core which is what is taught by just about every modern lesson but this does not always suit every swing thought.

    I am not saying however that I do not use my body but rather than spin my torso at the ball my body stays square for longer, supporting, whilst the arms power the swing.

    Handicap has gone to the single figures. Revelation

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply March 24, 2014

      Dean, the body will always have a roll in the swing. If one keeps the body out of the swing they’ll be in huge trouble. The trick is to let the arms swing without the body taking over the action. When done right you get a smooth swing with lots of power.

      Keep up the good work…

  • افضل شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض

    Reply Reply April 5, 2014

    Whats up are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and
    create my own. Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  • Alan

    Reply Reply April 5, 2014

    There is a golfer in my club, a male about 50. He is a big strong man and
    on a low handicap, he only plays occasionally. He hits the ball huge
    distances although he is not very flexible. His swing is barely above waist
    high. He says he gets his clubhead speed from his right inner head of the
    triceps muscle, the inner right forearm, and both wrists. It occurred to
    me that if you look at a skilled axeman, these are the areas they get their
    power, while the body plays a stabilising role.

  • Phil

    Reply Reply April 22, 2014

    If you want to see an arm swinger study Fred Couples. His body definitely supports the swing but his speed is in the arms. Watch his right shoulder and it moves forward after his arms swing down. His shoulders do not move his arms. His swing is in perfect sequence and he uses all his muscles but he clearly gets his distance from his fast moving arms. His body responds to his arms. Try holding your shoulders back and swing the arms. Most people can’t do this at first, so have somebody push against your right shoulder as your arms swing down and the light might come on. Most people say OH, that is what you mean.

  • Victor Mikhael

    Reply Reply July 31, 2014

    I agree about the importance of the hands in golf swing .
    Great Henry Cotton wrote a whole book about strengthening the hands almost 80 years ago
    He could hit a 4 iron with left hand only with a draw and same result he could have with his right hand only
    Cheers

  • golf ball travels

    Reply Reply September 27, 2014

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing
    through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  • nidu

    Reply Reply October 26, 2014

    I have learnt golf about 4 years my best score is 78, this article confirm that golf power come from free arms swing while hips turn as support mechanism. I watched youtube golf tips from Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose they said the start down swing by arms pull the followed by hips turn. Hunter Mahan in golf tips said transition from backswing to downswing with right shoulder down and hip turn is overrated in fact hip turn create no power. While Jack Nicklaus in his book titled 100 lessons and in one of golf digest articles he said swing arms freely let body responds (shoulders and hips turn) and let the club dominate you and body respond not the other around, who can argue with the man winning more majors in regular and senior tour in history of golf regarding how to play golf… 🙂

    Regards,

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply October 29, 2014

      It’s hard to argue with Jack Nicklaus. I reckon you’ll play your best golf if you strive to find your own swing and play golf YOUR way. It’s easy to get distracted and not trust ourselves, but I reckon you’ll play better, and more quickly, when you swing the club in a way that suits you. When you look at the target, choose a club to get it there, and then swing freely, your body will respond perfectly.

      Thanks for sharing.

  • sol

    Reply Reply December 3, 2014

    Hi Cameron,

    Nice article, I used to be an arms swinger when I started, but have moved to be a body swinger. I find that the body swing has taught me how to release the club properly.

    I am looking to get back to incorporating the arms more, to work on my tempo. Do you have any tips on the yips?

    Thanks

  • Bob Burbanx

    Reply Reply March 18, 2015

    Hi Cameron

    Thanks for proving to me that I must never listen to any golf swing advice
    ever again.I was looking for answers on the internet again – as I don’t learn
    . But you have
    made me remember that there is a big conspiracy out there by golf teachers to make the
    golf swing as complicated and as confusing as possible. Just as your advice may
    help some people it will destroy just as many good rounds of golf as well.
    For every great advice someone has the opposite idea.
    I have an idea, why don’t we get out there and hit lots of golf balls
    with a sound set up and a tension free natural swing

  • robert C

    Reply Reply March 25, 2015

    I have golfed on single figures for 40 yrs that incl. playing in a NSW Pennant final at Royal Syd. GC in 1992 that our club won. Now in my 76th yr. after a short break due to med. probs. I have recommenced playing of a hcp of 7.5

    I now use jumbo grips [Tiger Shark] and have adopted the method of breaking the right wrist back towards the back of the arm before any other action takes place.[as Phil Mickelson has recommended] This method causes a mainly arm/hand swing. Done properly I am hitting the ball as well as in 1992 but with reduced distance of course which is natural given my age. The body acts in response to the arm/hand swing. The body does not swing the arms – quite the opposite.

    By the way Tommy Armour [1920’s]also swung this way see ‘How to play you best golf all the time”

    Repeat :- start backswing relaxed with the hands breaking back – not pronating

  • kevin

    Reply Reply April 5, 2015

    Brian Lara is not a name that will be familiar to many Americans on here, but he was one of cricket’s best and most prolific batsmen. A biochemist called Brad Langevad – who played college level tennis and briefly helped coach US Open finalist Greg Rusedski – analysed Lara’s swing and showed me the results. They were very revealing. Lara, as close to a natural in his sport as it is possible to get, used every part of his skeletal power, from toes to knees, hiips, shoulders, elbows and finally his very strong hands. The point is he was totally unaware of the process. He hit the ball without thinking. Allied to obviously sharp reflexes, fast-twitch-fibre muscles and amazing hand-eye co-ordination, he once scored 501 runs in a single innings. And that is phenomenal. Lara’s “secret” was he trusted his natural gifts. And what Langevad did was show how it worked. It is not dissimilar to your theory, except that it emphasises the smooth inter-connectivity of the body’s moving parts. And the key to it all is instinct. Think too much and you destroy that component. Langevad calls it reaching a state of unconscious consciousness: doing something perfect without having to think about it. To get there, you need to repeat the action over and over again.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply April 7, 2015

      Kevin, I’m a closet cricket fan and appreciate the skill and amazing performances of Brian Lara.

      The sports scientists, before getting involved with golf, actually made a name for themselves in cricket. I can recall many conversations about the game, especially when it came to bowling.

      There’s absolutely no doubt that movement, no matter what the sport, involves all the body.

      The hard part can be to coach it. With a focus on the hands it was found that the motion becomes more natural and flowing. If you bog a student down with too many thoughts then learning becomes stagnant or performance suffers.

      At some point, one needs to play the game and forget about technique. And this is what all the great players do – whether golfers, cricketers, tennis players or any other pursuit.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Cameron

  • Henry Szylwin

    Reply Reply April 24, 2015

    I find that feeling comfortable at address, and having an easy hold on the club, is a good starting point in finding your swing. Play with soft hands, and without tension in your address.

    Not thinking about too many details is also helpful, to learn by feel, and not by connecting the dots approach. Keeping things simple is the best advice anyone can give. Make sure you are aiming correctly, and set up comfortably.

    Next, learn to waggle the club-head. Feel the weight at the end of the stick. This weight needs to break inertia by using the hands. I believe that if the clubs you use have too light a feel to them, that you will never unlock the secret of experiencing an actual golf swing.

    I believe that the weight at the end of the stick is what is being swung, not the club. This is a subtle difference. If the weight is more heavy than light, then the wrists will cock and uncock naturally, releasing effortless power, with a relatively effortless swing.

    Faster arm speed does not help your swing, only feeling a real swing will. Objects fall to the ground at a certain, constant, rate of speed. Don’t fight physics. Learn to go with the flow, and not try to force things.

    As far as the flat spot is concerned, Johnny Miller speaks of this in one of his videos. He said that the reverse “C” finish used during his era, was the key to why the pros of his generation hit the ball so straight! This key has been buried in current golf thinking.

    The old-school golf swingers used to roll their left forearm going back, and then roll their right forearm back to their address position on the way down. This used to be called the “hitch-hiker” drill. It is a natural motion, which makes the back-swing easy to complete. The modern approach depends on body rotation to square the club face.

    I believe that there is a definite technique to swinging the club. First, you must energize the club-head by learning to waggle, and then tossing the club away from the target to give it momentum. It should feel like the club-head is pulling the arms, and the arms are leading the body.

    Next, do not add any additional energy to the swing going back and up. Feel the initial momentum slowing down, until the club has come to a pause. Allow gravity to slow the swing going back, wait, and then use gravity to reverse the direction of the swing.

    Let your hands and arms lead the downswing, bringing your hands down and inside, close to your body. Your shoulders do not turn, but tilt, away from your body, as your hands move down and close in to attack the ball. This helps create the so-called flat-spot and reverse “C” finish. You set-up initially using the Reverse-K address position, hands ahead, head behind the ball. Then later, returning to this position at impact.

    One last thing. Always play the ball opposite the left side of your face, for all shots. Never leave a divot, it is not necessary. Keep your center of gravity centered as you swing and make impact. Do not throw your weight around. Swing in front of the ball, and not around your body. The swing is back and up, down and through to the target. Think of throwing the club to the target using your hands and arms. This makes the swing much easier to digest and perform.

    I totally agree with the notion that a full shoulder turn, and keeping the left arm straight is not necessary, and makes the swing much more difficult than it has to be. I play using a shorter back-swing, and let my left arm bend. The ball still flies long and straight for me!

    Do not get in your own way is great advice. Just setup to the ball in a relaxed fashion, taking careful aim. Waggle. Then pull the trigger by injecting life into the club-head, leading the parade. Ride the club back and up. The back-swing slows as it reaches it’s apex. Pause, waiting for gravity to help you move the club down with your hands and arms. Stay centered during the swing. No conscious weight shift. Just let the body follow the momentum of the swing, finish facing the target, standing tall and in balance.

    A real golf swing will seem slow, graceful, and effortless. It will produce automatic timing, with good distance and accuracy. Consistency comes from practice and playing often. I believe that once your get it, you get it. I believe that golf has been played this way for a very long time over the centuries, before the golf industry was created. Stop trying so hard. Relax, and discover the swing within.

  • Eric

    Reply Reply May 2, 2015

    Cameron,

    It’s funny to me and actually makes me laugh reading some of these comments as if you are writing blasphemy. so many people obviously miss read what you wrote. of course the body is involved in the golf swing….. duhhhh….. you never said otherwise. if you go to throw a ball you don’t ‘think’ about winding the hips and the shoulders and the ‘x factor’….you just just simply wind up and throw….. your body just responds to what you’re trying to do. It’s far more natural. Paralysis by analysis is the golfer’s ultimate doom. You’re on the right track and what you’ve written holds a ton of water… I’d venture to say that a lot of the haters that have commented prior years have figured some of this out and wish they would have read more closely years back. Keep up the good work.

    Avid golf junkie….
    Eric

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply May 3, 2015

      Eric, i do find some of the comments funny. And yes, they seem to only want to read what they want. They are missing the deeper insight. Almost like they enjoy making the game as hard as possible.

      I suppose the main goal here is to get golfers to give it a try. To explore and learn and have some fun with it.

      No matter. It’s not possible to please everyone. But thanks for sharing.

      Cameron

  • Eric

    Reply Reply May 2, 2015

    Good stuff

  • Norm

    Reply Reply May 5, 2015

    This is 100% accurate. I nearly destroyed my game going with a body swing and now I’m fighting to get back to a level of consistency because I’m so used to using my body to swing with my arms dragging. It’s a process but I want to implore people to heed your advice. You only need to use your body when you don’t have a lot of arm strength. The arms drive the swing. Not the other way around.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply May 11, 2015

      Thanks Norm. In my mind the swing is 1000 times easier when you swing your arms.

  • healthy living

    Reply Reply May 23, 2015

    Great article.

  • Alan

    Reply Reply September 13, 2015

    I am 73 9 h/c have been following ben hogan swing for a number of years and have experimented with a number

    Of different swings however I now am finding more distance and less strain on the body using arms supported by

    The body with shorter backswing

    Alan

  • Bruce

    Reply Reply March 15, 2016

    Completely clueless. Power comes from the body, not the arms. Arms are passive and behave like a whip.

  • John

    Reply Reply April 10, 2016

    Cameron, Reading this article as written makes me think you are advocating early extension. Proper swing speed starts slow and accelerates through impact. In order to accomplish acceleration in the golf swing there must be storage and late release of energy. The later the release of energy, the faster the club head speed through impact. This storage and late release of energy is demonstrated in the concept of lag in the golf swing.

    I think you are generating controversy with this article, in particular, because you may not be describing more exactly what is meant by an arm swing as opposed to a body swing. If you were to hold your legs and core still and only swing your arms, there is no way to generate any club head speed. Your left arm will crash against your chest going back and your right arm will crash against your chest going to the target. The result a very disjointed golf swing with no acceleration and extremely slow club head speed.

    In reality club head speed is built from the ground up through your feet into your ankles then lower legs into your knees, followed by the femurs into the hips, then your torso into your shoulders and finally into your arms, right elbow and wrists. Try suspending yourself above the ground and see how fast you can swing a golf club, that’s about as well as you can play golf by only swinging with your arms.

    The truth is, the body leads the arms in the proper golf swing. The arms take over only in about the last 2/100’s of a second when releasing the stored energy through impact. That’s the greatest acceleration, with the most accuracy you can generate in golf. Physics works in theory, Anatomy works in reality.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply August 22, 2017

      John, read the article again. I’m not saying don’t use your body. Just don’t focus so much on it. Almost all golfers will get better results if they swing the arms and forget about the body. Let the body go for a ride and smash the shit out of the ball with your hands. It’s a much simpler motion that delivers results.

      One more thing: if a golfer got into the most athletic position they could and you then tied their arms behind their back, how well could they play then?

      This analogy destroys your argument about suspending yourself above the ground because the arms will produce more speed than your body alone. By the way, I’m not saying you don’t need the body, because you do. It’s just a matter of where your focus goes.

      Good golfing,

      Cameron

  • Djura

    Reply Reply July 6, 2016

    To start… I played stick ball as a kid and dominated… I was small and hit harder than the kids twice my size… I learned myself and grow up in an Eastern European and Italian area in queens… We played all kinds of “baseball” type games no longer played…I stopped playing at 12… And joined a community softball league now in my late 30’s and started coaching my kids in his local baseball team… I learned few things… One thing I didn’t know was how good I could hit and two, people say the craziest things… Or some call said things “cues” or “teachings”… I never heard any of them so I could try it and quickly say… NOPE… Not that way… Than the push back comes without good explainations…. Only after looking into how our fascia works in combination with our center of mass, deep core and posture I now feel better on how to explain it to others… Again… I feel better not completely confident… Still… The first thing I notice is convincing others is changing who they are.. A part of them… Listening to street baller not an expert…Someone “teaching” them… Perhaps changing an image of dad, big brother, first coach…. Etc….That it’s not natural or God given meaning “if they only knew”…A plurality of reasons makes people completely not hear what I’m saying… I get it….for some where the swing in this case baseball is attached to some other way of thought which takes a piece away from the them… I told my self I’ll never want to take a piece away from someone…that is the ” some other way of thought”… I’ll only want to give my observations to people interested in learning and being open minded… And it’s ok as the others are great people too but they comprise conflict of interest that prevents them in hearing what is said…

    ~DM

  • Djura

    Reply Reply July 6, 2016

    For me… The baseball swing and the golf swing is nothing more than two swings with some minor variable changes meaning knowing how to derive the swing makes the variables nothing but obvious and predictable differences… In saying that I’m missing the broader debate hear… But to give up a few of my observations….. The fascia is important and the 3 well known nerves in the hands are important.. I’ll also look into 3 key points in the hands and feet and how they are coordinated.. So 3 points of forces… So to start these points in the hands and feet are key… The lead hand with leveraging power is extremely important… Meaning if you can’t leverage the rod with the lead hand you would have miss it and forever we will be discussing two different things…even though talking about the lead hand….

    Posture is important especially for the set up between the shoulders….good posture gives you good reflexes and instincts…. So two differing people with substantially different postures can perhaps feel and react differently to the same movements….

    Good posture allows for the eyes to direct the body thus letting a pubic push get lined up correctly without thinking big muscles or rotation or linear nonsense…. So get lined up from one place to another…. Meaning there are two planes and two different postures and the user should feel a moment of weakness in the transition…. And the push….so in summary… The hands, feet, tailbone and upper spinal cord using your eyes….The lead hand pinches in order to get the user in the 2nd plane so we know when to transition and coordinate it all….

    At the end, the hands, if your posture is correct ( I. E., what is called “being connect”)… The hands are basically used once connected to make the system work… Coiling is a no teach…. Nobody coil… What really happens is you finsh your swing… Than once you finsh your swing you need to know what pressures to use in the hands and indirectly in the feet and hold, pull, push it all back to the stance and even further to the back swing ( loading in baseball)… So the swing is finished and winded up… So in the winding you have the lateral tilt, the hip movements, the folding , rotating, weight shifts, lag…etc… If should wind up it all… Because than all you need to do is tap the buttons like a mouse trap… So any issues would be you didn’t wind ( set up) correctly, you didn’t hold/pull/push correctly or you didn’t tap the right buttons ….Basically…you hit the ball while your unwinding it and you just need to know how to (LET) it unwind itself while your directly it…. There are 3 points in the feet and hands ( pinkie, lower thumb, forefinger) ( 4 fascia lines, 3 major nerves) that either wind up, hold, push, pull… Blah blah… You get it… The puzzle is knowing where to apply the pressures because winding up should be understood… At the end it’s about LETTING it happen… Meaning hindsight is a bitch when doing it but easy figuring it out if you already did it and specially if you were not indoctrinated in the cue or culture nonsense… I’m out and I hope you find this interesting.. If you think… What stick ball… He’s not even a pro in swinging that stick and that’s not golf… All I have to say… Yea…. Good answer… Your right so don’t bother with this …. Hope all is well…

    ~Djura Malevic

  • Djura

    Reply Reply July 6, 2016

    Again harder to do if you already do it so either way… There is resisting big time with the pulls, pushes, holds… Hand, upper body… Blah… Blah…~DM

  • Sean

    Reply Reply August 9, 2017

    I love all these angry, narrow minded people (half of you can’t spell) who keep comparing the average golfer to PGA tour players. PGA tour players spend their ENTIRE life developing an insanely inhuman swing. They work on flexibility and strength in areas that we will never be able to achieve as average golfers. I got two herniated disks in my lower back from Afghanistan and I had to completely rebuild my golf swing after a 4 year abscense. Once I shortened my backswing to less than a 3/4 swing and started letting my arms whip the club through instead of my body, I started hitting powerful draws instead of the wicked slices I was hitting, stopped fatting and thinning the ball and finally started shooting consistently under 80. I play with a buddy who has been playing for over 20 years and swings out of his ass and drives the ball over 300 yards. I swing easy as can be, drive the ball about 250-260 and I beat him by at least 10 strokes every single time we play. STOP FOCUSING ON THE TOUR PLAYERS and find an easily repeatable swing that makes golf more fun for YOU. Leading with your body leaves the club face open and causes slices and pushes. I played like that for years and couldn’t break 90 to save my life. Random dudes that I get paired up with tell me I have a goofy swing and they try to change it but as we round the 10th hole and I’m 6 strokes ahead they usually end up asking me for advice. The old golf mentality has got to be undone. This game can be so much easier than everyone is making it to be.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply August 22, 2017

      Thanks Sean for your message. Many people are narrow minded and are missing the point of the entire article – which is to make golf simpler.

      It amazes me how hard we’re prepared to make a sport and when someone attempts to simplify they go all funny.

      Anyway, it seems you’re all over a better golf swing and playing much better as a result.

      Cheers, Cameron

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