WGT Golf News

  • Golf Game Killer: The Sway

    22 Oct 2009

    By John Diekmann

    Admit it, you sway, I sway, we all sway. Many times when my game falters I can trace it to the dreaded sway. Unfortunately this usually doesn’t happen until I’ve looked a lot of other places first. Even your putts aren’t safe from the dreaded sway.

    Golf involves a lot of movement; twisting, turning, weight shifting, coiling, releasing and who knows what else. Given all that movement it’s easy to see in hindsight why swaying can creep into your swing again and again.

    Swaying has to do with moving your core—the spine. Basically the golf swing is a coiling and uncoiling around the spine. The spine is the center of your swing. If it moves your control over hitting the point of impact you’re aiming for is severely compromised.

    Poor spine management leads to swaying left and right and also up and down. When your spine is still, the chances of bringing the club at impact back to where it was at setup is greatly improved.

    If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty in the best golf swings, then the spine tilt does change slightly during the downswing for full shots as the hip moves out and around. This helps you stay behind the ball at impact. However, this does not mitigate in the slightest that a major problem in poor shots is spine movement. If you don’t believe me, then exaggerate a sway in hitting practice shots and see how that works for you!

    There are lots of gizmos and practice tips to keep the spine from swaying. However, there is a better and simpler way. Put your consciousness in your spine while you swing. Focus on feeling the rest of your body rotate around it. Do this for every club from putter to driver. If you do this, at first you’ll be surprised how much you are swaying. It’s not easy to keep still and takes a significant amount of core strength.

    One of the shots where it’s easiest to feel sway and practice eliminating it is the greenside chip. If you’ve been having problems making solid contact, you’ll find that keeping your spine still will quickly build your confidence. You’ll stop worrying about hitting it fat or thin and start thinking about holing these shots. Stopping the sway is that powerful!

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