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Clubhead Lag -- the clubhead lagging behind the hands through impact -- is the most important fundamental in the golf swing.

All PGA Tour players use Lag to compress the ball while poor players don't.

 

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Hitting vs Swinging – Part 1

Hitting vs SwingingDo you know that there is two different ways to move a golf club, each way having its own distinctive action and feels?

To properly understand that, let’s go back to school: Physics tells us that an object can only be moved either by pushing it or pulling it.

In Golf, and more specifically in The Golfing Machine, it is called Swinging (pulling) and Hitting (pushing).

Before going any further, take a closer look at those two swing sequences:

Swinging stroke video

Hitting stroke video

For easier reviewing, here are the sequences of each stroke. Click on the images below to display the slideshow, and then use the PREVIOUS/NEXT controls to navigate through the images.

Swinging stroke sequence

Address Startup Startup Backstroke Backstroke Top Top Lag Loading Startdown - Right arm throw Downstroke Release Followthrough - Both arms straight Finish Swivel Finish Finish Finish Finish Finish

Hitting stroke sequence

Address Startup Startup Backstroke Backstroke Backstroke Backstroke Top Drive Loading - Loading the Lag Drive Loading - Loading the Lag Downstroke - Drive loading Downstroke Impact - Flat left wrist Followtrhough - Both arms straight Finish swivel Finish swivel Finish Finish Finish Finish

Same player but two distinctive look and, believe me, two very different feels.

Those are the natural byproducts of the actions involved (dragging or driving). At no time I intended to adopt specific positions and it is very important that you do not attempt to copy those positions. Your body will automatically put you into the same positions if you properly employ the right set of physics and actions!

Swinging action

The swinger relies on centrifugal force to move his golf club.

The main action involved here is to throw the clubhead into orbit, down and out, hold on to it, and let centrifugal force do its job without attempting to disrupt its action.
It’s easier said than done because any attempt to "add to the shot (hit stronger)" or manipulate the clubface will disrupt centrifugal force and will result in steering disaster.

Swinging is the most common way of moving the golf club because it does not rely on muscular power but rather on the player’s skill to use centrifugal force.
As a result 99% of the children start to play golf as swingers because they have not enough muscular force and a majority of them stay this way growing old.

This is also a reason why many club pros who started the golf as youngsters (and as swingers) only teach golf this way to their students.
While this is OK if their students are children, it can make things tougher with adults starting to play golf because those adults’ natural instincts is to use muscular force as they’ve learned to do in their everyday’s life and less skilled to use centrifugal force!

Known players who are swingers include Geoff Ogilvy, Vijay Singh, Fred Couples, Jack Nicklaus…

Hitting action

The hitter on the other hand does not rely on centrifugal force but on muscular force instead.

The main action involved here is a muscular thrust of the right arm against the primary lever assembly (that is the left arm plus the club as a whole).
The clubhead is not thrown into orbit. Instead, the hitter pushes radially (against the radius!) against the shaft with his right arm only.

Hitting is less commonly used by golfers (at last consciously!) because golfing instruction out there is mainly about Swinging. However, this is a very efficient way to play Golf. It has often been reported that hitting is particularly accurate.

This said, it is worth noticing that Lee Trevino, who is a hitter, is credited to be the most accurate player of his time.

Known players who are hitter include JB Holmes, Kenny Perry, KJ Choi, Lee Trevino…

 

This is the end of the first part of this series of articles on Hitting vs Swinging.
In the two next articles of this series, we will explain how to successfully perform a Swing or a Hit and the distinctive ingredients of both.

Knowing to do both is fun and very instructive. It will help you discover which action naturally suits you the best to play better Golf.

By the way, forgive the fancy pants in the hitting sequence !

45 Responses to “Hitting vs Swinging – Part 1”

  1. Hi John! Happy New year! I have already greatly benefitted from this Aiming Point discussion. I have been playing around with some of the Mike Austin stuff and something you said in another post about driving your right arm finally clicked in with shifting my left knee forward to start my swing or hit. As a result, I’m getting a true “vertical drop” ala Moe Norman/Hogan, an automatic elbow connection/shifting hip forward. The speed and power increase is incredible esp. with the TGM insights of Right Forearm Angle of Approach, and Tracing the Baseline of the Plane.

    My question is am I now “4 Barrell Hitting” in TGM terms or simply “Adjusted Hands Swinging” since I am starting from Impact Fix?

    Thanks.

    ICT

    • Hi ICT and Happy New Year to you too!

      As you know, the only way to perform a true four barrel hit is to use all four power accumulators.
      To do that, you first activate the power accumulator #4: blast-off the left arm from your chest by rotating your body. This is body power and is typically used in the Swinging motion.
      Then you actively drive your right arm in a typical hitting motion. The simultaneous release provided by the driving right arm will release power accumulators #1, #2 & #3 at the same time.
      That’s a four barrel hit.

      The hip slide motion you are describing is the correct way to start the downswing, hitting or swinging. It will allow you to easily “get into the slot” – what you are referring as “an automatic elbow connection”.
      Then, from that position, you can perform a Swing, a Hit or the 4 barrel sequence I’ve just described earlier. Alone, it’s not enough to produce a 4 barrel hit – these are two completely different animals!

      To perform a 4 barrel hit, you’d better be familiar with the hitting motion because the second part of the stroke is all about that.

      Now, about “Adjusted hands swinging“:
      For a Swinger, centrifugal force squares up the clubface automatically and produces a horizontal hinge (hello TGM fans!) motion of the clubface.
      You just trust centrifugal force and let it rotate the clubface, no matter what happens. In that case, very precise ball placement in the stance is critical for a straight shot.
      On the other hand, a “manipulated hands swinger” is deliberately manipulating/altering the closing motion of the clubface himself, allowing for more tolerance in ball position.
      But keep in mind that a “manipulated hands swinger” is, as the name implies, still swinging and therefore is nor actively driving his right arm like what’s required in the 4 barrel hit.

      GG,
      John.

  2. Robcg Robcg says:

    Lee Trevino is NOT A HITTER. Everyone who is supposedly in the know when it comes to “The Golfing Machine” claims this. In his book “Grove your swing my way” on page 75 he says
    “be sure to control clubshaft with the last three fingers of your left hand, both at address and throughout your swing. Hold the right hand on there as though you are drinking champagne out of Tiffany stemware”.
    Also I remember him (on some long ago interview) saying, when asked what his primary thought was on the downswing,”pulling as hard as I can with the last three fingers of the left hand”.

    • Interesting statement that you have here Robcg.
      I haven’t read Lee’s book, but study these pictures of Lee’s motion:
      Lee Trevino down the line view
      Lee Trevino face-on view

      You’ll find a lot of hitting characteristic in it: 

      • The address position
      • The shut clubface, looking at the ball during the takeaway (frames 2 and 3 on the down the line view)
      • The short backswing
      • The very characteristic shortened finish due to the right arm driving action

      … and most of all, the formidable extension of his right arm actively driving through the ball can be seen at frames 10 and 11 on the face-on view: Can you see how extremely contracted the muscles of his right forearm are? This can only happen if you are actively using the muscles of the right arm to drive through the ball.
      I’d rather not give Lee a glass of champagne in fragile Tiffany stemware if he drinks it with muscles that much contracted!

      You will never see that with a true swinger (think of Vijay Singh letting his right and go off the shaft after impact – his right forearm is relaxed to the max!)

      I concede that on those pictures the sleeve of his shirt his hiding his right triceps. But you can easily imagine that it’s contracted in the same way in order to perform such a big drive through the ball, especially with such a small backswing that is not providing a lot of power through centrifugal force.

      The fact that he states that he controls the clubshaft with the lat three fingers of the left hand is perfectly compatible with the hitting procedure: hitting or swinging, clubface control comes from the left hand and is felt through the 3 pressure point (aka the last three fingers if he left hand).
      I might add that PGA tour players are skilled enough to mix hitting and swinging components and get out with it where an average golfer would fail miserably. 
      In my post on the 4 barrel Hit, I explain how you can combine pulling THEN (not AND) pushing during a shot IF you time it carefully.

      Again, in golf there is very often a huge difference between what you think happens versus what really is happening: Lee may feel that he is pulling hard with the last three fingers of his left hand but I can assure you that he is also actively driving like crazy with his right arm!

      Quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, so to me he is a duck ;-)

      Regards,
      John.

    • Trevino could have been a “manipulated hands swinger.”

      • I sincerely doubt that ICT.

        Sure he is visibly using “angled hinge” and that is compatible with a Manipulated Hands swing.
        But on the other hand, Lee’s stroke has so many hitting components that it’s impossible to classify him as a manipulated hands swinger.

        An interesting fact: at the time Homer Kelley wrote the Golfing Machine, he took Ben Hogan as his model swinger and Lee Trevino as his model hitter. That’s one more interesting clue I think.

  3. Carson Carson says:

    This is just the information I needed to read, tonight. I’ve been playing golf for about 2 years, have taken lessons, read all the books, DVD s, etc, and just came home from one of those “mabye i need to take a break from Golf for a awhile” days at the range.

    When I try to employ the fundamentals my teacher taught me, it’s a disaster. Every so often I get so frustrated and do just to what works. Strong grip, shut club face, rear back and hit. Pushing with my trail arm. And it works. Well. And straight I learned to swing a golf club at 34. I’m 6″3″, strong, and clumsy. I now realize she was teaching me a swinging motion that just doesn’t suit me. All these things she told me were wrong we’re actually perfect technique, for a hitter. Thank you so much whoever published this site. I will sleep better tonight. And play the game as a hitter from now on.

  4. CS CS says:

    John, fantastic website and e-book. Admittedly, I have been a switter for most of my golf life, with natural tendencies towards hitting (as I am fairly strong yet very inflexible). Between yourself and Jeffrey Mann, I have fully adopted the hitting style and have made some nice progress. However I have a few questions that I would love to hear your opinions on: 1) I have noticed that when I hit (vs. swing) I tend to stand closer to the ball at address…does this make sense? 2) When performing the RFT, I tend not to go back as far when I hit, i.e. the clubshaft does not go to parallel with the target line before I fold the right elbow, it goes to maybe 50-60 degrees (90 degrees being parallel). 3) The swing thought I have when making the right arm thrust on the downswing is more down-the-line rather than cross-line…I find thinking cross-line cause me to push the ball in many cases. Thanks again for any help and keep up the great work! CS

    • Hi CS, thank you for your compliments, I appreciate a lot!

      Now, let’s provide some answers to your questions:
      1) You should stand the same distance from the ball hitting or swinging. The radius of the swing (left arm + shaft) doesn’t change.
      To be sure of how far to stand from the ball, do some impact fix: reproduce the ideal impact position with your hips open, your flat left wrist with bent right wrist and your right arm still slightly bent. This should give you a precise idea of your ideal position relative to the ball.

      2) perfect! Do not change a thing, that’s normal and a well known phenomenon: You cannot mechanically go as far back as when swinging due to the piston-like action of the right forearm.
      I would add that the shorter the better because it is easier to avoid straightening the right arm too soon before impact. Do a short backswing and a slow start down in this regard (this is very important while hitting).
      You’ll see that the shorter and the slower, the more zip/power/violence you’ll be able to deliver to that ball – that is just amazing and as many things in golf, just the opposite of what you would intuitively think!

      In my video about the divot location, I perform a hitting stroke. It is a full stroke. See how short is my maximum backswing length also how short is the finish due to the end of the right arm action!

      3) no problem with that, the general tendency being not going to much down and out. If you feel that you are doing that by directing your thrust down the line that’s fine (this is called tracing the base of the plane line).

      Have fun fellow hitter!
      John

      • CS CS says:

        Thanks John, your prompt reply is much appreciated!

        I forgot to mention in my original post how helpful/insightful the race car analogy was in your e-book…it really hammered home for me the importance of acceleration thru impact (rather than top speed)…

        Just one follow-up question for you – what degree of shoulder turn would you recommend for us hitters? I know there will be some variability due to each hitter’s build, flexibility, etc. but in general what would you suggest? 60 degrees? 75 degrees? Also, do you suggest a full 45 degree hip turn or is that shortened as well?

        Also, do you have anywhere on your site a top down view of a hitter in action? It would be very helpful in understanding just how much shorter the backswing should be (compared to swinger).

        CS

      • Thanks CS,

        You are right; the race car analogy is the perfect analogy: top speed is useless without sustained acceleration (I love the analogy with the acceleration that can be sensed in your back against the seat of the car and Pressure Point #3 through the swing :-) )…

        Very good questions about the shoulder turn. It shows that you are making your way step by step in the right direction in your hitting journey!

        The true hitter relies ONLY on muscular thrust of his right arm. The swinger uses centrifugal force activated by the pivot (body rotation) and the left wrist throw.

        As a consequence, the role of the pivot is very different. Its main purpose is to act somehow as a “platform to push against”. A bit like a sprinter pushing against its starting block, your right arm is pushing against the right shoulder.

        So, a pure hitter would not use the power provided by the rotation of the body but will be more concerned by lowering his right shoulder to comfortably deliver the punch at the ball with the right arm.

        For me, when I hit, I definitely feel that I’m not actively turning my body on the backswing. You may not spot it on video as the right forearm takeaway will still make my body turn! But I can guarantee that it feels like I’m only performing less than a half turn on the backswing.

        And I also feel that I do not need a big shoulder turn at all to properly destroy the ball and the ground!

        …and the hip turn feels like…no hip turn at all!

        You could even start at impact fix and to just stay there, getting the feel that the body stays in that position while only the right arm is moving – and by doing so, it will make your body move by just the amount needed (this is called the Magic of the Right Forearm)!

        Sorry, no bird’s eye view of a hitter, but those two frames tell a lot (they come from the same player (your servitor!), those two shots where dead perfect and by the (hitting and swinging) book! – so they are very interesting material to study)

        The top of the backswing swinging
        The top of the backswing hitting

        I’m turned to the max in the Swing and more facing the target line in the Hit.
        In the Hitting stroke you sense, by just looking at it, that the shoulder turn is not the key to power.
        Also, check the hips in the hitting stroke: they haven’t moved at all from address position!

        So, hitting is definitely a lot less body motion that swinging.

        Hope that it helped to clear the fog!

        Best regards,
        John.

  5. John John says:

    Excellent article.
    I play left handed. My right side and hand is stronger than my left. Apart from cricket and golf I am right handed. I figured sometime ago that for me swinging is more suitabe than hitting.
    I look forward to your additional articles on this subject.

    John

  6. Charles Charles says:

    Hei John!

    Wonderful site about hitting, I’ve soaked it up over and over.

    I recently bought a Suunto G6 golf watch. It measures degrees of backswing, estimated clubhead speed, tempo(swing time, %of time in downswing), and a good/bad rating per swing.

    From my first results, it appears as though I my shortest backswings produce almost as much clubhead speed as my longest backswings, and my % of good shots is far higher with the short backswing. This was quite surprising to me, and I am now working on shortening, rather than lengthening my backswing. My temp was rock solid on 33%, where I read that 25% is the golden figure to strive for. Can’t seem to do that, and I’m guessing it’s because of my short(er) backswing.

    Any thoughts on that?

    Best Regards,
    charles

  7. Hey CF, being a native of Chicago (unlike Daryl), and watching Peyton at the Univ. of TN, the Colts are my second fav. team!

    Do you think the author of this site has ever seen an Americain Football team?

    • Coltsfan Coltsfan says:

      dont know if he has seen a game live, but I belwive they do get NFL games in Europe on cable.

      The Bears are my second favorite ….

  8. NO, he’s with OB in Toronto learning the “secret handshake” and getting the Yoda decoder ring, en francais!

    Sacre Blue!

  9. Coltsfan Coltsfan says:

    He’s French and apparently MIA….

  10. John, ca bien! Are you French? French-Canadian? Your english c’est magnifique!

  11. Very concise, John. The videos are great! On point. With our championships coming up soon here in the Delaware Valley, it is great to have another TGM source that is so well organized!

    I have gone from a 21 hcp. to a 12.4 since March ’10 with TGM and have broke 80 twice in the last several weeks. TGM is way cool!

  12. Charlie Y Charlie Y says:

    If you are still monitoring this blog for questions from readers, I have two from watching the videos again (and again and again).

    The first one is on a difference I think I see of head movement in the vertical direction during the downswing. On the swinging video, the head does not travel downward, and on the hitting video, the head travels downward slightly before traveling back up, like on some of the Nicklaus videos. Is this a swing difference or something that is individualistic, depending on the person?

    The second thing relates to something I heard on the course yesterday–to look at the ball with the forward eye during the takeback, presumably on the assmption that if you turn your head slightly to the rear to look with your forward eye, then as your head rotates with your body to the target, you still have more “eye” to use to see the ball. Is this a general principle, or is this a technique developed by golfers who are forward eye dominant? In my case (right handed), I am very right eye dominant and have an uncomfortable feeling in my visual system if I try to focus on the ball with my left eye.

    Thanks for responding if you come back to this page and catch this question.

    Charlie Y

  13. Sven Sven says:

    John,
    Great stuff here about “swinging” and “hitting”. I really feel there is a best seller of a book somewhere here. Just as Jim Hardy wrote a book explaining the differences between a one and two plane swing, you could write one detailing the differences between hitting and swinging. I am sure I am not alone in this, but sometimes I may read a lengthy instructional article or watch a video and at the end of it, I still don’t know whether it was about pulling or pushing the club. Knowing that would make learning the game a less frustrating task. Keep up the great work.
    Sven. (Canada)

  14. Charlie Y Charlie Y says:

    I came across your lesson on swinging versus hitting today, and it has helped me quite at bit. I thank you very much for it. You are the first online eaching pro that I have found has recognized the there are different kinds of swings that come from different approaches to moving the ball. I read an article on LPGA tour players about 20 years ago on a similar subject, but not since. In that article, the author talked about the swinger who is ballet like, where the ball just happens to be in the path of the swing, and the striker who sees the ball as an object to be struck. It also talked about the advantages of each method. Since I do research in cognitive differences in the ways that people approach learning biomechanicsl movement (dancing, drawing, etc.) and making decisions (risk/reward), I have been looking for information like this to help justify my way of thinking about golf. I have tried to convert to being a swinger, but I always to back to being a hitter on the course when I have to revert to my natural tendencies. I am more kinesthetic than rhythmic, and I see motions in terms of hits pieces more than its holistic image. Now, I feel like I can be me and not someone else. Now I know that I can search for a local pro that knows what you know. Thank you.

  15. Coltsfan Coltsfan says:

    Hi John,
    Hope all is. I was wondering your thoughts on if you felt the hitting procedure is more “back friendly” than swinging.
    I dont have a bulging,ruptured disk or even sciatic pain, but I think I have have abused my back from landscaping and poor swing form over the years.
    I know thet the golf swing is inherintly bad on the back no matter how you swing, but I was just wondering if using primarily #1PA #4PA may spare my back a little more than pulling hard w/ #4

    Thanks!

  16. Great job of explaining the different procedures! Keep up the good work.
    NYC Lagster

  17. Hi Jake

    I give a lot of credit to Lynn Blake’s work. I take him as one of the best TGM expert around and his PGA tour student, Brian Gay, is doing wonders this year.

    3 years ago I didn’t know a thing about TGM and I’ve never heard of Hitting.
    At that time, my game hit a plateau. I’ve tried all the Leadbetter crap with no improvement at all.

    Then I bumped to Lynn’s site and TGM and while very complicated, it sounded right…

    So, I used Lynn’s site as a starting point to learn that TGM stuff. It was tough at the beginning because the forum is haunted by hard time TGMers and sometimes you can get lost if you don’t have the book with you as a reference!

    But the results and improvements on my game were staggering!

    This is why I decided to create that site: to talk in Layman’s Terms about the important TGM things I’ve learned so that it could be accessible by the average golfer.

    And, yes Hitting produces a shorter backswing.
    You must also make sure you perform a slower stardown and focus on destoying the ground!!! (I love that ;-) )

  18. Jake Jake says:

    Hey John what do you think or know about TGM and Lynn Blakes hitting methods?

    I feel they are working awesome and go along with what you have really well.

    I do find that using a hitting method my swing feels much shorter and more compact. Is this normal?

  19. Hi Coltsfan.

    You Grandpa! :-)

    You have plenty of happy time in front of you as a Hitter!
    I also think that a 4 barrel pattern is not so complicated as some might say and is a good way to compensate with body power the loss of right arm power you MIGHT have while getting older (which is not granted!).

    To me it’s the best of both wolds and, I repeat, not the terrible beast some say it is.

    Swinging on its side can also be tough to do well as you age: efficient tendon pull is not easy when you grow old…

    I’m not familiar with VJ’s theory but I plan to take a look at his findings when I’ll have some time.

    Rock’n roll!

  20. Coltsfan Coltsfan says:

    John,

    Great stuff, I will try that. Im 46 now and I really don’t want to build another swing when Im 50 or 55. Do think as long as I continue to weight train and work on my triceps that a hitting pattern will age well? Or should I consider learning a swing pattern now since distance may be a concern as I start to “fall apart” :- )

    Ive been dabbling with VJ Trolio’s (TGM’er) Hogan move which is a pivot based swing (possibly 4 barrel, as VJ told me he uses all available
    accumulators) Are you familiar w/ his findings on Hogan?

    He said Hogan was already onto his left side before he even reached the top, so once was at the top he could just turn the hips back to the target, (like he mentioned 40 times in Modern Fundamentals) w/out spinning out.

    Thanks again for the hitting tip, I play tennis too and just “retired”
    from hockey, so Im used to using my rt arm, just concerned about distance down the road.

    Rock on!

    Scott

  21. Hi Coltsfan.

    Yes, for me Hitting and Swinging produce the same distance with Hitting producing slightly less roll due to its fade tendancy.
    I feel also very accurate with Hitting while Swinging produces more “wild” shots sometimes.

    However, as I told someone earlier, I’m a former pro Tennis player and as such I may have a lot of punch available in my right arm that could help me get long distances while Hitting.

    It makes sense as Hitting is only muscular thrust of the right arm…

    One good solution to add the missing distance with Hitting would be do what I would call a “manageable” 4 barrel Hit (use all 4 power accumulators):

    In Lawman terms: Instead of just using your right arm for power, add in a LITTLE BIT of body power at start down to supply the initial acceleration of the loaded Power Package so the clubhead can be endowed with Pivot speed PLUS Right Triceps Speed.

    Maximum distance still with Hitter’s accuracy!

    But beware do not overdo the pivot action or you might face timing problems – pushing too early/too late.

  22. Coltsfan Coltsfan says:

    John,

    Regarding distance, do you find hitting, if done properly, to be just as long as swinging? I played yesterday and hit the ball straight as an arrow, but the length wasnt there compared to swinging.

    Any tips on getting the most distance from a hitting procedure?

    Thanks

  23. Mike Mike says:

    This is the most informative blog on just lag I’ve ever come across. Congrats!

  24. Hi Mark, welcome aboard!
    Sorry for being so long between posts. It is something I definitely want to address and I’ll post more often in the future as there is sooooo much more exiting things to say about all this TGM and Lag stuff.
    The article on Hitting is almost finished and will be posted next week.

    I often switch between Hitting and Swinging because the more you learn on one procedure, the more it can benefit to the other as you become more aware of their differences.

    So, even if you feel more comfortable swinging, you should give hitting a try as it could help you swing more efficiently later on!

    Beware: You could even discover that you play a lot better as a hitter ;-)

  25. Mark Mark says:

    love this website – I have always wanted to learn more about my golf swing, lag being the goal. I have alwaysfelt I was lacking something. I have heard of TGM and again wanted to learn more (slightly scared!)
    I will be trying the swinging method, but really want to learn more about the hitting method – sounds like my game. Any time frame till the article?
    thanks
    M

  26. Welcome Richard!

    Yes TGM advise to use Extensor Action (EA) to keep intact the radius of the primary lever assembly (left arm + club).

    Persevere! This is REALLY the way to solve your problem, but yes, I know it is very disruptive when you include it the first time in your game.
    The good thing is that Extensor Action feels uncomfortable and wrong ONLY if your motion is flawed somewhere.
    Make it your friend! Use it to your advantage to reveal and feel were the flaw is.
    When you’ll feel comfortable with extensor action you’ll know that you are on the right track and that your motion is becoming great.

    But as many, you may experience difficulties with EA because it is very easy to apply it the wrong way.
    The most common fault is to stretch in the direction the clubshaft is pointing to instead of stretching the left arm “below plane”…

    Check how you do this:
    1) Make a thumb up with your left hand
    2) Grab your thumb with your right hand
    3) Stretch your left arm
    - If you stretch in the direction your left thumb is pointing this is not correct.
    - If you stretch in the direction your left arm is pointing to this is correct.

    Big difference!

    Regarding your left wrist arching try this:
    - reinforce the pressure in #3 Pressure Point (index trigger finger) during the downstroke. It must provide strong support during the downstroke.
    - do this test: hold your club in your left hand only and hammer the clubhead into the ground in front of you.
    You’ll notice that it is impossible for your left wrist to do something else that uncocking – impossible to uncock and arch or bend at the SAME TIME while hammering the ground.
    You must have this hammering feeling while you swing the club. The difference is that in the golf stroke you just hammer sideways instead of in front of you.
    If you hammer strong enough, your left wrist can’t do anything but uncocking and staying in line with your left arm.
    Check http://www.golflagtips.com/hitting-vs-swinging-part-2-the-swing/ for more info on that.

  27. Richard Richard says:

    Hi Jean!

    I have a chronic problem of my right and left arms collapsing at the top. TGM advise to use the right forearm to push out against the left arm thus keeping it under tension and straight. Ive tried this but it has caused disrution in my stroke – I guess I need to keep at it for longer. Any advice?

    Also could you comment on how best to keep the left wrist flat without arching it and closing the face excessively?

    Remerciements….

    richard (Canberra Australia)

  28. Craig Vogel Craig Vogel says:

    Wow. Thanks for the detailed anwser. I am trying these drills right now. Very interesting. Looking forward to reading the next installment!

  29. Hi Craig,
    Lots of good questions here! I’ll very soon post keys of the swinging procedure and cover as much details as I can. In the meantime here are quick answers to your questions:

    To discover the location of the pressure points involved in the swinging action, do the “Drag the Wet Mop” (http://www.golflagtips.com/drag-the-wet-mop/) drill and focus on pulling the mop (do nor drag it by pushing it with your right arm or you’ll switch to hitting with a different arrangement of pressures).

    You can also replace the mop drill by putting your clubhead behind something very heavy and trying to move it forward by dragging the club.

    You’ll easily identify 3 pressure points:
    - Pressure point #4: The point where your left arm touches the chest.
    - Pressure point #2: The last 3 fingers of your left hand dragging the club.
    - Pressure point #3: The index-trigger-finger of the right hand resisting against the club wanting to stay behind.

    If you can perform a stroke wile truly sensing a significant pressure in those points, chances are good that you will compress the ball very strong.

    Now, regarding centrifugal force, you can mess things up very easily with ANY SLIGHTEST attempt to control the club HEAD. It is the tricky part in swinging: There is a sensation of no muscular effort and a freewheeling of the club head.

    You know you are not doing it right if your left wrist bends around impact. In relation, you can check your right wrist and see if you straighten it at impact.
    Practice doing half swings: Those are easier to check than while swinging at full speed.

    You can very well swing and hit at the same time but is not recommended as you’ll face big timing issues:
    Imagine whirling the club head in its orbit like a Swinger and a when your club head is 3 feet from the ball pushing strongly against the shaft with your right arm! You’ll add a little power to the shot with some “extra last minute acceleration” but the timing issues far outweighs the small power gain you can have.

    Keep going and stay tuned for more.

  30. Craig Vogel Craig Vogel says:

    John,

    Great article. Very interesting. I know you will probably address this in the next article but what pressure points are valuable to the swinging procedure? What is the means of control to know if you are interfering with the swinging force? Is the wet mop applicable to swinging? Also can you swing and hit and the same time and is this recommended? Lots of questions but welcome to my brain lol.

    Thanks
    Craig

  31. Scott Scott says:

    John,

    Great explanation of the right arm swinging procedure. That clears things up for me.

    Take care…

  32. Nice question Scott, but a very tough one because the right arm “Swing” is a special procedure.

    It could be described as a stroke mixing things from hitting and swinging without employing incompatible components!
    For instance, longitudinal and radial acceleration of the club shaft (the secondary lever assembly) are mutually exclusive.
    However, the world is not all black or white, swinging or hitting! Think of the right arm swing as grey!

    It is not that difficult to perform and here is the way I do it/see it:
    The base is the hitting stroke with its active right arm. But rather than having firm wrists, ensuring you move the primary lever assembly (left arm + club shaft) as one rigid unit, you keep your wrists loose enough to allow centrifugal force to control the hand motion through impact.

    So, the right arm is active but it is pulling the secondary lever assembly (the clubshaft) instead of pushing it. So, even if the right arm is active, it is no longer a Hit because you actively PULL with your right arm instead of PUSHING.

    One more thing: Keeping the right forearm ON PLANE during the WHOLE stroke is vital to avoid injury to the right elbow ligaments (as stated by Homer Kelley).

    Have fun.

  33. Scott Scott says:

    John,
    Good stuff
    Where does right arm swinging fall into the equation? Ernie Els, or Goosen. Tom Tomasello’s method.

    Thanks

  34. You are welcomed Jerry. Don’t be afraid to ask if you need help on a specific topic, I’ll be happy to help!
    TGM can be intimidating at first glance but once you know where to start I’m sure you’ll love it.
    The purpose of this site is exactly that: help golfers through a step by step journey into TGM, Lag being the glue to tie everything up.

    Regards.

  35. Jerry Greupner Jerry Greupner says:

    Great stuff. I just started TGM and this is most helpful. Thanks,;

    • Hideo Kobe Hideo Kobe says:

      Swinging versus hitting becomes even more complicated on half wedges, pitches, chipping when you must use your arms, hands for feel and accuracy. Swinging maybe okay for full shots. But not with the half shots.

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Aiming-Point Location Driver to Wedges

Aiming-Point: Too far forward

Aiming-Point: Bad location with the Driver

Aiming-Point: Good location with the Driver

Divot Location demonstrated with a Hitting stroke - Swing Sequence

The eye of the Hitter - 3 - Follow Through

The eye of the Hitter - 1 - Address

The eye of the Hitter - 2 - Startdown