Hi all, it’s been a while since my last post.
Due to my Achilles tendon injury and a mass of considerable professional work I have been taken away from the game and took huge delays in the plans I have for the site.
But the wait is over and we start again with a very popular topic:
There has always been a fight between Hitting and Swinging aficionados: On the paper, these are two mutually exclusive ways to propel a golf club so in theory you have to choose either to Hit or to Swing.
Both ways to hit the ball have strength and weaknesses and once you’ve tried and identified the differences between both techniques you could have a hard time choosing one path or the other as both are equally efficient.
Wouldn’t it be sweet if we could merge Fire and Ice?
Rejoice my friend, because now you can !!!
This "monster" is referred in the Golfing Machine terminology as the Four Barrel Hit. According to Homer Kelley (the author of the book) it is the ultimate way (although tough according to him – on what I tend to disagree) to hit the ball.
A few weeks ago a fellow reader asked me:
Just a fan and reader of you lag blog, had a couple questions:
I myself am stuck in that land between swinging and hitting. I’m not exactly sure what keeps me from committing to one or the other. I really love the swings of Rory Mcilroy, Trevol Immelman, all of Slicefixer’s students, as well as you’re "swinging" video. You’ve got sooooooooooo much extension and width that swing it’s just beautiful.
Somewhere on your site you mentioned that recently you’re playing with more of a hitting style. With a swing as beautiful as yours I wondered why you would prefer the hitting method? Of course in that video we can’t see what the ball flight looked like. Maybe you prefer the accuracy and lower flight of the hit. I too like the control I feel when I’m "hitting", but when I’m working on swinging, making a bigger, wider turn, rolling my forearm, letting centrifugal force do what it’s supposed to do, and I flush one, and that ball goes longer and higher than anything I’ve ever seen, it’s just such an amazing feeling, like a drug, and I just want MORE.
I guess I’m just wondering if it’s possible to have a little bit of both. A nice wide, long, fluid swing, but with a deliberate squaring of the club, maintaining the lag with that right index pressure point. Would there be any benefit to this?
Sorry I gota bit long winded with this one, I would love to get a response but also understand we’re all busy people. Thanks again for such an informative little blogsite.
Here’s what I wrote to Sean:
Introducing the Four Barrel Hit!
Now, regarding your question: I found myself switching between the two techniques during the past 4 years and achieved quite the same results in scoring with both.
Also a word about power and distance: I achieved more or less the same results in distance with hitting and swinging.
Without flattering myself, I can proudly say that I’m the longest hitter in my area (I drive the same distance as a friend of mine playing on the Allianz Tour (a Nationwide-like tour in Europe) and slightly longer with my irons (but accuracy not still at par )) and I cannot remember someone overdriving me!
Interestingly enough, this length and power is directly related to the Lag I now have in all my shots – not Hitting or Swinging. Lag pressure is independent of the technique.
After 4 years of studying Hitting, Swinging and Lag, I came to the conclusion that both are very efficient IF Lag is present. This makes the Lag the most important thing to master.
Now, a proper technique eases the use of Lag. This is why learning Hitting and Swinging is so important.
But due to their essence, Hitting and Swinging shouldn’t be combined!
“…you CANNOT pull (Swing) and push (Hit) something at the SAME TIME…”.
True, and I have a nice analogy for you to get a feel for that: Imagine that you intend to spin a bicycle wheel.
You can either:
- Drag the rim with your left hand (Swing)
- Drive (push) a spoke with your right hand (Hit)
Try to do both AT THE SAME TIME – you’ll find yourself chasing one move with the other – it doesn’t work well.
But there is one way!
You surely noticed the capitalized words in “…you CANNOT pull (Swing) and push (Hit) something at the SAME TIME…”.
- Ok, so what about saying: “…you CAN pull (Swing) and push (Hit) something BUT NOT at the SAME TIME…”
- Or, even: “…you CAN pull (Swing) FIRST and push (Hit) something SECOND provided you do not do both at the SAME TIME…”
- Or better: “…you CAN pull (Swing) and push (Hit) something IN SEQUENCE!”
Great, but how to do that practically?
First, a little reminder of the particularities of Hitting & Swinging:
- Centrifugal force
- A lot of “rotary” body power
- Right arm muscular thrust only
- Little to no “rotary” body power
A “4 Barrel” stroke is sequence of both techniques – and it is vital that they stay sequenced.
To get a feel for it, let’s go back to our bicycle wheel:
- Swing the wheel by dragging the rim
- The wheel is turning – centrifugal force has been generated
- If the wheel is not turning too fast, you could be able to catch a spoke and push it to give the wheel extra spin!
Now applied in the golf swing :
From the top of the backswing
- Swing component: with your left arm across your chest, perform your body rotation towards the target in order to blast this left arm away from the chest.
- Swing component: WAIT for the feel of centrifugal force coming in as your body stops his rotation and your left arm and club are swung into orbit.
Note: At this point, in the most extreme cases, your body could very well be facing the target!
- Hitting component: As soon as you fell that centrifugal force coming in, fire the powerful right arm thrust of the Hitter.
It works beautifully if the sequence is done properly and if you stay within your limits.
- Maximum power. For me it gives me one more club at last with irons and could sometimes send the ball 350 meters with a driver!
- No accuracy loss if done properly
- Makes your friends laugh as you send balls out of bounds in the neighbor’s swimming pool the other end of the range!
- Timing is the issue. Be careful with your sequence, do not engage your right arm too soon.
Have fun playing with the beast!