Golf is mostly a game of Newton’s third law

This is the only physics you need to know. It states for every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction.

That is what golf often is, a game of opposites.

The first and most important, you must hit down on the ball to get it up in the air. I know you don’t take divots with driver and some people like to pick their irons shots, but the club must still be swung down to the ball. If you want to hit the ball on a level path with the ground to hit driver or pick irons that is fine, but you can’t hit up on it. The reason…the ball is on the ground and the club head is +- 6 feet in the air at the top of the back swing, so you must swing down to the ball. If you try and hit up on the ball you are trying to make an object moving faster than a car on the freeway to change direction the split second before you hit the ball. The more you hit down on the ball, the higher the ball will go.

Keeping your head down will make you top the ball more. If you try to keep your head down, you will either drop your head or stall your shoulder turn. If either of those happen, your hands will pull into your body and you will top it more. The amount you drop your head will create an equal but opposite pulling in of the hands.

Swinging more to the inside will not cure your slice. The more you take the club to the inside, the more you will have an equal but opposite reroute over the top and slice it even more.

If you are hooking the ball you don’t want to aim more right and the same goes for aiming more left on a slice for a right handed golfer). Your body is smarter than you are and it will want to hit the ball at the target. If you aim more right when hooking and left when slicing too much, you body will almost surely adjust. Whatever bad things you are doing to hook and slice, you will do them even more to get the ball to the target…making it curve more and go even more off line.

The sooner you release the club (properly), the less likely you are to hit a snap hook. You can still over draw the ball, but if the club is not open and underneath the plane, you generally will not snap hook it. One would think a club underneath the plane and open would cause the ball to go way right…and it often does, but in the game of opposites, the club in that position causes the body to shut down and flip it which is where the snap hook comes from. A “proper” release that goes faster than the body is turning just goes a little too far left.

Trying to swing the club more left by using your hands will not keep the ball from going right, it will make it slice/push more. When you swing the club more to the left (for a right handed golfer) with your hands, it keeps the club face open longer and gives you glancing blow to the inside edge of the ball creating huge amounts of side spin. There is also an element of the club getting steeper, which also will make the ball squirt even more to the right.

These are just a few example of how golf is often not a one to one correlation and is often the opposite of what makes sense. I will add more as they come to me, because there are dozens. Feel free to add some of your own.

Here is the important part of this post. If any of this is confusing, it is just a guide to show that forcing something into your swing often ends in the problem you are trying to avoid.

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2 Comments

  1. Ted

    Monte,
    I throughly enjoy your blog and your instruction. I think your insights are spot on. I do, however, have a question regarding Tiger’s head bob and his getting stuck. I collect old instruction books and in Sam Snead’s book he is clearly photographed doing his “sit down” move, i.e. squats just slightly at the transition from back swing to through swing. Hogan appears to have had a little of the “sit down” look also. So why is it Tiger gets “stuck” and they didn’t. Is he just overdoing it. I have tried the squat before and it feels as though it generates power, but the timing has to be spot on or it can become a train wreck with fat or topped shots. Thanks and keep up the great blog.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Snead didn’t change his spine angle, Tiger changes his spine angle twice before impact.

      I don’t like anyone to implement a “sitdown” but obviously Snead and Hogan made it work…so did Nelson. However, they did not change their spine angle.

      Snead and Nelson relased the club on time, Hogan did it late, but he was also 5′-6″ and Tiger is over 6 feet.

      All of those things lead to Tiger being stuck.

      It is unbeliveable to me how he can shoot low from these messed up positions.

      Reply

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