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Understanding & Applying the 5 Concept Golf Swing Principles

The discovery of the five swing principles is a real breakthrough for golfers. They not only define the golf swing and the athletic motion used by all ground based sports, but make the positive effects every golfer wants in their swing happen automatically.

In this article, I want to talk about how the Concept Golf swing principles create the swing positions that make high quality shot-making commonplace rather than accidental.

It took me some time to realize that while I know and understand the connection between the Concept Golf swing principles and the physical positions that cause excellent, consistent shot-making, that this connection may not be as obvious to many golfers.

In this article I will connect the dots between one of those important positions and two of the Concept Golf swing principles.

Connecting the Dots: Keeping your hands ahead of the club head & the ball through relaxation and weight transfer.

One of the necessary positions for excellent ball striking is for the hands to be ahead of the club head and the ball as the club hits the ball. This is true for all clubs, all the time -- and it especially applies to the wedge, the putter, the 7-iron, the driver, the 3-wood, the 1-iron, the chip shot, the pitch shot and the sand shot.

ONLY with the hands ahead of the club head will the ball be struck squarely and fairly. If the club head ever gets ahead of the hands during the swing, many unpleasant results can be expected, such as fat shots, crooked shots, very short shots, high aimless shots -- shots that no one could love.

As an example, did you ever try to make that little wedge shot near the green, only to have the club get some dirt before it got to the ball? The resulting shot is a short dribbler, resulting in an occasional utterance of "golf words."

What caused that manly shot? The club head got ahead of your hands! That made the bottom of the arc occur before the ball rather than beyond the ball. We could focus on what caused the poor shot or what's wrong with this swing, but we are going to focus on the truth that will eliminate that ugly little shot from your quiver forever. OK with you? Good. Let's move on.

The Concept Golf swing principles are only five, but none can be ignored. Remember, too, that your job is to understand them, not just try to specifically apply them. Only through understanding will they seep into your being and your swing in a way that lets you benefit to the maximum. The only way you can reach your ball-striking goals is to express these principles in your own unique way. That is the only way you can have your own authentic swing, your own homemade swing. Having your own authentic swing is a way good thing for many reasons. Have your own swing - don't copy someone else's swing.

What principles are involved in the hands being ahead of the club head at impact? Just these two: weight transfer and shoulder relaxation. And if I was to put emphasis on one of the two - and I'm going to - it would be RELAXATION. (Didn't mean to raise my voice.)

What Relaxation Means

I will usually demonstrate relaxation when I am teaching new students. The way I do this is to hit a few shots with my shoulders relaxed to the point of being ridiculous. My arms appear to be uncontrollable "string" at best. My shoulders are so relaxed that it's not possible to even sole the club behind the ball before I swing. The students are usually quite amused while I'm preparing to make the swing. They KNOW there is no chance to make any kind of a reasonable shot with that much relaxation.

The expression on their face after the first shot is one of total bewilderment. How in the heck could you have hit a shot that good, that solid and that straight with arms made of rubber bands? That's the amount of relaxation that is NECESSARY for high quality, consistent shot making.

When your shoulders are that relaxed, how can you have a backswing? The ONLY way is to let the legs make the body move so that your arms will be flung or swung in what we know as the backswing. When your shoulders are completely relaxed, your legs are required to do the work. When this happens, the weight transfer causes the swinging of the arms and the club. If your legs didn't do the work, you would be standing still at the address position with very relaxed shoulders. Not a very effective method of good shot-making!

When your shoulders are completely relaxed during the entire swing, the club head at the end of the stick actually has some weight. Because of the complete shoulder relaxation your arms have become followers of your body. Both of these effects are good. Now, with your arms following your body and the weight of the club head sufficient to cause the club head to follow the hands and arms, you are going to move your body to the finish. At impact your hands will be well ahead of the club head. GOOD SHOT!!!!!!

As you can see, it is only through relaxation of your shoulders and the needed weight transfer of your body that you will ever be able to have your hands leading the club head at impact and enjoy the resulting crisp, solid shots.

Trying to create the "hands leading at impact" through muscular activity or a sense of swing control will NEVER work. I mean never! I have tried it so many times and so many ways that I can tell you absolutely that it can't work except through complete and trusting shoulder relaxation. The Concept Golf principles work, and they will cause the correct positions to be automatically created without any conscious thought on your part. That is the best possible situation.

When your shoulders are completely relaxed, your backswing will start with your legs and leave the club head behind the ball until the body finally drags it into the backswing. That's exactly how the great Bobby Jones swung - and people didn't understand it then either. As you start forward through the ball with your legs, your arms will be dragged through the ball to the finish. With that incredible relaxation at the top of your backswing, you will sense your arms dropping in behind your body as your body moves through to the finish. You will love the shots you hit!!!!!!

I hope this helps you understand the positive, desired effects caused by the Concept Golf swing principles.

Your Coach,

John Toepel

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