Simplify Your Swing For More Success

with Kevin Haime, PGA of Canada Class A Professional, Kevin Haime Golf Centre

Most average Joe and Jill golfers that come across my lesson tee are trying way too hard and moving around way too much.

I tell golfers all the time that I spend most of my time removing things from a swing, not adding any secret move that adds power and distance. I suppose it makes some sense if you think about it. A typical player is looking for more, so they try to do more. Turn more, lift more, hinge more…. but all that extra stuff is actually getting in the way of the club just swinging back and through the way it’s supposed to. If golfers could just relax, work on balance and focus on just swinging the club they would probably get more out of their shots.

Our Gears 3D Motion Capture technology has really helped us see how different newer and experienced players are when they swing a club. The 3D software displays every degree change as a golfer moves and I can tell you with certainty, higher handicappers move way too much.

My Lead Wrist Set Angle is in these two images is identical! In other words, there is absolutely no wrist angle change from my set-up position all the way to my waist-high position (both are 140.25 degrees). Obviously, I’m not overusing my wrists and hands as I swing my club away from the ball. Higher handicappers rarely swing the club back without manipulating the club face and club path in some way.

This point is evident even during the takeaway as the golfer starts to swing the club away from the ball. With better players, we tend to see a typical “one-piece takeaway” where the body is winding in posture as the arms start to swing the club up. With higher handicappers we often see that the body turns less, but the arms, wrists and hands are far too active. The typical golfer is trying to do too much so they really mess things up for the rest of the swing. Most higher handicappers use their hands, wrists and arms way too much as they swing the club back. They tend to turn, roll or hinge to force the club back away from the ball and all those extra moves need to be eliminated.

I really like the angle of this photo because you can clearly see how quiet my hands and wrists are as the club gets to waist-high. I simply turn my chest and swing my arms to create a nice wide takeaway. My club is on plane and my club face is perfectly square. A textbook one-piece takeaway.

If you want a simple, repeatable swing, you need a simple, repeatable takeaway. Your hands, wrists and forearms really have no role during your takeaway. They should be fairly tension free as your body turn and arm swing sets the club in motion. To understand how quiet your hands and wrists should be, have a look at the Gears 3D images of my takeaway on the opposite page. They show that my “lead wrist set angle” (my left wrist angle) remains virtually unchanged until the club reaches waist-high. So, during my takeaway, there is literally no wrist roll, turn or hinge. I’m simply swinging my arms and keeping everything else passive. That can also be easily noted in the photo where you can clearly see how quiet my hands and wrists are.

Next time you’re practising, try to start your swing with a smooth swinging motion instead of using your hands or wrists because when it comes to your golf swing, less is usually better.