Golfers like to work on their swing and search for the ‘secret’ or golf tip that can help them improve. Although I’m not a big fan of quick tips or jumping around looking for a miracle cure, correct golf mechanics are important.

There is so much contradiction available in the golf world that it can be hard to know what is right or wrong. I have found that if golfers get accurate information they can swing better and with more confidence. This is always a good thing πŸ™‚

In 2004 I was involved in a scientific study of the golf swing. The research was conducted by an independent team of biomechanics, I was acting as a consultant (read: I’m not a scientist). This was a comprehensive study and involved analysis of motion, ground reaction forces and muscle activity.

It was full on and after nine months of researching (field testing, analysis and hours discussing) the scientists had come up with some interesting results. These results contradicted many traditional concepts and had the golf world abuzz. We actually presented the information at the ISBS and I got to tag along (I was actually one of the first non-scientists to speak at the ISBS conference).

Below are 3 Scientific Golf Swing Secrets that can help you improve your golf technique, help you hit the ball further and reduce strain and stress on your joints;

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Golf Science and Biomechanical Testing Studio

Scientific Secret #1 – Power comes from your hands and arms, not your body

Most of modern instruction places an emphasis on spinning (turning) your body for maximum power. This is not correct. This spinning and turning causes most golfing problems – most notably a weak slice (and a loss of power). Further, the unnecessary body motion makes an already difficult game way more complex. If you’re going to throw a ball with force against a wall, most likely, you’ll have a focus on your hands and arms. Yes, the body will move with this throw, but only in response to what your hands/arms are doing.

If you want to complicate a throwing motion then all you have to do is try and generate the action with a “big muscle” focus. From here you’ll spin and over-rotate and then you’ll feel awkward and clumsy – just like many millions of golfers do each time they play.

The key for maximum power is to swing your hands and arms. The body acts as a support mechanism – moving in response to your hands and arms. Move your arms first and the body will follow. It should never be the other way around.

Have you ever been stuck under a tree with a restricted backswing, then been surprised at how far you’ve been able hit the ball? This has happened to most golfers and represents the scientific secret to a better golf swing. With a restricted backswing you are forced to swing your arms, which is exactly what you’re supposed to do. This swing also feels easier because your body is working how it is meant and overall there’s just less things that can go wrong.

Make a few simpler golf swings and feel the easy power you can produce. Let your hands and arms lead the way and you won’t look back.

Scientific Secret #2 – How to have perfect timing

Golfers report that when they are playing well they have more “time” to hit the ball. During these purple patches their timing is spot on. Scientific analysis has helped identify the keys to having perfect golf swing timing. Here they are;

  • club head traveling along the target line for a longer period of time
  • club face pointing at the target for longer period of time

We termed this the Flat Spot Principle (FSP). Learning to perform the FSP will give you an unfair advantage. You can hit the ball with confidence because you’ll know that the ball will travel longer and straighter more of the time. The FSP gives you a mental and physical advantage because you will be working with better biomechanics. It’s a perfect win-win that most golfers are NOT taking advantage of.

Scientific Secret #3 – How to hit the ball further with less effort

Science has shown it is possible to get more power without straining and hurting your body. Here are the key concepts for doing so;

  • Focus on a shorter backswing. It was found that when golfers relaxed and attempted a shorter back swing they actually INCREASED the length of their swing (it felt shorter but the absence of stress and strain helped get them into a really nice position). This could help explain why golfers can report better results when they swing easier and take a three-quarter length swing (like when you take an “easy” swing from the middle of the fairway and then stare in disbelief as the ball sails over the green).
  • Allow a bending of your left arm (your right arm if you’re left-handed). This not only reduces strain and makes the swing easier to perform, you’ll also give yourself a mechanical advantage. A slight bending of your left arm at the top of the swing reduces the moment of inertia and allows you to start the club down more quickly. This gives your swing an instant power boost.
  • Don’t wind your body like a spring. Turning your body tight or as far as you can is not the right thing to do. This is sometimes referred to X factoring. You should strive for a relaxed and comfortable swing – not one that causes you pain or is difficult to do. Comfort is neglected in a lot of modern coaching ideals – but it defies logic. How can golfers play (and swing better) when they are being forced into positions that are completely foreign to them (and hurt)?

A bonus Scientific Secret – The Grip

Learning a better grip shouldn’t be difficult. But there are many pieces of advice to choose from and deciding on the right one is not always easy, so making an informed decision can be tricky. Scientific data identified two key areas that are most important. Get these two concepts correct and you can forget about the rest;

  • Choose a grip that allows you to swing the golf club with speed. This should be your greatest priority.
  • Choose a grip that YOU find comfortable – not what your instructor says so (again, the comfort thing)

You are free to choose what works for you: Vardon, interlocking or overlapping. Or maybe there’s a variation that feels just right for you. Find a method of holding the club that satisfies the above principles and you’ll do just fine.

As an extra bonus you may find bulking up your grips to your liking. I can’t stress how good a thicker grip will feel to you. When we look at other implements we use with power and speed, all of them have thicker handles (tennis racket, hammer, baseball bat etc). Once you place a thicker grip (just a bit bigger, don’t go overboard because you’ll lose the advantage) you’ll never go back.

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These scientific secrets form the basics of BioSwing. One independent scientist was so impressed with this golf swing model that he described BioSwing as the golf swing of the future. A swing model that gives you a simpler, better and more easily repeatable golf swing.

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