The Tennis Swing Vs. The Golf Swing

Is the tennis swing anything like the golf swing?

Well I think the back hand tennis swing is very much like the golf swing.  I’m going to prove it to you with the video below of a tennis pro in New York, Chris Porte.  Chris sent us a video of his back hand questioning whether I thought the two swings had any similarity.  Here’s his email:  (Please see the followup email he sent after the analysis below)

Hi Bobby, we emailed back and forth some time ago; I coach tennis in NY City. I just watched your video on letting the arms swing while keeping the shoulders turned-you used Garcia. It reminded me of the my handed backhand where I let the arm swing freely AWAY from me-the body followed. Is that fair to say? Chris

I’ve been hammering away at all my kind and patient student members about how the arms work independent of the body on the down swing. Also on how you MUST be behind the golf ball not on top of it.  (Golfers build their golf swing on top of the golf ball because some idiot told them to keep their head down and not move it.)

If you are right handed it is your left shoulder you want to line up with the golf ball not your head at address and at the moment of impact.  Yes with the shorter golf clubs the ball moves back in the stance which gives the appearance as if the shoulder is past the ball but it’s not!  The shorter golf clubs, (8,9,pw,gw,etc.)  are built with shaft lean forward to accommodate the steeper angle of attack.  The shorter golf clubs have a steeper lie angle or are more upright.  (pictured below)

golf-ball-placement-in-stance

The golf club is swinging from your front shoulder not your head!  Getting your front arm, and club shaft all in straight line at impact, is the challenge.  Take a look at the picture at impact.

 

golf-impact-position

 

In order to accomplish any of these positions above you MUST get comfortable with having your head positioned well behind the golf ball at address or allow it to glide with the swing motion back and forth but NOT up and down!  Take your pick.  Either method will work.

 

Here’s the video I sent to Chris.

Here’s Chris comments after the video.

Hi Bobby, Thanks for doing the analysis! I’ve forwarded it to golf and tennis buddies and everyone enjoyed it with even some “aha, that makes sense” I’ve looked at virtually all the top instructors’ videos and you really are among the very best, if not THE best.
I’m 57 and playing on a torn meniscus (only very part time coaching and volunteer work) but grew up on lawn tennis at the old US Open Club in Forest Hills-I’m still a member; many open championships won over 4 decades, rankings, credentials, but here’s the thing-started with a weak Continental grip when I was five, which encouraged underspin slice but had good coaching a few years later and developed the stroke you see-it can be done!
Anyway, thanks again, of course show it to your students, and if you are in New York please do call on me-would love to have you as my guest at Forest Hills. ps Bob Dylan performing in our antique stadium in July.
Regards,
Chris

 

To get a FREE analysis of your golf swing just visit our page at https://quickfixgolf.com/golf-lessons/online-golf-lesson-free/ for simple directions.

 

Improving Your Golf Game Over the Winter

Improving Your Golf Game Over the Winter

I love the golf off-season!  Maybe because I love to practice golf.  Why?  Because practicing properly makes golf more enjoyable.  Playing golf poorly is NO fun!  If you play golf five or six times a year that’s OK.  It’s a day out for you. Enjoy the day, your friends and don’t get aggravated because you are most likely NOT going to play a decent round of golf. 

For the true golfer, (those that have been bitten seriously by the bug) a crummy day on the golf course is agony and frustrating for the golfer and for those around them.  Golf can be so frustrating!  You must accept that as part of the beauty of the game and keep your frustration to yourself and be determined to make a well planned effort to improve.

That’s why I love the golf off-season.  This opens an opportunity to target specific areas of your golf game for improvement without the pressure of having to perform on the golf course. Only play when you’re ready to put your new skills to the test.  I like to tell students, “you’re putting the car in the garage to do a valve job so you can’t drive it for now, (stay off the golf course).  Maybe I should add that you can still play golf on those nice days that surprise us during the winter that’s OK.  But, do not expect miracles or a finished product from your off-season work.  Expect the car to sputter a little until the value job is done.

What do you need to do and what do you need in tools to improve?

  1. You need a full length mirror – Just like a ballet dancer you need to see yourself doing your dance step, (golf swing drill).  You need to perform the drills slowly with vigilance in the mirror to make sure you are performing the drill properly.  I’d rather do three (3) drills properly than twenty (20) wrong.  Junk in junk out!  In our Lesson Action Manual, (sorry only available to members) there is an entire section dedicated to practicing a drill properly.  Mucho Importante! For members go to https://quickfixgolf.com and look for the Members tab upper right.  Login and then go to the Golf Action Manual tab and click on that to get to the manual.  See pages 22 through 25.
  2. This will sound basis but you need someone you can trust to evaluate where you are golf-lesson-on-cell-phonein the process and critique how you’re practicing. With today’s technology you can take a “selfie” of yourself dong the drill, email it out to me for immediate feedback BEFORE you head to far down the wrong road potentially causing more bad habits than the ones you have now.  I use the V1 system which you can download on your computer for FREE at https://quickfixgolf.com/golf-lessons/golf-lessons-retrieval/ (bottom of the page) or down load for about $2.99 the cell phone version which is quite convenient.
  3. You either need a few decent days to test your drills on the range or a range that is covered and sometimes heated in your area.  Most towns have one.  Video your drill work at the range as well.  You can view the video later at home, compare it to older videos and email it off to your coach if they offer such a service, (we allow unlimited videos analyzed with our yearly membership).
  4. I try to stay away from teaching tools or gimmicks.  They generally end up in the vijay-signh-golf-progarage collecting dust.  Quite frankly touring pros generally don’t use them either.  Too cumbersome to carry around with you from town to town on the road.  I get annoyed at pros that suggest you should purchase a swing plane tool for $299 when they themselves use an old broken shaft and a water bottle! Notice this picture of Vijay Signh doing just that.
  5. Keep a golf club handy by the sofa – You’re watching TV?  No reason why you can’t pick up the golf club and work on your grip during a commercial.  I get up and do a short drill taking care not to pop someone on the head.  Not necessarily a full length or full swing drill.  I take the opportunity to “NAG” the movement I am trying to re-program into submission.  It’s the number of PROPER reps you log that will make the difference.  You most likely will NOT get to the range often enough so you have to take advantage of practice at home.  Setting up a net and mat at home in the garage is great if you can do it.  If you don’t have a net you can get some very soft foam golf balls at Walmart. 

Ready to get going!  The spring will be here before you know it so get going.  Please send me your video if you’re a member and if you’re not your first video analysis is FREE.  Just go to https://quickfixgolf.com/golf-lessons/free-golf-lesson-online/

I can be reached at 804-378-7456.

The Golf Ball Goes Where the Club Face Is Pointed!

Let’s put this in simple terms that even a dumb Cuban from Miami can understand. 

One of our very esteemed Quick Fix Members, (Dennie Pritchard) came up with a great question.  He mentioned an article he read on line at http://www.golfwrx.com/157631/the-80-20-of-golf-improvement/ about club face rotation.  I thought this might help all our members so here it goes.

golf-ball-flight-lawsIf the club face is going to have the maximum influence on it’s ultimate resting place, (this is according to the Trackman studies which is very expensive launch monitor and of course Ben Hogan, before they invented these high tech contraptions) then it makes sense that the more you move or change the angle of your golf club face during a given swing motion the higher the risk of hitting a shot where you didn’t want it to go!  Maybe that’s why Mickey Wright said, “if you don’t know where your club face is you can’t play golf.”

The article in Golfwrx talks about reducing club face roll. I think the golfer in question was confused with the rolling of the forearms over through impact and was intentionally rolling the forearms open on the back swing thinking you roll both ways?  That ain’t how it goes.  You hinge your wrists on the take-a-way and then yes it is preferable to roll the forearms over through the impact area, as if you were putting top spin on a tennis shot. However when you’re going to just pop the ball over the net lightly, (similar to a 40 yard golf shot) you don’t roll your racket over like you do when you hit a hard top spin shot in tennis. (I’ve included some drills to do below)

Same thing applies to golf.  If you’re going to hit a short shot of maybe 40 yards, you would swing the shaft on a line headed for the intended target and maintain the golf club face on that same line throughout the shot.  Now, you will loose club head speed by not rotating your forearms through impact but who cares, it’s only 40 yards.

On a tee shot, you swing the golf club slightly right of the target, (for righties) and rotate your golf club over with your forearms before and through impact and your golf club face should be slightly closed to the path at impact or facing the fairway, (your intended target).  This scenario would produce a ball flight starting out to the right slightly and then drawing back to the center. (you wish!)

Now, your swing with a driver has considerable more risk of traveling off line than does that 40 yard shot where you were holding the golf club face as still as possible.  You rotate your wrists to put what feels like top spin on the shot, (there is no top spin because of the loft on our golf club, which is not like a tennis racquet) in order to gain club head speed and you’re willing to take on the risk of an offline shot by rotating your forearms for additional speed.

Also, you must consider that the golf club, (unlike the tennis racquet) has the shaft under the golf club head.  The tennis racquet has the shaft or axis in the center.  Imagine how much effort it would take for you to rotate your tennis racquet over to create top spin if the surface of your tennis racquet was above the handle!  Now increase that by making the racquet 46 inches long!!!  (typical driver length)

Now you know the rest of the story, (this is why most all golfers slice).

Moral of the story is, the more accuracy becomes and issue, the less risk you should take on in hand action, forearm rotation, release etc. You don’t get something for nothing.  The more active the hands the more speed but also the most risk.

If you’re playing a tight par three with water on the left and right, try a punch shot with one more club than usual.  Less hand movement = less risk.