May Golf Tip

May Golf Tip

The Swing Trigger is not something that is talked about very much yet in my opinion it is one of the more crucial aspects of good swing rhythm and an often overlooked swing fundamental. Poor golfers often start their swings from a very static position with a jerky, tense motion. This leads to inconsistency with one shot hit solidly and the next off the toe and the next...who knows. The sad part is you don't have to be a beginner to suffer from this herky-jerky tension. To help start the swing in a confident and repeatable fashion every time, you can develop a habit of moving the same part of your body just before you take the club away. If this trigger is harnessed to a good takeaway your whole swing becomes more consistent. It's encouraging to know that when you make this trigger move your backswing should start properly. As you watch many professional golfers you’ll see many variations of the swing trigger. So what is it? The swing trigger is the movement that starts the swing. One example is Jack Nicklaus’ stationary press. He describes it like this...

“By firming up my hands as the final preparatory movement, I get a strong sense of affirmation of the coming swing throughout my body. This simple little device seems to alert all my muscles to the job at hand without tensing them in any way. Thus it has become a critical part of my game, a preface to every shot I play. You should work to build a similarly strong “starter” into your game.”

Many long time golfers have "grooved" a static, stiff, tense swing from years of practicing the wrong move. But how do they break this ingrained lack of movement from their swings? It's actually not that hard. Combined with a good waggle and relaxed muscles, a swing trigger will help reduce tension and create a smooth, consistent rhythm...for anyone. Harvey Penick, teacher to Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite in his Little Red Book had a great visual cue to give people a sense of that motion. Imagine a full pail of water. In order to swing it back smoothly and not spill the water, you must first swing it forward a couple of inches and then when you swing it back it moves more smoothly. If you tried to swing it straight back, you’re bound to do it in a jerky movement and more than likely the water will overflow. So let your body be like that bucket of water. Feel your body move very subtly towards the target and then smoothly move your arms and club head back in a relaxed, tension free movement. Practice this on the range as a normal part of your pre-shot routine and I believe you will start seeing more consistency with your golf shots.

Yours in golf,

Cabe Jones Head Golf Professional