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Golf Swing Mechanics | Learning to Golf With RotarySwing
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Published: February 16, 2014
We all know what a frustrating process learning to golf can be. It's our belief at Rotary Swing that understanding movement in golf and the golf swing mechanics can help simplify that process.
Everyone has the exact same set of muscles; the same bones, the same joints, and they're all designed to move in the exact same way. Therefore, their mechanics of their golf swings should be the same.
- Does your lower leg hinge back behind your knee differently than someone else's when you contract your hamstring?
- Does your hand move closer to your body when you contract your bicep?
If we all have the same set of muscles and joints, and they are all designed to move in the exact same ways, that's something every golfer has in common.
Forget About the Club
Forget about the golf club for a minute. The club is not a fundamental of the golf swing.
Many people find that hard to understand, since it's the club that actually propels the ball toward the target.
Every time we hold Rotary Swing golf clinics, somebody will say that club positions are fundamental.
When that happens, Chuck likes to toss a club down on the ground and say, "OK, club. Move yourself into that position." Everybody chuckles, and the club doesn't move.
By definition, a fundamental is to the origin or the source, the primary mover. Movement in golf does not originate with the club. The golf club can't move itself into different positions.
It Starts With the Muscles
The only thing that moves the golf club is muscular contraction. When a muscle contracts, it moves a bone. When the bone moves, that's what moves the golf club, but none of it starts with the club. It starts with the muscles.
The next article will dive deeper into fundamentals of the golf swing, because in order to look at the golf swing objectively and boil it down to its bare minimum, you have to understand the definition of a fundamental.
Once we do that, we'll have something that everyone in the golf instruction industry should agree on.
They can continue to argue about it, but in fact it's black and white.
Scientific facts are not up for debate. We know how the brain learns, how the body moves, how the body is designed to move efficiently, and that there is only one efficient way to move certain muscles in the golf swing to create certain movement patterns.
The ideal golf swing consists of using the body to create the most efficient, optimal movements.
Those are the fundamentals of the golf swing.
We all rotate around our spine in the exact same way. That's an anatomical absolute, and we know there's only one primary set of muscles that's designed to rotate your torso around your spine.
You need to learn what those muscles feel like, where they are, and what it feels like to engage them and create proper rotation in the golf swing.
Once you understand the fundamentals and know how to move the right muscles, and what those muscles are, that's when you're going to be able to finally make progress in your golf swing just like all the Rotary Swingers do.
You'll know exactly what to do and exactly how to do it.
Learning to golf using the Rotary Swing learning program and pathway ingrain new movement patterns through focused repetition.
Repetition is the only way your brain is designed to learn.
Black and White
The Rotary Swing is very simple. We look at the swing very differently than your typical golf instructor. We're not trying to peddle yet another swing theory.
That would be completely pointless; in fact, that's the exact problem we're trying to solve.
There are far too many swing theories out there based on nothing more than personal preference and what somebody has found to work.
Nobody is asking, "Is it the most efficient way? Is it the safest way to move?" but those questions have answers, and the answers are black and white.
We're not just concerned with swing plane and club path, those types of things - although we do believe that those are very, very important.
We are concerned with the movements that create the swing plane and the club path.
Which muscles contract? What bones and joints move? How are they designed to move?
That's what creates the shape of the golf swing. That's what moves the golf club and puts us into optimal positions for an impact that is powerful, efficient, and safe for our joints and our muscles.
We are exclusively concerned with:
- The facts of human anatomy as they pertain to movement in the golf swing, and
- How the brain is designed to learn new movement patterns
That second point is very, very important. Your brain learns in a very specific way.
Learn to Learn
Think of it this way. When you started learning how to drive a car, your first time in the driver's seat was overwhelming and new.
You only had two pedals and a steering wheel; it doesn't seem that complicated, looking back at it now, but you still started slow.
Nobody threw you into a race and said, "OK, go around this track at 100 miles an hour. Try not to wreck. Hopefully you'll figure it all out as you go along."
That's kind of what happens in golf instruction. Students are given a couple of tips and they're told to go off and practice hitting shots at full speed.
Your brain doesn't learn that way. Your brain can't learn anything at 100 miles an hour.
Your brain learns through doing very small, simple, seemingly menial tasks, doing them over and over again until they're mastered, and then you stack another piece on there. That's the only way your brain can learn.
As you became a more proficient driver, you began to take on more challenging road conditions, with more and more distractions.
That's how you learn, and the same holds true in the golf swing.
Don't Head Straight for the Range
When you're learning to golf, you should never go out and just start pounding balls. It's completely pointless.
All you'll end up doing is learning incorrect movement patterns, and you'll cost yourself tons of time trying to undo them later.
But of course you already know that; that's why you're watching this video, because you're still out there looking for tips and quick fixes for your golf swing.
Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way, and that brings us to another fundamental of the golf swing.
Learning happens a very specific way, and you need a specific learning program and pathway to do it successfully.
It's just like everything else you've learned. Think of learning how to play a musical instrument, drive a car, or add and subtract.
You didn't start learning math by studying calculus. There's a reason we start out with basic addition and subtraction with small numbers.
The golf swing is the same way. You need to start out with "small numbers" before you go on to the big, complicated things.
Just the Facts, Please
It's important to understand that we have no interest in "swing theories," who's the top player of the day, personal or instructor preference based on what they've found to work in their own golf swing, or what they've observed in other players at their club. We couldn't care less.
We are concerned only with fundamentals, facts, medical absolutes based on science.
The Rotary Swing has developed a set of fundamentals based on facts, and in consultation with experts such as orthopedic surgeons, who see injuries caused by improper movement in golf all the time.
Safeguard Your Health
Golf swing injuries may keep the surgeons in business, but for a golfer it's pretty frustrating to have to go get your hip replaced because you developed a habit - or were explicitly taught by a golf instructor - to push off your right foot, moving your left hip out of neutral joint alignment to where you can't rotate anymore.
That movement becomes part of your golf swing, you beat up your hip for about 50,000 repetitions, and then you wonder why your hip is sore and you can't play golf anymore. Your hip has to be in neutral joint alignment to protect it so it can rotate properly.
That's what we're here to do. Our goal is to educate both golf students and golf instructors on the anatomical facts of the golf swing, so that you can make educated decisions.
When a golf instructor tells you how to move your body, or you read a new tip, or a book or website tells you to do a certain thing, your first question from here on out should be, "Why? Why do you want me to do that? What is that going to do to my body? Is my body designed to work that way? How am I going to learn how to do that? Is that the right thing to learn?"
Golf instruction should be based on complete objectivity, just like we have in every other sport on the planet.
Look at gymnastics. When you watch the Olympics, how many different ways do you see people do a back handspring? Probably none.
They all do it the exact same way because they've studied the movement and they know what's right.
A back handspring is a complicated movement. There is a lot of different bending, a lot of joints, a lot of muscles firing. There's a reason they all do it the same way; because it's safe, and it's efficient. It's powerful, and it's how the body was designed to create that movement pattern.
The golf swing is the same way. There is a safe, efficient way to create movement in golf. The fundamentals are rooted in medical science, just like every other sport on the planet relies on anatomical absolutes.
Don't look at the golf swing as a bucket of random parts, where you just pick out what works for you individually.
Every other sport has said, "Look, we should all lift weights the same way. We should all do gymnastics the same way." That's why in the Olympics, the athletes competing in each event all do it the same way.
All the Olympians run basically the same way. You don't see anybody running the 100 meter dash backwards because they just personally find that more effective.
Stay Tuned for the True Fundamentals of the Golf Swing
Olympic athletes all move the same way, and that's where golf instruction is finally heading as well, now that the Rotary Swing has put forth a set of fundamentals based on fact for the first time in the golf instruction world.
We call them the Anatomical Absolutes, or the Anatomy of the Golf Swing.
The next article will look at what a fundamental really is, because that's the first step. We'll break everything down from beginning to end.
Rather than rely on what each of us may assume a "fundamental" is, we're going to define the word and then look at the golf swing objectively to understand what the fundamentals of the golf swing truly are.
Checkpoints for Practice
- The "Fundamentals" of the golf swing are not related to the club or the ball
- Every part of the golf swing boils down to muscles moving bones to create movement
- Studying the body's structure allows us to determine the "Anatomical Absolutes" of the golf swing
- Golf is learned the same way as any skill, through small steps and repetition
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