Golfing Magazine Online -
Understanding the Total Golf Swing by Sean Hanley
Tom Landers
By Tom Landers
Published on 10/2/2009

Understanding the Total Golf Swing by Sean Hanley

It seems to me that the biggest problem most people have when they play golf is that they don’t know exactly what it is that they are trying to do. Let me explain: Too often, I

hear things like this: “I don’t know if I am keeping my head down, keeping my front arm straight, turning my shoulders, shifting my weight, swinging inside to outside, and hitting

down.” Hearing all of that not only makes me a bit crazy, but I am sure that it is making that poor player even more crazy, and perhaps even paralyzed. So I feel that people must first

know what they are trying to do with the club and to the ball before they swing. This will eliminate a lot of the frustration that plagues so many golfers. The first key to understanding what you’re trying to do is to understand what the golf club actually does. The club must move in a circle in order to get centrifugal force, which is the main force in getting distance on a shot. The bottom of that circle is where the golf ball lies, but you must be aware that the club starts traveling abruptly upward once it reaches the bottom. So you are generating centrifugal force with a downward swing that will start moving upward and towards the target immediately after contact with the ball. If you have a good grip and set-up and you can make a club do that, you only need to train yourself to do it more consistently. Problem is, many golfers constantly tinker with their swing, throwing in new wrinkles that make it impossible to achieve consistency. So find that good swing through proper grip and set-up, and then perfect it. It sounds too simple, I know, but that’s all you need to do.

Your shots will fly farther and higher, making your day on the course that much more enjoyable.


Sean Hanley is Director of Instruction at The Golf School at Cranwell• Lenox, MA • 413-881-1638 •