Friday, January 13, 2012

What Baseball & Tennis Can Teach Us About Hitting a Golf Ball

What Baseball & Tennis Can Teach Us About Hitting a Golf Ball
By Sean Mysel - "CrossGolfDude"

One of the first ideas taught to boys and girls when they hit the baseball diamond is how to hit a baseball (or softball).  You take your stance, take a couple practice swings and step towards the pitcher and then you swing the bat.  In tennis, you are taught to avoid hitting off your back foot and take a small hop towards the tennis ball when swinging through the shot.  Why are we taught to do this?  By stepping towards the ball, we begin bringing the full weight force of our bodies through our impact zone thus creating power and precision throughout our swing.  A problem I used to have, and a problem I see a lot of golfers struggle with is the idea of using these same principles they were taught as children playing a particular sport and transmitting those to the golf swing.

One myth you hear a lot of people teaching the game talk about is staying behind the ball.  This is to say that your weight stays behind the golf ball and the force of the swing comes through the impact area launching the ball forward.  However, when you keep your weight back, what tends to happen is the club head closes and hooks the ball left (or right for left handers), you hit the ball off your back foot with increases the loft on the club  thus changing the launch angle which then causes the ball to lose distance and accuracy.  What we have done to prove this point is added some videos to illustrate how bringing the weight forward and through the shot will create power and accuracy.  First is Roger Federer, all-time tennis Grand Slam winner in slow motion:

Now Albert Pujols:

Now Bubba Watson:

If you watch all three in slow motion, you notice that through proper rotation, the full force of their weight and body rotate through the impact zone.  So remember, the next time you hear "keep your weight back", just take a look at these videos.