Photography © Jake Pickle
2015 | All rights reserved.

A Perfect Swing

I first picked up a club around age 18 and have been hacking away ever since. On my best of days I have shot in the low-mid 70s. On an average day 85. On a bad day, well, there’s no point in really talking about that.

So I’ve been working on my swing quite a bit lately, and I think I finally figured it out. At least this is how I feel after my last three range sessions.

I usually bring my Fuji x100s (fantastic camera) everywhere I go, and the golf course is no different. I don’t always pull it out, but when I do, we get some good shots, and we get to see what we are actually doing (6fps). As of late I’ve been pulling out the gopro 4 (30fps -120fps) as well. I’ve always had a generally pleasing swing aesthetically speaking in normal speed, but slow things down, and man my swing is ugly. These images combined with youtube caused me to realize two distinct parts of my swing that ultimately, I believe, to be game-changing.

1) The secret of the back arm: back elbow bent and close to the body at impact. This influences so much but what I get out of it is proper ball impact, more power with less effort, and consistency. It’s amazing. The hips have to get through for this to work. I just feel for my elbow to touch my hip and that’s it. Simple as that.

2) Rolling the back foot forward. Don’t get on the toes and for sure not back on to the heal but simply roll it forward through impact. Place a ball by the arch of your foot and just press press the inside of your foot into it. Feel it. Do it. This keeps the club where you want it believe it or not. Subtle movements in your feet effect a lot. Getting onto your toe too early and your club head will move out away from your body most likely causing one to swing around the ball which is nasty business and no good for anything. Consistency goes out the window. Everything sucks. If you hit it good you got lucky. Work on that flexibility in the ankle and keep things mellow. Magic happens.

There’s a lot going on when swinging a club, and keeping things simple is key as with most aspects of life. Training the body to do something new is a trip, especially when you don’t have any idea what works and what doesn’t. Take pictures, watch some youtube, and hit 200 balls a day until the new (good) habits replace the old.

Here’s a video of Ben Hogan in 1965 with what some consider to be the best swing ever. You’ll see what I’m talking about. Enjoy the music too. xo