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Original Issue

Generating clubhead speed

Swinging to produce clubhead speed is virtually synonymous with swinging to produce wrist action without conscious effort. While there would be little clubhead speed if there were no wrist action, it is also true that the greatest clubhead speed does not result from wrist action only. What else goes into creating it?

According to a law of physics, nothing will swing unless it is suspended from something. So, to begin with, as a golfer stands up to the ball the arms, the hands, the club should be hanging from the shoulders with the weight of the clubhead resting on the ground. Now, according to another law of physics, the movement in creating centrifugal force—which is at the heart of the golf swing—is outward and away from the center. It is not up-and-down. (That is leverage and lessens the speed.) It is like a sweeping action which pulls back and then forth. The more pull, the more speed.

Essentially, all one needs to do is oil the joints (such as the wrists, elbows and knees) with the oil of relaxation and then swing smoothly back and forth (hitting the ball with the speed of the clubhead that is created by just letting the wrists bend on the backswing), straighten out at the ball and bend again on the follow-through. Get out a broom and try it, literally sweeping back and forth. Then shift to a club, using the same sweeping action. Start with a short swing and gradually let it out to produce greater speed. And remember, you can hear speed!

BLANCHE SOHL, Dept. of Physical Education, Ohio State University



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