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Avoid Swaying in Your Swing

Ways to Avoid Swaying in Your Swing Action

Swaying during the back swing (that is, an extreme lateral movement) is a very common challenge with most middle to high handicap players.  It could possibly be the result of a few things, but generally if you attempt to add greater power to the swing.  I have found it often gets more frequent late in the round once we tend to get a little more tired.  Then we attempt to create a little more club head speed, resulting in a rocking back in the swing, and the swing consequently falls apart. Here we will discuss ways to avoid swaying in your swing.


Before we get into how to repair this common golf swing fault, let us analyze just how swaying during the back swing will completely wreck your swing.  The objective every time you swing a club, from driver to putter (granted, not the sand wedge), is to contact the ball cleanly as consistently as you can with as much club speed as you are able to produce.  The best strategy to accomplish these two objectives is keeping the club on a single plane on and after takeaway, throughout the back swing and also the follow-through.

Stopping the Sway Will Allow a Good Swing Plane

Swaying within the back swing will make it impossible to keep your club on plane, and when the golf club comes to the ball the approach is too low, or flat.  This typically can lead to a “fat” golf shot, or hitting the ground in advance of golf ball, or “coming off the golf ball”, or striking it thin.  Keeping your club on swing plane will be the best way to continually strike the ball precisely with maximum club speed.


So how are we able to combat the problem?  Positioned in front of a full-length mirror and swing the club, check out to see any lateral movement of your head when it lines up on some point on the wall behind you.  Chances are you’ll be surprised at how much the head moves.  Correct the sway within your swing action by sensing the swing when your head is still.

Another way which has been offered by a number of golf instructors would be to place a stick in the ground approximately three inches beyond the back hip.  Next hold a golf club against the front of the shoulders having the arms crossed.  Rotate the body as if you were in the back swing.  If your hips sway and touch the stick, you realize you’re guilty of swaying.

Here’s what You Can Do on the Golf Course

These would be drills you can apply, but obviously if on the golf course you won’t be able to use them.  There’s one rather easy swing action key that can help when playing a round.  When in the back swing make certain the front knee is bent and basically pointed at the ball.  At the same point drop the rear hip away from the target, to the level your hips tend to be at about a 45% angle towards the target.  It will be extremely difficult to sway back when your hips are in this position.  Plus you receive the benefit of having the core muscles generate the majority of your swing power, which without a doubt is where much of your strength is.

Three exercises for golfers to stop swaying when swinging from Old Palm Golf Club on Vimeo.

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Eddie Pepperell swing sequence - Golf Monthly
Eddie Pepperell swing sequenceGolf MonthlyThe other elements of Eddie's swing to pay particular attention to are his spine angle and swing plane. In the bottom row, you can see how well he sets and retains his posture throughout the swing. Despite making a powerful upper-body turn, that spine ...
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