Golf Swing vs. Baseball Swing: How Momentum is Developed

Comparing the Golf Swing vs. Baseball Swing

golf swing vs. baseball swing

Comparing the golf swing vs. baseball swing

A common comparison is made by comparing the golf swing vs. baseball swing; and how momentum is developed in the baseball swing for power. One of the actions taken in the baseball swing can’t be directly applied to the golf swing, due to stability issues. The baseball batter in the batter’s box, for instance featured below, depends on lifting their lead heel up to create lateral momentum in the strike zone. This allows the baseball batter to add the force of their body mass to the centrifugal force that they are generating through the strike zone.

batter's box

In comparing the golf swing vs. baseball swing, the golfer can’t directly take this momentum component from the batter’s box to the tee box without affecting their consistency their golf swing. Where the baseball swing is a combination of both centrifugal and lateral forces, the golf swing is limited on the amount of lateral motion the golfer can develop or generate. But the golfer can still develop a version of the baseball batter’s lateral component in their golf swing. The golfer in comparing the golf swing vs. baseball swing can develop this lateral motion and still maintain their stability in their core body, or an axial rotation, especially using their shoulders over their hips as a major rotational force.

The golfer creates their centrifugal force by developing the X- Factor, the rotational motion of the shoulders compared with the hips. To develop the X- Factor, the golfer’s prime objective is first, to synchronize the elbow (small gear) with the shoulders (large gear) by syncing (supinating) and presetting (pronating) the wrists and lower forearms, as noted in the figure below with the wristbands in the preset position. The sync and preset of the wristbands allow the golfer to coil the shoulders with the elbows, based on sprocket mechanics. This creates:

  • Power– In the takeaway swing with the elbows (small gear) coiling the shoulders (large gear).
  • Speed– At impact with the shoulders (large gear) uncoiling, turning the elbows (small gear).

The golfer comparing the golf swing vs. baseball swing can also create lateral motion or momentum with another type of supination and pronation, by presetting their ankles. The golfer at the address position can develop lateral momentum in their golf swing by presetting their ankles before the swing starts. This allows for the golfer to make the weight shift In the right-handed golfer’s case, the golfer simply supinates the right ankle and pronates the left ankle, as noted below in the figure. Presetting the ankles is compared to the baseball batter lifting up the lead heel, while in the batter’s box.

Bobby Jones, Sr. used this same technique of lifting up his left heel off the ground in his training films he produced in the nineteen-thirties. The photograph below features Bobby Jones with his heel up off the ground at the top of his golf swing. But this requires a lot of skill to execute this type of golf shot.

Bobby Jones golf swing

You, as a golfer, were probably coached both ways in regard to lifting the lead heel. The ESPY Golf Swing App takes a hybrid approach to the lead heel by presetting both ankles.

One of the most prevalent elements that the first-time golfer has the propensity to perform is lifting up their lead heel or, in some cases, their lead foot. This stems from the golfer actually taking their baseball swing from the batter’s box to the tee box. A great way to take advantage of this lateral momentum force is just by having the golfer preset their ankles. This prevents the golfer from feeling the need to lift their lead heel off the ground in the takeaway swing. The hybrid component of presetting the ankles will create all the lateral momentum the golfer needs, without having to take a dramatic action of lifting their lead heel off the ground. I discuss this hybrid approach in Section 1.11 of my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach.

Presetting the ankles in the golf swing

A little background on the term Momentum- momentum is the strength or force that allows motion to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes. The key word here is continue, in terms of the follow-through. This is why the follow-through is so important to the golfer’s swing. In terms of golf physics, momentum is a property of the golfer’s body, or mass, placed in a lateral motion through the strike zone.


Me at Dancing Rabbit Golf Course in Philadelphia, MS

To learn how to take your baseball swing from the batter’s box to the tee box for power and speed in your golf swing, purchase your copy of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach from the links below, or visit your local bookstore:


My book can also be purchased at Edwin Watts Golf Store in Jackson, Mississippi. Phone No. 601-956-8784
820 East County Line Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157

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