By: Charles W. Boatright
SUBJECT- The third critical component in the golf swing to understand
ISSUE- The golfer trying to provide both the horizontal and vertical components in the golf swing.
QUESTION- The third critical component in the golf swing, “What critical component in the golf swing does the golfer provide and what components does the golf club provide to achieve the desired flight path of the golf ball?”
How to Provide the critical component in the golf swing is another misconception for golfers, especially by beginner golfers who think they have to provide both loft and distance to their golf shot. The desired flight path is called trajectory (red line) that is generated by the combination of three forces, a horizontal, vertical components, and backspin acting on the golf ball. These three forces produce the resultant ball flight path that every golfer is striving for; this is the red line in the Figure above.
Distinguishing between the horizontal component and vertical component in the golf swing and how backspin is generated helps to uncloak another golf swing misconception and is an important fundamental to understand. It might not be an important distinction to make, but it’s essential if you are executing the quality golf shot on the golf course.
The answer to this question is that each golf club is designed with a certain degree of loft that provides the vertical component, or the blue line in the Figure. The golfer provides the horizontal power factor component in the golf swing designated by the green line. Understanding that the loft is a function of the clubface and backspin and not the golfer is the key fundamental in golf. The clubface provides both the vertical component and the backspin. Backspin is like a turbocharger component in the golf ball’s flight. It is like the club providing aerodynamics to the golf ball flight.
Understanding the golfer’s mission in golf is to provide the horizontal force component in the golf swing and not the vertical or backspin is critical for the golfer to understand. Understanding this will eliminate a whole host of typical frustrations and problems in hitting quality golf shots on the course. The problem comes from the fact where the golfer is trying to provide both the horizontal, vertical, and additional backspin components, this will in turn result in reducing the speed, power, and control available to the golfer in trying to drive the ball forward down and in the fairway or on to the green. This is where the golfer has to trust their equipment that it will work the way it was designed to work.
Golfer’s you don’t have to help the ball up if you make solid contact just below the equator in the diagram below:
In baseball, the batter can experience the same issue. This isn’t any different than the baseball batter hitting a pop-up, that has height, but no distance, as apposed to a line drive or a fly ball into the gap. The infield fly rule in the case of a pop-up might even be called. If the team has the bases loaded, the last thing the batter wants to do is hit a pop-up fly in the infield.
The only component in the golf swing that the golfer wants provides is the crucial horizontal component at impact that provides the critical speed, and power (torque and momentum), and control.
The only case where the golfer wants to provide the vertical component and increase the backspin is in the case of a bunker shot or flop shot that you’ve seen Phil Mickelson hit with precision. These components and how they are applied are discussed in Sections 2.12 and 2.13 of my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach.
Additional Backspin- There is a certain maneuver that the golfer can perform with their wrists that can provide additional backspin. This is with one of the six maneuvers the golfer’s wrist can provide. This is why syncing and presetting the wrists is another critical component in the golf swing the golfer needs to perform to produce quality golf shots in the figure below.
This is another case where the golfer can take their baseball swing fundamentals from the batter’s box and applied them to the tee box to improve their golf game and lower their handicap.
To learn more about how the golfer can apply their baseball fundamentals to their golf game, 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
Please take advantage of my SR-925 Diet Program, where I lost 6 inches in my waist in 3- months (FREE of CHARGE) with the CASPER Workout Program, detailed in Section 20 of my book:
Please include an exercise routine in your weekly schedule.
Also, learning The ESPY Golf Swing Coach process is an excellent way to develop Rhythm without experiencing the Blues: