My Swing Philosophy: Improve Your Golf Swing with John Tattersall

Learn How to Improve Your Golf Swing

Join us as John Tattersall, Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor, shares three things for you to help improve your golf game; the foundational principles of what he calls “My Swing Philosophy”.

Watch the video below or read the transcript beneath to get started.

1. Control the Face with Grip

First thing is how you grip the golf club. Not really specifically on where your hands place, although I do want you to think about where you're placing your hands on either side of the golf club.

You're trying to apply pressure in the middle of your hands to keep the golf club in a stable position. A lot of times we talk about holding the club lightly - I would say that's said to you by very, very strong people.

So imagine this is more of a vice-like grip, literally, you've got on the golf club. The club head is not going to wander around unless you move it with your hands. I don't want any independent movement with the club head.

So grip the golf club; it's called a grip, grip it. Think more in terms of a vice.

1a. Angles

I'd also like you to think about the angles that you set up with your hands. They don't move much. There's not a lot of this, or this, or up or down minimal.

The arms do rotate, but what your hands do is control where the face is pointing, which is incredibly important to understand where the golf ball is going.

So make sure you have enough pressure in the grip that you can control where the face points. So important and simple, but it is really really important.

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2. Control the Low Point With the Sequence

The second thing is either scratch a line in the grass, or I'm on a mat here; put a line in the ground, make some swings. Can you swing the golf club and hit this side of that line? Whatever that means to you.

How will you do that? I will prefer that when you do that. You don't feel like you’re moving your body along way forwards to do that.

I really want you to feel as though you're moving the golf club forwards to do that. Move the golf club so that it’s feeling like it's moving towards the target. Your body is going to rotate, but feel as though you're getting the golf club on the left side of your body.

Make a few swings so you can see if you can hit the ground with some regularity on the target side of the golf ball. Not easy to do, and really important to practice. 

Like I said, don't feel as though you're going back to your right, and then just moving your body forwards. I want you to think: If you look at the back of my neck, where the FJ is really when you feel like that is not moving around much, but you aren't moving the golf club past you towards the target.

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3. Get Some Speed Into the Motion

So you've got control of the face, that's where you grip the club, and now you’ve got control of where the low point in the swing is; that's making sure you can hit this side of that line. Those are two incredibly important principles of understanding how the golf ball does what it does. 

Now we have to create some speed, we have to create some momentum.

What a lot of people do is when they're swinging the golf club, they're trying to be very cautious going in the backswing. They're trying to get the clubs in the right place in the backswing, and then never create enough speed. We know we need to create power on the way through, so people go back too slowly, and then now they're over accelerating in transition.

They didn't create a lot of speed, they just accelerated too much in transition.

So now all their well meaning friends will tell them, “You went too fast.” So now they slow you down even more.

What you're seeing with the best players is a blend of speed in the backswing and a little bit more speed coming down. It looks rhythmical, but unless you're right next to them you don't understand how fast they're actually swinging.

So this time of year when you're not playing a ton of golf, try and get out, make some faster back swings, feel as though you create some momentum. The backswing feels pretty quick, but we're adding just a little bit more speed on the way through. We're not trying to go back slowly and over-accelerate.

The best players in the world have the best match of backswing speed, the downswing speed; that's why it looks rhythmical. Average golfers, they get out there trying to be super cautious, put the club in the right position, and then over accelerate - not good for you, very, very frustrating.

Unfortunately what happens is when you do that, everybody will tell you to slow down which is the wrong thing to do.

So get some speed, have some fun, try and control the face with the grip, try and control the low point with the sequence, and then finally get some speed into the motion.

Practice those three things, keep getting better at them even when it's frustrating, keep getting better at those things. You'll see your ball striking improve, I guarantee.

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