golf swing in Lavaux golf club

You may not realise it, but as far back as 2008, Scientists reckoned that they had found the ‘secret’ to achieving the perfect golf swing.

In a report from the Department of Mechanical, Medical and Aerospace Engineering based at the University of Surrey, Professor Robin Sharp and his team announced to the world that they felt that had unlocked the secrets of this key element of the game of golf.



Unfortunately for golfers across the world, his explanation of how to achieve the swing, quoted verbatim below, encapsulates the problems many golfers face when trying to improve their own game:


“Generating too much arm speed too soon causes an early release, with the club-head reaching maximum speed before it arrives at the ball.”

“The optimal strategy consists of hitting first with the shoulders while holding back with arms and wrists and after some delay, hitting through with the arms.

“At release, the timing of which depends on the combination of shoulder and arm actions employed, the wrists should hit through.

“Control of the arms and not the wrists appears to be a priority.”


So now you know, or if you are like me, you are just more confused than you were before you read the article. How long should you ‘delay’ your arm and wrist movement before hitting through? A millisecond? Until near the end of the stroke?

It all sounds rather like the ‘tuition’ in this wonderful golf video:



This article serves to highlight the difficulty that comes with trying to improve your swing basing it on the modelling of another golfer, or as in this example, scientific theory. The essence of the problem being that you cannot translate the movements of another, or as suggested by a theory, easily into your own golf swing.


golf swing in Lavaux golf club


It is a dilemma that most golf professionals face on a daily basis when they are taking on keen new golfers eager to improve their game and reduce their handicap. The question every club pro has to ask themselves is how can they improve a players game and their swing, without bemusing them in the first place?


And it is not just club players who struggle with any changes made to their swing. Tiger Woods suffered for many months after well-documented changes to his swing within the past two years. Even now, while he has regained a semblence of his old form, it is telling to see just how many times Tiger elects to keep the driver in his bag to play a safer shot.


Tiger Woods mental golf


Contrast that with the swings of the likes of Bubba Watson or Jim Furyk, both who have distinctive swings that should, according to golf theory, not really produce consistent, effective results, but which have done, certainly in Furyk’s case, for many, many years.

It is interesting therefore to take note of how golf tuition is changing. In the past, players may have gone to a professional and be shown what the professional believed was the ‘correct’ way to hold the club, swing it and follow through. This golfing template didn’t really account for individual differences and often led to players seeing a diminishing return from their ‘improvement’ classes.


Nowadays though, it is different. Pro’s like Bran Banic, pro at Lavaux Golf Club in Lausanne, Switzerland, are changing the philosophy somewhat and focusing on enhancing the effectiveness of a players natural swing and grip, rather than making wholesale changes to it to try and achieve adherence to a theoretically perfect swing model.

This doesn’t mean that fundamental errors in swing, set up, grip etc are ignored, good golf tuition will allow the professional to help the player learn to eradicate these mistakes from their game without impinging greatly on their natural swing pattern and rhythm. So errors like these below, can be avoided!



The language golf pro’s now use to encourage pupils is also changing; rather than long, complex instructions that are so difficult to remember and can result in the complete breakdown of an otherwise workable golf swing, professionals will now give students just one or two key points to remember, encouraging them to swing easily through the ball.

In addition, by focusing on a simple, easy to remember teaching points, golfers can then see immediate improvement in their game. Indeed, our own Tommy Priest has been delighted with the results in his game after a single tip from Bran resulted in a tangible improvement on the course.


So, while experts may view Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy or any other golfer as having the perfect golf swing, the truth is they have the golf swing that is perfect for them and that with the help of a top golf professional and expert tuition, maybe you can get the golf swing that is perfect for you too.

And you won’t need a degree in aeronautics, physics and biomechanics to understand how to do it, either.


Images by Gorilla Golf Blog, Keith Allison

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What is the Perfect Golf Swing? | Gorilla Golf Blog | Golf for the Love of It | March 3, 2013

[…] You may not realise it, but as far back as 2008, Scientists reckoned that they had found the 'secret' to achieving the perfect golf swing. In a report from.  […]


Troy Vayanos March 9, 2013

I like the sound of that professional working on improving a players natural golf swing rather than changing to fit the theoretical perfect swing model.

Perhaps more and more golf teachers will embrace this teaching in the coming years.


Jim Burton March 12, 2013


Great post. I believe that it is difficult to have people improve their swing quickly and have an expectation to lower their score quickly. Eventually it will work, but initially, a player needs to be patient and enjoy the experience.



Tommy Priest March 20, 2013

Exactly. We wholeheartedly agree.


Tommy Priest March 20, 2013

We have an excellent professional who works with one of our related companies. His approach is minimalist – working with the player and their natural swing. I think this is the way to go.

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