Today we take a look at one of the oddest swings you will ever see, the Charles Barkley Golf Swing.
If you follow golf, you have surely seen the Charles Barkley Swing in action. His swing is usually the object of ridicule, and amazement, and head-shaking.
He stops his downswing halfway, lurches at the ball, then finally slaps and lunges at the ball. This motion is really hard to do – try it sometime. It’s actually quite amazing that he hits the ball at all. Have a look:
What can you possibly learn from such a swing? That you can hit a decent golf shot without a backswing!
The Charles Barkley Golf Swing is a No Backswing Golf Swing
There is a drill called the No Backswing Golf Swing that is worth looking at. You take a stance much like a baseball player, with your wrist cocked 90 degrees. Your left arm is parallel to the ground. You then make a very small shoulder turn to mimic the full backswing and hit the ball as normal.
The advantage of this drill is that you eliminate all sorts of backswing and takeaway faults, and put the club in the right position for the downswing. Many golfers of all skill levels can benefit from this drill. I find it to be a useful warm-up drill, as it allows the left shoulder to stretch, while letting you focus on a good release through the ball.
Indeed, Charles himself would benefit. If he would just regroup and do the “small backswing” before his downswing instead of his off-balance slap, he would be the Official Spokesman for the Charles Barkley Golf Swing, rebranding it as the Charles Barkley No Backswing Golf Swing. Perhaps, he could add this to his long list of endorsements.
Still, you really have to hand it to Charles. How many of us would go out and play golf in front of fans with cameras rolling if we had a swing like this? Not many. You have to respect that.
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Symptom: Erratic full shots — some are good, but some are very bad. You are left wondering if you’ll ever develop a consistent enough game to lower your handicap and finally win some money on the course…
Overview: On the range, tee up the ball slightly, and use your five iron to hit the ball the distance you would normally hit your eight iron.
Why it works: This drill is not as simple as it sounds! You will need to make a three-quarter swing with your five iron to hit it an eight iron distance. This forces you to focus on solid contact and timing. You will find very quickly that you need to have a high finish and good acceleration through the ball to hit solid shots. This, in turn will come from a restricted backswing, not a decelerating downswing. And this is the key point of the drill–to refocus your mind on the basics of what you are trying to accomplish with your swing. After you have hit five solid shots in a row, try hitting a full five iron again. You will find that you have regained your consistency.
Another benefit of the drill is that it reinforces for you that you are in control of how far the ball goes, not the club, or the lie (since you teed up the ball). In other words, this drill helps you (re)gain mastery and confidence in your ability to place the ball where you want to. This is the feeling of control you seek on the golf course. Believe me, it’s way more fun to play the game with this mindset than the “hit and hope” approach taken by most Occasional Golfers!
So give the five-iron backoff drill a try! If it works for you, tell your friends! And don’t miss the next tip, sign up for free updates below!
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Symptom: Your golf stance setup doesn’t provide the solid base and connection to the ground that you need.
A proper golf stance would have let you turn against a solid lower half, rather than swaying back and forth like a dancer.
Description: The start of the swing isn’t the takeaway, it is the golf stance setup, including the waggle and the starter move that precede the takeaway. Don’t omit the waggle and starter move, or think that they don’t matter. If done right, they are the keys to proper golf stance setup in your golf swing. They can give you the elusive commodity known as “Smooth Power”, where the ball flies off the clubface even though your swing looks slow and unhurried.
Why it works: The waggle is meant to help you feel club in your hands, build a good solid stance, get a rhythm, and sort of sense that the club is just an extension of your body. It’s mental preparation for the shot you are about to hit. And, perhaps most importantly, it is meant to keep your muscles loose and flowing, with a light grip on the club. You are trying to feel anchored to the ground, so your big muscles can power the swing while your hands and arms come along for the ride.
Graeme McDowell’s Proper Golf Stance Setup
Have a look at Graeme McDowell at this golf clinic. The words of wisdom he imparts are very good and its worth watching the whole video. But notice, before every shot he hits, he has a little waggle going on. He is shifting his weight back and forth, he is wiggling his wrists a bit, and so on. This is his waggle.
Graeme has a slight starter move to initiate his swing too, a very good thing to emulate.
Have a look (click the play button, the video works):
the Waggle and Starter Move help get you relax, initiate, and execute your swing without too much tension in your arms and shoulders. This lack of tension is the key to getting into that swingin’ rhythm. And it makes people wonder how you hit it so far with such an easy-lookin’ swing.
Take a tip from Graeme McDowell and give the Waggle and Starter Move a try next time you are on the range or the course, and see if you don’t start hitting ’em straighter and farther, with a smooth easy swing!
Did you like this golf tip? Have a try with the waggle and starter move next time out and see how it goes! Let your friends know too, Like, Tweet, Email, or +1 below!
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