The Turn Zone

Swing Don't Sway

Why the golf swing is called a “swing” is beyond me. It’s actually more of a turn than a swing, with the body’s weight moving sequentially from one side to another via a rotary motion—not a swinging one.

Perhaps the “swing” misnomer is why I see so many golfers try to force a weight shift with a sway or slide. What these golfers don’t understand is that, as you correctly turn away from the target on the backswing and toward the target on the forwardswing, your weight will shift naturally, without any need to force it to one side or another.

Check out the photo. Here I am at the top of my swing. The “core” of my body (where the arrows are) is the part responsible for the majority of my “swing.” As I rotate my core away from the ball, my shoulders will then have room to rotate even more—a must-do move if you want better power and control. Also, as I rotate, my body stays in pretty much the same position relative to the ball. From this position, I concentrate on turning my core toward the target on the forward swing so that my arms will follow behind my core, building torque and leveraging power in the forearms and hands. The key is to remember to turn, not slide!

Oh, yeah, if you look at my feet in the photo, you’ll see they’re close together. I normally don’t swing like this; I’m practicing a drill that I suggest you try to help improve your turn, balance and rhythm. Take a few swings with your feet together and practice turning without sliding, using your core to do the majority of the work on the backswing and forward motions. Go ahead and hit balls in this position, too. No doubt, you’ll improve your ballstriking and balance, and add more power to your swing.

Ben Nicholas, PGA, is a certified instructor at the Faldo Golf Institute at Marriott Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert, Calif. Visit

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