A swinging motion is a circular motion, and as Manuel de la Torre has asked many students, how many straight lines are there in a circle? When a student uses a pulling action on the forward swing with tension in the lead arm (left arm for a right-handed golfer), this action has what he calls a “straight line attitude.” When you are pushing or pulling something, you are applying force in a straight line attitude. When the golfer uses this pulling action on the forward swing, he will hit the shot to the right of the target (for a right-handed golfer).
During one lesson, after the student had worked for a while and was still using that pulling action with tension (an error), Manuel asked him to “swing at that spot, and the spot is on the circle.” This spot is a few inches behind the ball, and the spot is on the circle (the correct direction) which is slightly inside the target line. Manuel is very honest with the student and explains that this is a “corrective procedure,” and if the student does exactly as he is told, he will begin to hook the shots to the left. If the ball starts hooking, then the student should adjust the spot closer to the ball and then swing for this new spot. In this lesson Manuel felt that he needed a more drastic measure to break the tension that the student was in the habit of using on the forward swing. As soon as possible, the golfer should get to the correct picture, which has the club moving with a tension-free swinging motion from the end of the backswing to the finish, and then the club will move in a circular pattern and not a straight line.
The preceding golf tip was reprinted from the book, Learning Golf with Manuel, a golf instruction book containing over 100 golf lessons from legendary teacher, Manuel de la Torre. Manuel was inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame in 2005 and the PGA of America Hall of Fame in 2006. The author, John Hayes, has been PGA golf professional for over 20 years and is the Head Golf Pro at Forest Hills C.C. in St. Louis, Missouri. Go to: learninggolfwithmanuel.com to learn more and to buy the book.