With the AIG Women’s Open and the Solheim Cup nearly upon us and more women and girls taking up the great game of golf throughout the country, I thought it was time to visit one of my pet subjects – the female golf swing – and why I wish I could swing like a lady.
Power vs finesse
I watch a lot of golf on TV in the evenings. I love watching DeChambeau whack it 350 yards. His swing, however – let’s just say it’s pretty agricultural and not in many of the coaching videos that I watch at least. But when I watch women’s golf, I am not looking at the stats graphics so much. I am looking at the swing itself.
There is just something about a good female swing that makes me very envious. Great timing, rhythm and tempo – effortless. It’s not just the pros either. I play mixed rounds quite a bit and I find the same. At any particular equivalent handicap, the lady golfer’s swing is generally so much more natural than the men’s. But why, and what can us chaps learn? The main reason ladies swings are so good, I believe, is because it is not as reliant on physical power. Which is where the average male golfer, myself included, goes wrong.
I used to play a lot of cricket. Cricketers know that when a ball is timed well, it goes well. It doesn’t have to be hit hard. Timing is much harder with a stationary ball. Perhaps more natural ability with respect to ‘still ball’ hand-eye coordination, combined with generally better gymnastic/flexible biomechanics, allow for a much more refined tempo. Try hitting a full 8 iron shot distance with a 7 iron. You need finesse, not power, and a smooth swing.
Better touch and feel
Maybe not applicable on the tee, but definitely required around the green. Many of the ladies I play with have an uncanny ability to get up and down from just off the green. I put this down to reliable technique and better feel, as well as playing to individual ability, as opposed to many blokes trying to play beyond our skill level and trying to whack it 350 yards.
So what can I learn?
- Distance isn’t about raw power. Rhythm, tempo and timing are probably more important.
- It’s not all about distance off the tee. At most amateur levels I am sure we would all score better if we concentrated more on the swing timing and accurate positioning rather than how far the ball went.
During the next few weeks I will again be in awe of the female swing and hoping that the Europeans can bring home the Solheim Cup.
These are just my opinions. Why not send us your thoughts? Email them to us at email@example.com and we’ll publish some of the best in our monthly newsletter.
Neil Hart is a founding director of PuttBANDIT Ltd, co-inventor of the PuttBANDIT Ball Marker. Neil currently plays off a handicap index of 13.3.
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