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The use of the word 'swing'.

3 Minute Read.

Is the word 'swing', too generic a word to describe the action of hitting the golf ball and can it lead to misunderstanding? It just might

During games, playing partners would often say 'good swing' when a shot one of us hit had the intended result. I would say the same also, and we all knew what we meant. Commentators on TV say the same too during tournaments.


Adam Scott





Instead..... Why dont we all just say 'he miss hit it' or 'good shot, you middled that'.

Wouldn't that be closer to what actually happened? Rather than make the whole swing the culprit.

I guess the answer to the question whether 'swing' was the appropriate word to use, would depend on the viewpoint of the person being asked. Unless the golfer really wants to delve into the meaning itself, does it really matter anyway?

Personally, I think it matters.

Could a golfer who is keen on the game and trying to improve, misinterpret the meaning?...or could there be a perfect golf swing that he could build, given enough time and practice.


Fred Couples


Reflecting on those previous years of practice and how I tried to get better has lead me to realise that the word 'swing' was to vague for me.

I interpretted the word 'swing', as something to keep working at mechanically, in my attempt to hit the ball better.

Isn't the best route to hitting the ball well, actually about the how the club makes contact with it. Isn't the swing 'part' more about generating force?

For me personally, my golfing ability really improved when I moved my focus away from what I wanted my swing to look like, and onto striking the ball as close to the centre of the clubface that I could.


In this context it sounds fine, because we are so accustomed to hearing it the right word to be used at other times though?

What does it mean to golfer who is learning to play, or trying to improve, and is told to work on some aspect of his 'swing'?

Is 'swing' too open to interpretation? Do I hit the ball with my swing?

What about the opposite question. Should we think, 'if the shot had a bad result, then it was because of a bad swing'?

Commentators on the TV often say that 'he put a bad swing on that one'. Does that then mean the golfer should change their swing, or something in their swing, if he makes too many 'bad ones'?

Throughout all levels of golf, it seems golfers do think they have to alter something about their swing to improve.



Until I really thought more about it. To me the 'swing and the hit' or 'the hit during the swing', were all one thing, just the swing.

So it might as well be abbreviated to 'swing' as its referred to all the time anyway. ..........but each person is unique, and we all learn in different ways.

Maybe that swing is interpretted by some golfers in a way that doesn't help them develop.

I think it had been like this for me.

I know that a good time ago, the mental pictures I made while practicing, of Fred Couples with his tempo, and big shoulder turn and Jack Nicklaus with his high hands were big influences for me..... I copied a movement, I wanted my swing to look a certain way.