In 2001, I had my two star high-school golfers — Meredith Kalman and Marc Matalavage — competing at the PIAA State Golf Tournament at State College.
The first round was so exciting as I walked back and forth between the Blue and White Courses watching them play.
Marc ended the day with a disappointing 78. He had a wonderful long golf swing that was created in part from the fine teachings of Mike Swisher. But on this day his swing went awry. The No. 1 villain that haunts most golfers had crept into his swing: the dreaded sway. On the few holes I had watched him, I noticed his weight shift toward the outside of his back foot, causing errant shots. I told him that night and we worked on a few things. The next day he fired a 73 and finished in ninth place.
Swaying is such a common fault with a vast majority of golfers. It’s the easy way to swing the club back instead of turning and stretching muscles. If you’re looking for a magic move to create a good golf swing, focus on a stable base. It’s the same thing for a baseball pitcher. He winds up and plants the weight on the inside of the back foot to create maximum velocity.
How can you stop swaying? It’s not easy and needs continual focus.
- Take your stance and place a golf ball under the arch on the outside of your back foot. This will cant the weight to the inside of the foot and greatly reduce any tendency to sway when you hit shots.
- Jack Nicklaus would just “kink” his right knee toward the target when he set up to the ball.
- Gary Player’s right knee would tilt toward the target during his forward press preshot routine.
If you eradicate swaying, it will stop other ailments from infiltrating your swing.
There really is no “magic move” in a golf swing, but we all search for the elusive single thought that could duplicate perfect shots every time. Harvey Penick identified the “magic move” as a timing moment between backswing and downswing. He thought the right elbow should start down exactly at the same time the weight shifts to the left side.
Fore F Course Ratings (Flora, Fauna: including Fine-feathered Friends and Four-legged Critters)
Penn State Blue Course 5.0 White Course 5.0
Scott Stoner is in his 33rd year teaching technology education at Cumberland Valley Eagle View Middle School and has coached the Cumberland Valley High School golf team for 21 years, winning seven championships. He advanced to the Final 64 in the 1979 U.S. Amateur Golf Championship in Cleveland.