Move Your Body Correctly for a Smooth Swing

Body Motion

Now that you have learned how to grip and setup correctly and understand how your hand, wrist and arm action square the club at impact, you need to learn to move your body to put power into your swing. To get the feeling of a full swing, it is best to practice without a club. My mentor, Jim McLean, puts a huge emphasis on the importance of correct body motion. Your body ultimately influences the path of your club at impact, which we already know affects the initial flight of the ball. If you want to become a more consistent ball striker, you better learn to move your body correctly.


Your shoulders wind perpendicular to your spine angle, and they turn so they are at a 90-degree angle to your target line. Of course, you may lack flexibility to make a complete 90-degree turn, so just think of turning your shoulders twice as far as your hips turn. Try to turn your left shoulder (if you are right-handed) over your right knee.


After you have loaded your body weight into your right foot, you immediately shift your lower body back to the left as your upper body momentarily stays put. Specifically, your left hip bumps toward the target, which makes your right shoulder drop down. Once this move has taken place, you can complete the sequence by turning your right side through to the finish.

Common mistakes

On the backswing, you are just trying to turn to get your arms in position at the top of the swing. It is not necessary to lift, heave, lunge or over-turn on the back swing. In fact, most higher-handicappers overdo the things they are supposed to do on the back swing. Be careful not to over-turn on the back swing and raise your body up out of the original angle. If you raise up out of your posture then you will have to do something drastic on the downswing to compensate, usually resulting in fat or thin shots. Practice the body motion drill often to make it a part of your swing. The more effectively and efficiently you can shift your weight, the more consistent ball striker you will become.

Off-Course Exercise

The best way to work on your body motion is to do it indoors where you can look at yourself in the mirror.  You can do the same body motion indoors as you do outdoors.  Practicing this on a regular basis will help your swing become more efficient and fluid. The Body Motion chapter in Cardiogolf will guide you through the correct motion and give you a quick way to warm up before you play or practice.

On-Course Exercise

Before play or practice perform this body motion drill that will not only help you shift your weight, but is a great way to warm up as well.

Standing without a club, assume a good set up. As you do these exercises, remember that we are practicing to hit a golf ball. Always stay in your spine angle and keep your vision down where the ball would be.

You can crisscross your arms over your chest, put your hands in your pockets, or put your hands behind your back.

From here, think of winding your upper body over the resistance of your lower body. If your knees are pinched in slightly at address, it’s easy to feel the weight stay on the inside of your right foot. You want the weight of your lower body to shift so it ends up positioned over your right hip, leg and foot.


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Aerobic Exercise Is Not Only Good For Your Heart But For Your Golf Game, Too


KPJ’s  Game Improvement Program

Cardio Training for Golfers

What is Aerobic Exercise and Why Should Golfers Do It?


For an activity to qualify as aerobic, two factors must be present. First, the activity must last at least 20 minutes. Second, you have to increase your heart rate to at least 70% of your maximum rate during the 20 minutes.

Cardiovascular Benefits:

Aerobic exercise conditions the heart and lungs by increasing the oxygen available to the body and by enabling the heart to use oxygen more efficiently.

Additional Benefits of Aerobic Exercise: In addition to cardiovascular benefits, other benefits of aerobic exercise include:

Control of body fat: Aerobic exercise in conjunction with strength training and a proper diet will reduce body fat.

Increased resistance to fatigue and extra energy

Toned muscles and increased lean body mass

Decreased tension and aid in sleeping

Increased general stamina

Psychological benefits: Exercise improves mood, reduces depression and anxiety.

Keep excess pounds at bay: Combined with a healthy diet, aerobic exercise helps you lose weight — and keep it off.

Increase your stamina: Aerobic exercise may make you tired in the

short term. But over the long term, you’ll enjoy increased stamina and reduced fatigue.

Ward off viral illnesses: Aerobic exercise activates your immune system. This leaves you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu.

Reduce health risks: Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer. Weight-bearing aerobic exercises, such as walking, reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Manage chronic conditions: Aerobic exercise helps lower high blood pressure and control blood sugar. If you’ve had a heart attack, aerobic exercise helps prevent subsequent attacks.

Strengthen your heart: A stronger heart doesn’t need to beat as fast. A stronger heart also pumps blood more efficiently, which improves blood flow to all parts of your body.

Keep your arteries clear: Aerobic exercise boosts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol. The potential result? Less buildup of plaques in your arteries.

Boost your mood: Aerobic exercise can ease the gloominess of depression, reduce the tension associated with anxiety and promote relaxation.

Stay active and independent as you get older: Aerobic exercise keeps your muscles strong, which can help you maintain mobility as you get older. Aerobic exercise also keeps your mind sharp. At least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week seems to reduce cognitive decline in older adults.

Live longer: People who participate in regular aerobic exercise appear to live longer than those who don’t exercise regularly.

On-Course Exercise-

Kill two birds with one stone: walk while you play golf. One small change that could help you build your stamina and cardio endurance is to walk while you play golf.  If you can’t walk the entire round or your course requires you to take a cart, try to fit in as much walking into the day as possible.  Walk the couple hundred yards to driving range instead of hoping into the cart.  Walk in between shots when you play. Grab a couple of clubs and walk to your next shot while your partner drives the cart.  Every little bit of movement helps you develop your cardio endurance.

Walk whenever you can
Walk whenever you can

Off-Course Exercise-

Do the Groove Your Swing Chapter of the Cardiogolf DVD.  This section of the DVD will provide you with a low impact workout for you whole body that will help you improve your swing technique, clubhead speed and body and swing motion.  To get your own copy of Cardiogolf visit





Create a Wide Arc for a Better Swing


KPJ’s Cardiogolf  Game Improvement Program

Arm Swing

This week the Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program is devoted to learning how to swing the club to square the clubface.  From last week, you should have developed an understanding of the basic fundamentals and now can then begin to develop your swing to build consistency. The second week of Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program builds on the foundations established in the first week.

Focus on the lead arm for solid shots

The golf swing in its most simple form is really only a circle. The radius of that circle, back and through the swing is the lead are (left arm for a right-handed swing and right arm in a left-handed swing). Good players create a wide arc on the backswing and maintain the radius that they created at address throughout the swing. High-handicappers, on the other hand, in their attempt to create a wide arc usually over do it by over swinging and bending their lead arm at the top of the swing, which is the opposite of what they should do.

When a wide arc is established at the top of the swing, the player is now able to drop their arms in the correct position on the downswing which allows the left arm to release through impact and fold correctly on the follow-through. The left arm folding on the follow-through keeps the club on the correct plane and the ball on the target line.

A high-handicapper that collapses his lead arm at the top of the swing is now out of position and has to throw the club from the outside on the downswing. From this position he tries to save the shot by extending the lead arm on the follow-through, once again, the opposite of what one should do, resulting in the dreaded chicken wing follow-through where the elbow points up instead of down destroying the radius of the circle.

Good ball strikers keep their lead arm straight
Good ball strikers keep their lead arm straight
If you bend your lead arm, you loose the radius of your swing.
If you bend your lead arm, you loose the radius of your swing.

Good ball strikers create a wide arc on the backswing because they accomplish a couple of things:

1) As they swing back, they naturally hinge their wrists, which puts the club on the proper plane
2) They are flexible enough to make a full turn while maintaining the lead arm extended.

High-handicappers tend to do the opposite:
1) Because of a faulty grip they are unable to hinge their wrists properly and then usually end up hinging their elbows instead
2)Because they may not be as flexible, they are unable to make a full turn so they cannot keep the left arm extended so they bend the arm instead.

You don’t need to swing exactly like a tour player to strike the ball well, but don’t do the exact opposite. Keep the lead arm extended on the backswing and let it fold on the follow-through. If you have been struggling to hit solid iron shots, focus on your lead arm.

On-Course Exercise-

Remember a faulty grip can inhibit how much you can hinge your wrists, so check your grip frequently.  Also be careful not to grip the club too tightly.  Tight grip pressure can cause tension in your hands, wrists and forearms and prevent you from hinging and releasing the club.  On a scale of 1 to 10: 10 being the tightest grip pressure you can have and 1 being the loosest grip you can have, your grip pressure should be a 4 or 5 on the scale.  Simply waggling the club before you hit your shot can help you loosen up your grip pressure.

Off-Course Exercise

Here is a simple drill to help you keep your left arm (right arm for left-handed golfers) straight on the back swing.  Hold a club just with your left hand grip. Grab your left wrist with your right hand as shown in the picture.  Holding your left wrist, swing the club to the top of your swing keeping your left arm as straight as possible.  Pull your arm straight with your right hand.  Doing this a few times a week can help stretch out your arms and shoulders and train yourself to keep your lead arm straight.

Hold your left wrist with your right hand.
Hold your left wrist with your right hand.
Pull your left arm straight at the top of your swing.
Pull your left arm straight at the top of your swing.

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Do you have the Correct ball position for the club in your hand?


KPJ’s Cardiogolf Improvement Program

Ball Position

Ball position and weight distribution are closely, related. The distribution of your weight at address can affect your swing significantly. In fact, weight distribution should change to match the shot you are playing.

With short irons, there is slightly more weight on the lead leg and the ball position is in the middle of your stance. With the rest of the irons and fairways woods, the weight distribution is about even. When driving, there is slightly more weight on the back leg than the front leg.

Ball position for short irons is just to the right of center for right-handed golfers and just to the left of center for the left-hander golfer. As you progress to longer clubs, move the ball a half of a rotation toward the target. The ball position for the driver will then end up opposite of the front heel. With a driver, the ball should fall underneath your front ear, making your head start behind the ball.

Ball Position for an Iron
Ball Position for an Iron
Ball Position for Driver
Ball Position for Driver


The “slicer” tends to keep too much weight on the front leg at address for all shots, which restricts the shoulder turn and encourages a steep out-to-in swing.

Someone that tends to “hook” the ball too much will have too much weight on the back leg and play the ball too far back in the stance. Adjust your weight distribution to correct your swing flaw.

Slicer's Position-too much weight on front side
Slicer’s Position-too much weight on front side

Alignment Tips

Alignment is the easiest fundamental to work on, and probably one of the most neglected principles of golf. A good shot is useless unless it is going toward your intended target.

First, you align the clubface square to your target line, and then you align your body. One of the biggest mistakes I see as a teacher is when people line up their body to the target first, then set the clubface down. This sequence usually makes people misalign their bodies, causing them to twist and turn inappropriately to get the ball to the target. Do not make the mistake that 90 percent of higher-handicappers do by not taking the time to align the body correctly.

The easiest and most effective way to align correctly is to set-up in an alignment station. Place a club down on the ground, pointing parallel to your target. With a secure grip and stepping forward with your back foot, set the clubface down behind the ball with the leading edge perpendicular to your target line. Then set your front foot into position and adjust your back foot into place so that both are parallel to your target line. Your feet, hips, knees, shoulders and even eye line should be parallel to your target line.

Avoid aiming your body at the target. This closes you off and promotes an inside-out swing or makes you hook the ball excessively. Practice hitting to targets with clubs so you can teach yourself to aim correctly.
Use a club on the ground for alignment
Use a club on the ground for alignment

On-Course Exercise

Practice hitting shots with correct alignment: aim the clubface is the first and most important part of correct alignment. Use a club on the ground as a reference point around which you can position your feet and body correctly. Remember also that while the clubface aims at your intended target, the rest of your body aims parallel to the target line.

Off-Course Exercise

Complete the Pre-Swing Muscle and Joint Warm Up chapter from the Cardiogolf DVD.  To order your own copy of Cardiogolf visit cardiogolf .

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Learn to Square the Clubface for Solid Shots

pastedGraphicKPJ’s Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

Cardiogolf Arm Workout

To order your own copy of Cardiogolf DVD click here.

“The best psychologist in the world is a square clubface at impact,” – Ben Hogan

To be a consistent ball striker, you should strive to swing with a square clubface at all times, unless, of course, you are trying to intentionally curve the ball. Golf is a hard enough game hitting the ball straight, let alone fighting an open or closed clubface at impact.

Watch a good player swing and you almost always see a smooth, rhythmic start to their backswing. So what starts the club back? If you look at the swing as a series of circles, the clubhead makes the biggest circle, followed by the circle the hands make, followed by the circle the body makes as it turns back and forth. So since the clubhead has to travel the farthest, you want to start the clubhead back first.

With a correct grip, your hand and wrist should rotate the clubhead so it stays square to the body throughout the swing. When the club is parallel to the ground, the toe of the club will point up. This is a square clubface. The palm of your right hand and the back of your left hand (if you are right-handed) should end up in what we instructors call the “shake hands” position. As you follow through, again the hands and wrists rotate so that when the club is parallel to the ground once again the toe of the club will point up.

When I was a kid my golf instructor, Bob Ledbetter, had me close my fists and stick out my thumbs as if to hitchhike. Pretending I was hitting a golf ball, he would have me rotate my arms so that at the halfway back point of the swing my thumbs would point up. Then I would finish my swing and my thumbs would again point up after impact on the follow-through. It is a rather simple move and should not be over complicated. To start your swing, think of pushing the clubhead straight back, and as your weight shifts naturally to the back foot, your hands and arms will rotate, keeping the clubface square.

As you continue to swing back, your wrists should start to hinge so that about three-quarters of the way back your arms and club will form the letter “L.”


At the top of the backswing, the clubface needs to be square as well. The clubface should be parallel or match the same angle of the left arm (for right-handers). If the clubface dangles and the left wrist is cupped, the clubface will be too open. If the clubface is flat or parallel to the ground, then it’s too closed. Have your golf instructor video tape your golf swing to see what your clubhead looks like at the top of your swing. A simple clubface adjustment may make the difference between a straight ball and a hook or slice.

If your clubface is square at the top of your swing, it should be square coming down and through the ball. At impact, the back of the left hand and palm of the right hand should face the target. After the ball is gone, continue to rotate the forearms in conjunction with the body. Don’t go through with an open face or a closed face.

Here is a drill to learn the correct hand and arm motion. Hit balls with your feet together. This drill teaches hand, wrist and arm coordination. If you do this correctly, the ball should fly straight without any curve left or right. This drill is also good to work on balance. If you swing too hard, you will lose your balance.

On-Course Exercise

Make practice swings without a ball aiming at a tee placed in the ground. Allow your wrists to hinge freely on the backswing and then on the follow-through clipping the tee out of the ground.

Off-Course Exercise

Complete the Arm Workout chapter of the Cardiogolf DVD.  To get your own copy of Cardiogolf visit  cardiogolf .

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Send me your questions and comments

I teach Golf and Pilates. I am a LPGA Master Professional and Certified Personal and Pilates Trainer