Batter up

Baseball-type swing
can add yards to your golf game


(August 2008)
Read Previous Golf Columns!
Dale Crafton

In the most recent PGA magazine, teaching guru Jim Hardy talks about how a baseball type golf swing can add 10 to 12 yards off the tee. I have long believed that to effectively learn a new skill, we need to be able to relate to an old skill.
For example, using a baseball swing to learn a golf swing, or swinging the golf club like a baseball bat, increases distance.
The baseball swing is a “flattened out” swing on a horizontal axis. Continue the flatter “plane” of the baseball swing by simply bending over more than normal to execute the golf swing.     

Golf Tip

Photos provided

In order to execute the baseball-type
swing with a golf club, bend at the
waist; don’t stand too tall.

Golf Tip

Another way to explain a “Flatter Swing Plane” by Hardy is the analogy of a swing like a ferris wheel compared to a swing like a merry-go-round. If you went to the 4-H fair recently, I’m sure you saw a ferris wheel and a merry-go-round. Imagine swinging “upright” like a ferris wheel – the club is swung almost up and down.
This kind of swing causes a “chopping” motion.  However, swinging in a more horizontal axis, like a merry-go-round or a baseball swing, flattens the swing plane and causes more power and distance.
To get off the ferris wheel and get your swing to look like a merry-go-round, a much more horizontal ride, you’ll have to bend over a bit more than you are used to at address. This will bring your shoulders closer to the ground, and you’ll be able to stand a little farther away from the ball.
The center of your swing is between your shoulders, and the closer this point is to the ground then the flatter your swing will be. Feel like the merry-go-round is right between your shoulders-the club swings back and through impact on a nice round circle around your shoulders. You’ll have the sensation the club is opening up as it goes around you in the back swing-then close on the down swing, much like you feel when you swing a baseball bat.
By bending more and standing much farther from the ball, you’ll flatten your swing and make it much less vertical. The result will be a much shallower angle of approach, with the club hitting the back of the ball from the inside, which is exactly what you need to drive the ball longer and straighter.

• Dale Crafton is the owner and instructor at Cozy Acres Golf Complex, 4040 Old State Rd. 62, Madison, Ind. Call him at (812) 273-3137.


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