Golfers the world over are always looking for that one thing- that one magic move that allows them to hit the ball better than they have before.

Which begs the question..... What is the most effective way to learn the golf swing?

There are a number of ways to learn the swing. Many people will argue which one is the better tool. I will give you the answer here and why.


Using a mirror. It's a terrific idea. Why? Because it gives us that outer body experience. We never get to see our swings from the outside looking in as our focus is on the ball.

Here's the catch however. A mirror is really only beneficial for checking on our setup and alignment and how we carry on with the backswing. From that point on- all bets are off.

From the top of the backswing - everything changes. The knees flex. The hands drop, The club stays up. 

There is not much point in posing for positions on the downswing and impact whilst looking at our reflection in a mirror because the swing has too much force involved when swinging in full motion.

What you practice in the mirror as far as the downswing and impact and even the follow through will be just that- a mere reflection of what your swing tendencies will be when a ball is involved.

Use it for the setup and your alignments and your backswing- forget the rest.


Slow motion swings. Again a terrific idea. This type of practice allows you- the golfer- to work through the sequence of events- the kinematic chain or motion- that is occurring in the swing.

Feeling when and what moves during the swing is important to understanding how you are going to deliver the club onto the ball with just the right amount of speed and direction necessary to yield a worthy result.

Again the difficulty with this logic is that once speed is introduced to a motion things alter.

You only have to stand on a driving range for one minute to see some wonderfully smooth, nice looking practice swings turn to rubble when a ball and full motion is introduced into the equation.

Gaining comprehension with slow motion swings is useful but you don't swing slow and if you aren't used to introducing speed and force and pressure into your swing it will look drastically different to your slo motion offering.


Golfers are smitten with technology. Technology has all the answers- correct? 

Well a plane in the hands of a non-pilot is just the same as data being in the hands of a poor golfer. What you make of data is all relative.

The trick is to not live by the data. Numbers come about from the swing itself- not from trying to find perfect numbers.

There is also the experience of a knowledgable instructor in knowing what changes need to be made to bring the numbers closer to the ideals that allow that player to be better.

Every swing contains little nuances that can result in differing ball flights and shot shaping. This becomes more about feel than what you see on a screen.

Resources such as Trackman and Boditrak are great communicators and can really show what a golfer may be missing. More importantly it tells them why a particular shot pattern may occur.

Learning distances from Trackman is great. They can be a useful club fitting tool also.

But buyer beware Learn from the numbers- don't live by them.


Swing analysis software. It's wonderful stuff. We can't see our swings when we are in action. This format really helps a golfer see the feel versus real mentality. Most people swings don't look like what they feel they are doing.

Again however- golf is not a game of perfect. Some of the greatest golfers ever would have their swings torn to shreds by many instructors because they are nowhere near the lines and ideals a screen insists upon.

Use this wisely. A few views now and then are beneficial. Filming and looking at every swing will only bring about premature hair loss and a terrible anxiety of searching for perfection.

Golf is not a game of perfect. The only object that really cares about how good your swing looks- is in fact the flight of the ball.

I sparsely use video and data collection tools to help my students, but I am just as happy using my eyes and the ball flights to work on the right cure each student needs.


Working out can be extremely beneficial. Who doesn't want to be fit and strong. 

The key ingredient in working out is to work on strengthening the golf specific muscles rather than just trying to gain strength.

Focus on the abs and obliques- particularly the left side. The wrists and forearms are key and of course the legs. Try mimic golf swings with the apparatus you use.

Flexibility activities are welcome in any workout. All these can help you move better- and control the club better, which can only enhance the swing in the long haul.


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Where the rubber meets the highway is something introduced many years ago by the great English player- and three time Open Champion- Henry Cotton.

Cotton believed the hands played a huge role in playing ability and made his students bang an old tyre with the club in an effort to strengthen and train the hands for impact.

Now we are getting somewhere.

Introducing resistance and still swinging with speed is the best format to learn the intricate details of striking a golf ball flush and far.

It's something I utilise in my own instruction- without however the aimless whacking away at the tyre/bag without the much purpose aspect that many Cotton students exhibited.

It's really useful is done right.


Without doubt the best way to train your body to swing a golf club efficiently well is using resistance to create structure. Train the muscles at speed just like a true golf swing is.

Use a real golf club. That's what you will be swinging when you play anyhow so become friends with it.

Once the body feels the force and the pressure and can deal with those elements, then the brain can take a step back and allow the reproduction to commence.

Our brains are always trying to solve puzles. However, when it knows the work has been done and the body can handle it- then it's job is to drift away from interfere mode and allow reaction to take it's course.

Full speed training in componenets or intervals relating to the swing will produce the most drastic results in the shortest time.

My drill one, drill two & drill three- pertaining to the entry to impact and impact itself, the legs, footwork and ground pressure and the post impact pivot and rotation to the finish- are all done at speed.

That is one area of the swing where the forces are greatest and they need to be dealt with the most. You could call this area- the crux of the swing.


My instruction does also contain slow motion work- but these pertain more to the backswing and transition. The slower tempo is to train the wrists and the legs to load the club and save the energy for the hit for later in the swing.

The poorer golfer's strongest tendency to create disaster in their swing is right here in this region.

They over accelerate the club. They begin to start hitting at the ball. They never give the release or impact or through swing a fighting chance to happen even remotely well. 

Their want to hit at the ball is too inviting to resist and the swing is doomed not long after it began, resulting in all kinds of rescue moves with the body and the club and the hands to swat the club onto the ball.


So what is the best - most effective- way to learn the golf swing?

It's a combination of everything discussed above.

However true results will come once you begin to work on the force and pressures of the body and the club that are heaving in all directuions in an attempt to throw you off balance and disarm your ability to play golf well.


For more information on my drill series-   

My goal is to give you the tools to become your own best coach. Your best golf is ahead of you.

Bradley Hughes Golf- Where Experience Counts