5 tips to swing as smoothly as Ernie Els

Published 01/04/2010 08:24:00

Making a smooth swing on the range while the pressure is off is one thing but maintaining this rhythm when a good score rests in the balance on the course is another matter. As your heart rate rises and adrenaline flows through your veins, the natural reaction is to swing faster and harder. But this will lose you control. 

Here are five tips to use just as the pressure mounts - and swing as smoothly as The Big Easy.


Copy the best

Ernie Els is famed for having a smooth, easy rhythm, so why not copy his style if you are feeling under pressure?

Stand behind your ball and visualise Els' easy-going movement. Now make a practice swing replicating his tempo. This simple tip will relax your muscles and prevent any jerky, unnatural movements from hampering the quality or accuracy of your ball striking.


Controlled breathing

If you can control your breathing, you can prevent the build-up of nervous tension and adrenaline from causing a ragged swing.

Just before you address the ball, stand back and take three deep breaths, exhaling as slowly and for as long as possible. You will start feeling the tension in your body fade away as you begin to relax. Add this process to your pre-shot routine and you will deliver a free-flowing swing even when a good score lies in the balance.


Grip pressure

If your forearms are tense as you prepare to take the club back, a jerky swing becomes the most likely outcome. But you can prevent this destructive build-up of tension by loosening your hold of the club. Monitor the pressure of your grip by using the following scale.

If ten is the tightest that you can possibly hold the club, and one is barely strong enough to lift it upright, your ideal grip pressure should be at about four. This allows you to remain in control of the clubhead while making a rhythmical swing.


Tip from the Tour

Another simple tip that helps to relieve tension in your forearms is to hover the clubhead just above the ground at address. This is a technique used by some of the best players in the world to relax their forearm muscles in a bid to trigger a smoother swing.


Ready to fire

Once you have addressed the ball and taken a final glance at your target, do not hesitate before taking the club back. The longer you wait here, the more tension starts to build up and the more likely you are to make an unnatural movement.


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