One of the great players on the PGA Tour was Chi Chi Rodriguez. In his heyday, Chi Chi could play and hit the ball as well and as far as almost anyone, even though he was smaller in size. Yet despite his ability, Chi Chi’s swing isn’t necessarily one you should try and emulate. He had a lot of lateral sway, and to swing like him required athleticism and timing skill.
For most golfers, including some Tour players, excess swaying can cause all sorts of problems, the major one being a lack of consistency.
Simply put: If you’re in a different spot at impact, your golf ball is going to wind up in different spots, too. To help tidy up all that excessive sway (and I say “excessive” because the body is going to sway a little even with a good swing), use your golf bag like I’m doing here. Brace it against your right leg, and make a few practice swings without pushing into the golf bag on your backswing.
Now, try again with the bag between you and the target. Brace the bag so it’s even with the outside of your left shoe. You need the extra space so the left leg can move slightly toward the target and become perpendicular to the ground at impact. With a few swings, the bag should remain stationary and not tip or sway as you work your way into the forwardswing and finish position.
This simple tip will help prevent you from swaying too much and serve as a nice visual cue as well.
Hank Gardner, PGA, is the director of instruction at Whisper Rock Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.