What Makes a Sound Golf Swing?

Asheville Golf Home

Dear Jitterbug,

There is an assistant pro at our club who talks often about the golf swing, referring to some as “sound,” and others, “not sound.” I find this peculiar because I can’t see the similarities in the swings of those he considers sound, and even less so in the ones he deems unsound. Can you compare and contrast the two?

Duke Cali

Jitterbug Gang Fan


Let’s say that you and I are both asked to write the cursive letter “S,” and immediately following, a random panel of 1000 people are asked to read what we write. For the sake of argument, we’ll say that all 1000 people can readily identify both our figures as the cursive letter, “S.”

In forming that particular letter, you and I can consider ourselves sound.

Does that mean my letter looks exactly like yours? Not at all. What it does mean is that you and I both work within the framework of what makes an S an S.

The same thing holds true in using a golf club. No two players, competing at any level, swing exactly alike. Sound swingers do, however, swing within the framework of commonly regarded fundamentals.

For instance, sound swingers move very little off center during the backswing, and maintain a fixed tilt over the shot. Sound swingers finish firmly planted on their front foot, most in near-perfect balance. Sound swingers exude efficiency, as the output (result of their efforts) seems tremendous compared to the energy required to produce it.

Those are the characteristics I most often associate with sound movement in the golf swing.

Mr. Vaughn:

If you move ten inches off center during the takeaway, you’re going to have to move an equal amount back to the ball before impact. And, if you can do this, you may hit a good shot. But, that’s not a sound swing.

A sound swing involves a move away from the ball that leaves the swinger with the least amount of corrections to make during the through swing.

The sound player settles up to the ball soft and relaxed. Next is turn, turn, boom! The ball leaves with tremendous velocity. That, to me, is the appearance of a sound swing.

Lord Berry:

Too often, golfers choose to adopt the nuances of this or that great player, focusing on that which is idiosyncratic to the individual. Time is better spent, however, learning the set-up and swing characteristics that all great players possess. Incidentally, those are the characteristics that make up a sound swing.

Asheville Golf Home

Ask Jitterbug - Golf Advice Column by Bobby Steiner

Ask Jitterbug - Author Bobby Steiner

About the Author

The following are a list of golf teaching columns generously donated to us by teaching professional and author Bobby Steiner. Bobby teaches golf at The Practice Tee in East Asheville during the summer months, and at The Westin Mission Hills Resort during the winter.

You can reach Bobby at: www.bobbysteiner.com or bobbysteiner@msn.com

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Teacher a Good Player

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What makes a sound golf swing?