The Golf Club Head Describes Two Circles -John Hayes Golf August 2017 Tip Newsletter Golf Tip – August 2017

For your golf game: I want you to know that the clubhead describes 2 different circles when you swing the golf club. When you swing correctly, the circular path described on the forward swing is more forward than the circular path described in the backswing. If you look at the swing from a face-on perspective you can see a spot where the clubhead is when the shaft first becomes horizontal in the backswing. If you keep your eyes on that spot then you will notice that the clubhead is more forward of that spot when it passes the same area on the forward swing (in the correct action). So the clubhead does not describe the same circular PATH on the forward swing as it does on the backswing. The club may swing back and forth in the same DIRECTION but not in the same path.
I do see many swings where the clubhead describes the same circle both backward and forward or even describes a forward swing circle that is behind the backswing circle and this is a problem. It shows that the golfer is casting the clubhead with the hands during the forward swing instead of swinging the whole club forward using both arms. Remember that the arm is the section from the shoulder to the elbow, not the forearm.
Here is a good way to check your swing: find a flat vertical hedge that is perpendicular to your target line and that is at least as tall as you (or a wall if you don’t mind hitting your clubhead against a wall)! Now place this vertical barrier about 31 inches to the right of the outside of your right foot (for a right-handed golf swing). Now take a 7 iron and you will notice that your backswing will run into the vertical barrier if you swing the club back so just put the club over your right shoulder as it would be at the end of your normal backswing. Now let the fun begin, swing the whole club FORWARD toward your target and, if you give your arms the responsibility, you will not hit the vertical hedge/barrier. This will prove to you that the forward swing describes a different, more forward circle than in the backswing. You can do something similar on pitch shots, or full shots for that matter, by putting a barrier, a row of 3 golf balls, that also run perpendicular to the target line and that are about 13 inches back of the golf ball on the circle of your backswing. Don’t use the driver with this drill. Once again you will notice that your backswing will run into this barrier, the row of balls, so you will want to start the backswing with the clubhead resting on the barrier of the 3 golf balls. If you swing it forward correctly then your clubhead will pass over the top of the barrier and you will get a shot with good impact. If you hit the barrier or you blade the shot then the forward swing was not correct.
Don’t misinterpret this to think you are supposed to swing forward more from the inside. The plane and direction of the forward swing and the backswing can be the same but the circular PATHS of the clubhead should be different. If you have Manuel de la Torre’s book, Understanding the Golf Swing, then you can look at the graphic at the beginning of each chapter that shows the swing describing the 2 circles. This all may sound complicated but I think you will find it worth your effort to try this test and understand the 2 circles.

Upcoming clinics and events: My next LADIES-ONLY GOLF CLINIC will be held on 2 consecutive Weekends – SEPTEMBER 16, 17, 23 and 24 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on all 4 Weekend days. Cost is only $40 total for all 4 hours! It is good for beginners or newly dedicated golfers.
My next specialty clinic will be a SHORT GAME BOOT CAMP for 2 hours held on Saturday, AUGUST 19th from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. I will cover pitching/chipping, bunker play, putting, and fun games to practice effectively! Men or Ladies welcome. This is NOT for new beginners. There is a limit of only 3 students so call or email to sign up. Total cost is only $55.
I will conduct a GET GOLF READY LADIES BOOT CAMP from Thur., AUGUST 24th through Sunday, AUGUST 27th. There will be 4 hours of golf clinics (Thur. & Fri. from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Sat. from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) and then we will finish on the golf course on Sun. from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is perfect for beginners who want to feel comfortable on the golf course in a short time. Total cost is only $99 and includes everything!
Please call/text (727) 692-4679 or email,, to sign up as space is limited for all clinics. Go to for more details.
** I will be conducting the Adult Golf Clinics every week on Friday mornings at 9:30 a.m. and on Saturday afternoons at 12:30 p.m. There is no sign up, just show up and cost is only $20 which includes a large bucket of range balls.
As always, please contact me with any questions or comments and I hope to see you soon on the lesson tee at the Chi Chi Golf Range & Sports Complex in beautiful Clearwater in the Tampa, FL area.