Most Important Part of the Golf Swing – The “Heave!”
Talking about parts of the golf swing is never fulfilling to me because I don’t usually look at the swing in pieces (although I can), but as a dynamic-whole-mechanism. The first move of a proper “Gravity” swing, however, that I call the “heave,” is the first “domino” in a chain of events that culminate in a perfectly executed shot, or not. If you wish to swing with confidence, the most important part of the swing, happens at the beginning.
Once the posture has been taken and the ball addressed, the heave sets the swing into motion. A “take-away” is not the proper term, as that would connote that the first move is with the hands and forearms. The heave is a cooperative move that is done by the obliques, pectorals, lats, deltoids, and other core muscles. In a full swing, even the feet participate. It is the same kind of movement one would use to throw a medicine ball. It is powerful (although it doesn’t look that way) but brief, and provides the momentum to carry both the arms and club to the desired height of back-swing for the particular shot.
Where And When Is The Most Important Part of the Golf Swing?
In a driver swing, looking at a player from a facing position, the heave would start at the 6:00 o’clock position and end by the 8:00 o’clock position. Enough power has to be imparted to the arms and club to complete the back-swing with NO additional lift beyond the 8:00 o’clock position. The core, shoulders, arms and wrists should be firm during the heave, but relax as soon as it is over. Only momentum, supplied by the heave, carries the arms and club to the completion of the back-swing.
The heave has three very critical functions in any proper golf swing from a drive to a putt, and everything in between. Initially, the heave must carry the arms and club into the proper swing-plane. Secondly, the heave must clear the tension from the shoulders and arms so that the arms will deadfall at the beginning of the down-swing. Finally, the heave must turn the core into the counter-fall which properly initiates the down-swing. When the heave is done correctly, all the subsequent timing dominoes of the swing will fall in sequence, and the turn through impact feels almost totally effortless.
The best of the “Gravity” drills for practicing the heave, are the cross-footed drills. You can learn them in an in depth progressive way through our brand new curriculum The Gravity Golf Challenge. Go to the practice tee and get a feel for making a proper “heave.” You won’t believe how much your swing will improve once you learn to set it into motion correctly!
By David Lee
You mention, “Initially, the heave must carry the arms and club into the proper swing-plane.” Maybe this is why I don’t have have the free falling sensation with my arms during the transition. If you recommend a vertical club position during the heave, how does one get the club into the proper swing plane? Do you mean the proper swing plane will be found during the counter fall or transition if the heave is perfect? I appreciate any additional insight you can provide. By the way, you guys are literally the only site talking about the arms dead falling. I felt that sensation once and struck everything absolutely perfect. What got me was the sound. The ball had that sizzling sound on every shot. And of course, I lost that feeling the very next day. I have been chasing it ever since.
Hi Mike, you are on the right track. Yes, the arms will follow the center of mass as it moves into the counter fall and find your proper swing plane naturally. This is what has escaped so many people that have taught everyone to keep their rear arm locked to their side. Keep up the great work and reach out anytime!