“Of all swing techniques, the gravity swing is the most natural and physiologically friendly way to swing a golf club.” – David Lee
The term Gravity Golfer and the Gravity Swing, are terms that I added forty years ago as a descriptor for the modern day golf swing when it is executed in a technically ideal manner. Golfers that swing with the least amount of internal energy such as Freddie Couples, Ernie Els, and a growing number of younger tour players, utilize gravity to help diminish the amount of effort required to power their golf swings.
Although we call it the Gravity swing, a more accurate term for describing the swing of most modern day golf professionals would be “a gravity aided rotary sling.” Golf labs have measured the starting speed of the down-swing in various top players and found that in a handful of golfers, it begins at the exact speed of gravity. Players that flex their upper body muscles as the down-swing begins will often cause their shoulders and arms to outrun the speed of their own core rotation, hit the ball with fewer foot-pounds of energy, and require much greater effort to cover the desired distance than will a pure “Gravity” player. When you watch Freddie swing the club, it takes no more effort than it appears.
How to Feel a Pure Gravity Swing
Pure “Gravity” players move the ball more with their pounds – and less with their strength. In fact, they don’t hit the ball at all – they “sling” it from the club. There is absolutely no attempt whatsoever to make a union between the club and the ball at impact – contact with the ball is totally incidental to the path of the swing. To Freddie Couples, the ball feels as though it’s stuck to the club-face at the top of the back-swing, he then simply counter-falls, drops his arms, and the forward turn slings the ball from the club.
A golfer that is utilizing gravity in their swing will typically enjoy greater longevity in the quality of their play because, when this swing is done in its correct form, it is far easier on the body. By using more body mass against the ball and less muscle, body strength is of lesser importance (not to infer that we should not all stay in good condition). Although the Gravity swing is the most compliant with the laws of physics and good physiological principles and therefore ideal for all players, it provides special advantages for both seniors and women.