Swing from scratch: Five must know steps

Years of practice, thousands of pounds on golf lessons?... Not needed with Professional Peter Hudson's swing visualisation approach

Peter Hudson
Wed, 2 Mar 2005

Swing from scratch: Five must know steps

Visualising a swing then give it a go

Professional golf coach Peter Hudson reveals how you can teach yourself any movement in the golf swing, quickly and easily without any technical knowledge.

Sports psychologist, president of the World Golf Teaching Federation of Great Britain, and coach to the Essex county team, Hudson, has 40 years of experience in innovating the art of teaching golf.

He suggests that not only can you make a full swing but you can chip, pitch and putt within minutes of using his system, which he uses with every swing change or swing-build session he conducts, from beginner to Tour pro.

Hudson says: "I don’t just teach what to learn but how to learn."

So listen to his methods, give it a go, and let us know how you get on!

1. Imagine the movement of a golfer

For the first part you need to imagine the movement you wish to make by visualising a top pro, the one you wish to emulate, in action.

Initially look at him or her one dimensionally, as if in a sequence of photographs but ideally imagine the player on a repeating video ‘loop’ that you can watch over and over again.

Now the fun begins. You need to keep looking at the movement in close detail, noticing how every part of the body moves and how it works in conjunction with all the other moving parts.

Scan the moving pictures in your mind’s eye, working up and down the body, noticing where the club shaft and clubhead are positioned within the swing sequence and how they interact

2. Study video clips and photographs in depth

The trick then is to turn yourself into the image of the person making the movement. Imagine yourself inside the player and make the movements from every conceivable viewpoint. Literally jump into the image.

You may find it easier to stand still and just feel the movement without actually moving – like those downhill skiers crouching and swaying minutes before they start, imagining the gates as they sweep down the mountain and swerve round them on the way to the finish line.

You will be surprised how you can feel this new movement without actually swinging a club.

3. Grab a club, shut your eyes, and swing like a pro

Time now to grab a golf club, shut your eyes and imagine yourself making the movement. Jump into it and feel it.

Now open your eyes, see your target and make the swing – but without the ball. Where does it not feel like the movement you imagined? Which part of you is not moving like you expected it would?

You may not find this easy at first but with practice, you will begin to notice all sorts of feedback of which you were previously unaware.

4. Hit balls using imaginary swing, then feedback

When finally the movement feels correct, repeat the routine but this time hit balls to the target and get feedback on what feels different from the imaginary swing.

When you can do this consistently and with conviction, you will soon discover you can swing with the same tempo as Ernie Els

5. Try hitting a 5-iron left-handed

I use this routine on training courses and challenge every right-handed golfer to use this method and learn to swing the club left-handed as if they were starting from scratch.

I have a 50 per-cent success rate in proving to them that their first left-handed shot with a 5-iron will fly 150 yards towards the target with a touch of draw.

One of the reasons this process is so successful is because I am working with virgin movements so the movement is produced in a pure form. This way you can reproduce an almost perfect swing before you are allowed to hit the ball.


Originally published March 2005, updated May 2013.

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