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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Chew on This Swing Thought from Keegan Bradley

This post focuses on one of the tips from a article called 6 PGA Tour Swing Thoughts. It is, as you may have guessed, about the swing thoughts commonly used by 6 of the more successful pros on the LPGA and PGA Tours.

The thought I grabbed on to was from Keegan Bradley. It's an incredibly simple swing thought but it can help almost anybody. And what is that swing thought?

Keegan Bradley

"I focus on my facial muscles. When you can get your mouth to relax, your whole body relaxes."

Sounds overly simple, I know. And if you look at the tags I put on this post, you may be a bit confused -- why are there so many? But I'm going to give you a quick explanation of why this tip is so useful.

When people tense up, they automatically grit their teeth. Whether they're trying to lift a heavy weight in the gym or some cowboy is digging a bullet out of them in a western movie, people tend to bite down hard when they tighten their muscles. And for some reason that I don't claim to understand, you can help your body relax if you consciously try to relax your jaw.

Why would you want to relax your muscles during your golf swing? If you tighten your muscles when you swing your club, you reduce your range of motion. That hurts your flexibility, which reduces your body turn, which makes it harder to get a good shoulder coil and makes your change of direction jerky, which reduces your swing speed. All of that causes you to lose distance and accuracy.

If you practice swinging without clenching your jaw -- and you all know how fast Keegan swings -- you can end up with a smoother, more powerful swing. This is also a good excuse to use a cookie as a swing aid; if you crunch the cookie, you clenched your jaw. (And of course, if you successfully swing without crunching the cookie you can eat it anyway -- a win-win situation!) I think that in itself makes this a great swing thought!

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