Get that swing flowing with ease and rhythm

Next to balance, the most important element in any golf swing is rhythm. Rhythm is a flow of movement. Flow can be defined as smoothness, continuity, and ease.

Every shot the golfer makes should have smoothness, continuity, and ease.

Continuity will be taken care of if readers have followed the observations in the previous column on the follow-through and finish.

If the finish is truly natural perhaps smoothness will be taken care of too.

The concept of ease is possibly more difficult to establish.

There are so many things against it. The day. Competition. The desire to do very well. The Demon Distance. The state of the world. You name it.

I am doubtful about such counsel as, ''Relax. . . . Forget about everything. . . . Don't try.'' It doesn't seem to help.

A quiet backswing but a full shoulder turn. That's what works.

The feeling, ''This is easy.'' That's what works.

The knowledge that for the shot ahead you only have to swing easily. That's what works.

Enough club so you can swing easily. That's what works.

It is better to use a stronger club than a stronger swing.

Just before writing these lines I played in a match. The weather was wet and windy, the course muddy. I was faced with an uphill third shot to a long green from only about 120 yards. I took a 4-iron. The three other players, from only a few yards closer, took 8-irons. I won the hole with two shots to spare.

Make it easy. Keep a rhythm. Maintain smoothness, continuity, and ease.

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