Watching a lady tee off from a neighboring tee I noted a terrific sway to the right on the backswing. I said to myself, ''She has wasted that shot.'' I was quite wrong. She hit a beautiful ball.
How? Why? What gives? A sway on the backswing is usually fatal to a golf shot.
So what this gave me was food for thought. After cooking something up on the practice ground I discovered a new secret:
A sway will substitute quite well for a turn provided there is a forward sway along precisely the same line.
If a lateral sway to the right is then followed by a lateral sway to the left , and the head or neck remains stationary, quite a good and quite a powerful shot can be obtained.
It may very well be easier for some people to ''go with'' a sway than to eradicate it.
I am not a believer in ''the weight shift'' to the right on the backswing. Every picture I have ever seen of a good golfer hitting a good shot has his weight - his center of gravity - quite still on the backswing. He coils around it. Only if the golfer has his or her weight predominately on the left foot at the start of the backswing is there a shift of weight to the right.
What folks think is a shift of weight is really a transfer of pressure, caused by the generation of centrifugal force.
On the downswing and through-swing it is different. There really is a weight shift. But I fancy that for many people, having definitely turned the body on the backswing, the natural thing to do is to turn it on the through-swing. And this may bring the right shoulder around and ruin the shot.
The lateral shift to the left on the through-swing, before the natural turn to the left, is what is crucial.
So if a sway is just your way, why not use it?
Use it to start the through-swing with a shift of the hips and the lower weight laterally to the left, on a line parallel to the line-of-aim.