|The power thumb position of the Symple Power Swing. (Courtesy of Simple Golf LLC)|
You've probably heard that real improvement in golf takes time, especially to make wholesale changes to your swing. But what if you could get a lot better in just one day?
Well, that's exactly what the folks at Simple Golf LLC say about their Symple Power Swing technique. It eliminates several parts of the traditional golf swing, keeping the most important elements and providing an easy-to-repeat motion so you can improve quickly.
In fact, the worse you are, the more hope this method has for you. Instead of trying to figure out positions, much of this swing is preset in the stance and grip. Instead of rotating the club open and closed, it stays in the same position throughout. And instead of generating power through the legs and hips, power comes from the core, or more specifically, the shoulders.
Here are the claims, which are more valid for the mid- and high-handicapper: Convert to the Symple Power Swing and you will quickly gain 20 percent to 30 percent more distance, stop slicing, become 50 percent more accurate, eliminate fat shots and tops and take the timing out of the swing.
The Symple Power Swing has two major components, according to Director of Instruction Mike O'Leary.
"Our grip eliminates clubface rotation," said O'Leary, who is based in the Orlando area. "And our stance eliminates weight shift."
The genesis for Simple Golf came from trying to solve a problem. The problem, the way Joe Davidson, president of Simple Golf LLC (the company says it uses the normal spelling of Simple to get more Web site hits), saw it, was that golf was too complicated.
Davidson, whose background is in education, wanted to develop a way to effectively teach a simple golf swing in a short amount of time. He had experience with Natural Golf, which used the late great Moe Norman as its swing model, but thought there might be an even simpler way to play golf.
What Davidson and his colleagues figured out is that golf would be easier to learn by teaching a shortcut to a good impact position.
"We wanted to create a more accurate swing by reducing the complexity of the swing," Davidson said.
The major difference between Simple Golf and Natural Golf is that Simple Golf is a left-sided swing for right-handed players. Natural Golf teaches a right-sided hit, as if you were using a hammer.
In order to achieve a more simple swing, Davidson figured that the clubface needed to stay in the same position throughout the swing. Some may call that position closed at the top of the swing, but Davidson said it's square to the swing plane. Plus, this motion is more compact, so rotation really isn't necessary to alleviate tension.
In the setup and impact position, Simple Golf seeks to emulate the homerun hitter, with an extended front leg and the weight more centered just behind the ball. The head is set up over the right knee and remains there throughout the swing.
Grip is key. In the Symple Power Swing, it's known as the power thumb position, which is set (for a right-hander) on the right side of the grip. The right hand overlaps with two fingers instead of one, with the idea of taking the right side out of the swing. Finally, the hands are positioned so the left arm, hand and club form a straight line from the left shoulder. From there, it's simply a left shoulder turn back and a shoulder whip through.
This all sounds simple enough, and it is, but Davidson and O'Leary stress that these new moves should be learned in chipping and pitching first. For the short game, Davidson said, the feet are together, and there's very little wrist break until you get to the longer pitches.
The idea is that when a student can master the short shots, the full shot swings become fairly easy because it's the same motion. The only major difference is that the stance is wide instead of having the feet together; and in the short game, the weight remains on the front foot.
"In an hour or so we can give you a top-notch short game," Davidson said. "And if you can learn to chip with this motion, you can pretty much learn the full swing."
According to O'Leary, this method becomes intuitive quickly.
"Good athletes don't think when they perform," he said. "We've made the traditional golf swing way too complicated."
Ideally, the best way to learn Simple Golf would be through one the company's clinics conducted nationwide, or from a Simple Golf instructor. In lieu of a live lesson, you can purchase instructional DVDs through www.simplegolf.com.
The Web site also offers clinic schedules, information on how to find an instructor as well as a number of free video tips. Students who subscribe also receive regular newsletters and tips.
April 17, 2009
Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.