A framework, a mantra and an important life value for everyone!
The sequential framework that “reminds us all to keep it simple and have fun.” Will Ferrell, Actor
I know what you are thinking… “Is ‘One, Two, Follow Through’ another confusing method that turns humans into robots and pretzels? Is this another gimmick?” Great question! The answer is NOOOO! This proven philosophy and simple approach to teaching such a complex game – and life – is used as a sequential framework to break down the golf swing: the backswing is ‘one,’ the downswing is ‘two’ and the follow through is a reaction to ‘one and two.’ I have used this simple framework to teach for 12 years, and it works wonders. Why? Because it is simple, it’s easy to remember, and it makes perfect sense to people. Don’t get me wrong, we can talk for hours about angles, planes, spine angles, smash factor and fitness regimes to hit the ball as far as Bryson Dechambeau; however, when the swing sets in motion we will discover your ‘one, two…’ that is unique to you and you will be wondering why you ever thought swinging a golf club was so difficult.
The ‘One, Two…’ Narrative
Here’s a sample conversation with an eager, right-handed student who wants to lose his chicken wing with his lead arm in the follow through. Not just because it “looks bad” and his buddies have now nicknamed him “Tugger,” but he also hits a wild banana slice that is unplayable…and embarrassing. He plays football, basketball, and hockey like a stud, but just can’t keep the little white, dimply ball in the fairway. After reviewing his core fundamentals (grip, stance, ball position, distance from the ball, and golf posture) we begin discussing his swing patterns: club-face angle and club-path relative to the target line. System Check. Tugger is swinging the club outside the plane on the downswing with a wide open club- face and tugging his arms close to his body on the through swing which is an ‘out to in’ path. “I keep swinging over the top! I can’t stop swinging over-the-top. How do I STOP swinging over-the-top?!” Sometimes the answer is simple: sloooowwwww it down “Tugger.” “Slow down, you’re swinging too fast, you gotta let the feeling…last!” Paul Simon gets it! Tugger is NOT feeling groovy. So, how do we fix this pattern!? With the V1 Swing App, a mirror and a few make shift gadgets, we discuss the backswing (one) and emphasize a better loading position by getting his trail arm to attain a more passive position, like holding a pizza tray. BINGO! Tugger connects to the thought of holding a pizza tray at the top of the backswing as it allows him to do many things well (load the right hip, turn his torso more with his shoulders, and get the right hand in a good position) with just ONE thought. So, Tugger is “pizza tray on one.’ Now we must come up with what ‘two’ is in order to stop the over-the-top chicken wing. Because his shoulders and torso were moving so dominantly to the left through impact, we discuss his sternum staying more quiet and ‘back’ on the downswing instead of jolting to the follow through too early and too aggressively, which feels like the correct way to hit the ball to the moon for many golfers. BINGO! Tugger likes ‘sternum back on two.’ He then realized that his follow through will be long and effortless if he can accomplish these two things in his swing.
Tugger left his lesson saying, “it’s just one, two…” with a simple understanding of what he needs to work on to improve his ball striking and consistency. After 3 months of One, Two’ing, his friends now call him ‘Flow.’
It’s all about Physics
I really like the image seen below. For a right handed golfer, this makes total sense. All the essential action in the golf swing IS in the backswing and the downswing, follow through is just a reaction. You either allow it without tensing up your shoulders over your ears, or you surrender to the flow and allow it to finish wherever your flexibility allows it to finish.
The repeatable mantra we’re all looking for
Every time I play golf, I have a swing mantra in my head. This helps my tempo stay consistent. I don’t expect to hit every shot perfect, but one thing i do like to focus on and achieve is consistent tempo and rhythm in every swing, even putting. ESPECIALLY putting! Some days ‘one, two’ is all i need to have consistent flow. That’s a two syllable day 🙂 Other days might be a 3 syllable day, ‘one, annnnnd, TWO!’ And I have many golfers use ‘One, Two, Follow Through’ from start to finish as their tempo mantra every time they play and THEY LOVE IT! Every golfer’s swing tempo is unique to them so it’s important to come up with your own mantra that helps you achieve the tempo you feel is most comfortable in your swing and is easy to rinse and repeat. Don’t be shy, give it a try!
Oh(!), and the important life value
The moment you begin your swing is the moment you commit to surrendering to the natural flow and to finishing what you started… no matter what! As a teacher, I am always looking to teach universal principles and use the subject, for this instance is golf, as the metaphor. And many golfers know from playing this wonderfully frustrating game, that the metaphors to life are endless.