U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)


Open mouth, lose tension

April 12, 2008

JUST RELAX: Keeping your mouth open as you swing is a great way to reduce tension.

Unlike most ball sports where you react to a moving object and don't have time to think, in golf the ball is stationary so you tend to over-think. As a result, you get tight and lose your rhythm and tempo. You might not realize that your muscles are getting tighter and you literally hold your breath, and therefore have little chance of making a smooth, repeating swing.

To help counter this common problem, try opening your mouth slightly at address, with your tongue on the roof of it, and keep it that way as you swing back and through. Not only will this help relax your shoulder and neck muscles -- a real hot spot for tension -- but it will also encourage you to breathe, which will further relax your body.

Remember, the less tension in your upper torso and arms, the easier it is to swing the club smoothly and generate the speed you need for power.

Based at ChampionsGate near Orlando, Leadbetter runs 30 academies worldwide. Click here for more tips from Leadbetter.