InstructionJanuary 26, 2012

Mid-week Lesson: Toski-Flick explain what controls the swing

At the PGA Show's Demo Day yesterday, I was lucky enough to witness the reunion of two of the game's most influential teachers, Bob Toski (85 years young) and Jim Flick (82). What a treat to see them both in action, giving a clinic for a couple of hundred club professionals and media. They started the Golf Digest Schools back in the 1970s and wrote the definitive golf instruction book How to Become a Complete Golfer with the late Dick Aultman.

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Jim Flick (left) and Bob Toski at yesterday's PGA Show Demo Day, at Orange County National, outside Orlando.

It reminded me of one of the great principles they still teach by: The arms control the body in the swing, not the other way around. So much has been taught recently that the big muscles control the swing, but Toski says he doesn't even have any big muscles, yet, at his age he can still hit it out there 250. How does he do it? With speed. Light grip pressure. Soft arms. Great footwork.

As Flick pointed out to me for the umpteenth time, if you keep your shoulders relaxed and let the arms--not the shoulders--take the club back, the club goes on a proper path (not severely inside). Then, if you keep your shoulders quiet in the transition (most poor players start down with their shoulders in an over-the-top move), the club will swing into the ball on an inside path. You must always start the downswing with the left foot, knee, thigh and hip, in that order. But never start down with the shoulders.

It makes so much sense for the average golfer. Thank you, Mr. Toski and Mr. Flick. Look for more great thoughts from Toski and Flick to help your game this weekend on the Instruction Blog.

*Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest

Twitter @RogerSchiffman  *

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