Why You Should Waggle

August 16, 2010

Don't Freeze: In addition to waggling the club, you should waggle with your feet.

I see too many amateurs start the backswing from a static position. I think having a waggle before you start is important to avoid tension and establish good rhythm. Starting from a static position can cause your grip pressure to change in stressful situations -- and that makes it hard to swing the club freely.

I begin by gripping lightly. I try to feel the weight of the clubhead with my waggle, which keeps me from squeezing the grip. I square the club to the ball, then pick it up and waggle it back and forth twice to keep my hands tension-free, swinging the clubhead back just outside my right foot and returning it to the ball smoothly.

I also waggle with my feet, rocking a bit from my right foot to my left foot. I like my feet to feel light, lively and ready to move. They tell me if I'm in rhythm.

You don't have to copy me. Mike Weir, for example, takes a longer waggle that previews his backswing. Develop your own routine, but stay in motion. Think of a tennis player getting ready to return a serve.

Tom Watson is a Golf Digest Playing Editor and the golf professional emeritus at The Greenbrier, in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.


The new British Open champion, Louis Oosthuizen, has a swing that's close to perfect. His grip, address position, takeaway, position at the top of the swing, release and finish are all worth copying for the average player. Oosthuizen is a player to watch, and his effortless-looking action reminds me of his fellow South African, Ernie Els.