Logical Golf

by Robert Baker

Lesson 2 - How Mark O’Meara’s 'waggle’ primes the sequence of the swing

The basis of my education as a coach really couldn't have been any better: for six years I worked as a trainee with the best in the business - David Leadbetter.

During my time at his base in Orlando, I was lucky enough to work with some of golf's greatest-ever players, including the 1998 Open and Masters champion, Mark O'Meara. For me, the way O'Meara waggles the clubhead is the model that every golfer should aim to copy.

During the hours I spent on the range at his home club in Isleworth, O'Meara showed me that by waggling the club in this deliberate manner you very quickly get a sense of the delivery position you are looking for in the swing itself - i.e. toe-up and slightly behind the hands, the right hand fully hinged back on itself, wrists 'loaded'. (If you look at Hogan, his waggle was virtually identical, designed to give him a sense of that critical delivery position.)

Because there is no body motion involved here, the appearance from the set-up is that the left hand and forearm move out and away from the body just a fraction. Of course, in the swing itself, this wrist and forearm action combines with the rotary body motion that swings the hands, arms and the club naturally inside the ball-to-target line.

Theres an old saying, 'as ye waggle, so ye shall swing'. Rehearsing this move is the key to priming your hands and arms to work this way in the swing, nurturing the wrist action that maximises your speed into the ball.

Logical Golf

1. Hands firmly in place on the grip, but at the same time relaxed. Muscles in the forearms keyed-up to move, but at the same time pliable

Logical Golf

2. A sense of moving the toe-end of the club while barely moving the hands gets the waggle started

Logical Golf

3. Right hand is hingeing back on itself while back of left hand eases forward

Logical Golf

4. The right hand is now fully hinged, the back of left hand facing directly forwards. The club is in the toe-up position - exactly where you want it as you approach impact