Mike Weir, the Canadian golfer who won last year's Masters, is well-known for his distinctive pre-shot routine, in which he takes the clubhead back to about hip height, before returning it to the ball and almost immediately taking his full swing.
What he's doing is reminding himself of those first few vital feet of movement that the clubhead takes immediately back from the ball - he's ingraining into his muscle memory the start of his swing. And as Mike is one of the most consistent players, and certainly one of the straightest hitters, on Tour, it's a routine from which we could all learn.
But you need to be careful because the waggle that most of us take can become just as deeply ingrained as the movement that Mike Weir makes, but with less successful consequences.
Watch other players and you will almost certainly notice that if their waggle, is 'inside' the line, then so will be their swing. If they waggle 'outside' the line the chances are they will swing that way too; and if their waggle is straight back from the ball, so will their full swing be.
Therefore, if you are trying to swing the clubhead on a specific path, make sure that's how you waggle it.
The waggle is a good way of keeping your arms loose and relaxed but you need to be aware that it is also a good way of dictating what your eventual swingpath will be.
|| 31 - AUGUST 2004