Perfecting the swing is one of the most important aspects to getting distance and accuracy in your long game in golf. Sometimes trying to imitate the way that the pros swing their golf clubs is not a feasible technique for everyone to learn. Does this mean that you need to be content with a mediocre golf swing? Fortunately not, since the closed coil golf swing is a technique you can use to improve your game.
Lack of flexibility or injury can be an issue for senior golfers to maintain a quality, pain-free golf game. The closed coil golf swing provides an adjusted swing, increasing shot distance by adjusting your stance, swing path, and action to make your golf shots more effective and comfortable.
Many senior golfers notice a decline in the power of their golf swing as they age. This can be for various reasons, but it is not a reason to settle for lack of performance on the golf course. When golf is concerned, it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks, so let’s examine the closed coil golf swing and how it can help your golf game.
What Is The Closed Coil Golf Swing?
The closed coil golf swing is a swing that has been developed as an alternative swing to the traditional “windmill” golf swing that professional players use.
In this swing, the head of the golf club at the peak of the backswing is often over the forward-facing shoulder of the golfer.
This swing requires a lot of mobility in the shoulders, and much of the power of the swing comes from the shoulders and the momentum of the head of the golf club on such a long swing. This gives the golfer power in the strike, which gives distance for the long drives.
While this type of swing is great for professional players and younger players, what can you do if you no longer have the mobility in your shoulders to perform this style of golf swing?
Trying to use this extended swing when you do not have the full range of motion of your shoulders or the power in your shoulders that you used to have will have consequences for your golf game.
- Loss of power in the shot. Not being able to get a full rotation in the swing will reduce the power in your shot since the head of the golf club will not travel a sufficient distance to gain enough momentum.
- Loss of distance in your golf shot. The loss of power will result in a loss of distance in your shot, and you will struggle to make the same distances on those long fairways that you could previously manage.
- Trying to compensate. These frustrations could lead to you trying to modify your swing, which can introduce additional problems to your technique that will only further negatively impact your game.
- Forcing the swing. You may try to force your swing to get the power that you previously had. This can result in injury to your shoulders, which will force you to rest and not be able to play golf. The injury may persist and prevent you from playing a good game of golf for an extended period.
Many golfers have struggled with this as they get older, and it can be a significant frustration for older golfers. The problem with the traditional golf swing is that it has to be executed properly to achieve the correct power when the head of the club meets the ball.
Trying to adjust the traditional swing or the motion will limit the power with which you can hit the ball, the distance it will travel, and also the accuracy with which you can place the ball with your shot.
The only way to restore your golf game is to realize the limitations that cause you to be unable to execute a traditional golf swing and adjust your swing to one that is more comfortable and yet still effective.
Is The Closed Coil Swing Only For Senior Golfers?
The closed coil golf swing is not only for senior golfers. Many younger golfers who have suffered injuries to their shoulders also struggle with the same problems that afflict senior golfers.
Shoulder injuries can be persistent, long-lasting frustrations for a golfer, and in some cases, damage to the shoulder joints may prevent a golfer from ever having a good game.
The closed coil golf swing is a technique that is not only for senior players but can be employed by younger players who have similar restrictions in their shoulders as a result of injury.
The person who first developed the closed coil golf swing is Eric Cagorno, who is a professional golf coach and trainer. He actually developed this swing technique because his golf game was affected by a shoulder injury that prevented him from properly completing the traditional golf swing.
After perfecting the technique and seeing how it improved his golf game, even with his shoulders being restricted by his injury. This technique will allow you to get the power back in your swing without forcing your shot and further injuring your shoulder.
How Does The Closed Coil Golf Swing Work?
The closed coil golf swing places the focus on the body form that compensates for stiffness in the shoulders and hips. Focusing on the form and getting the weight distribution right, as well as the sequence of releasing the coil, will translate into an improvement in your game.
There are 3 main aspects of your game as a senior golfer that you will help to improve your game with less mobility and flexibility in your hips and shoulders.
- Making more solid contact with the ball.
- Hitting with more accuracy.
- Getting a longer distance with your strike of the ball.
If you can improve on these three aspects of your golf game, you will improve your overall game as well as your enjoyment of the game.
The aim of the closed coil golf swing is to improve these crucial aspects of your game that limited flexibility will limit if you try to continue using traditional golf swings.
What Benefits Does The Closed Coil Swing Offer For Senior Golfers?
The closed coil swing is intended to focus on achieving the 3 outcomes that we have mentioned by focusing on your body movement on both your backswing and your forward swing to achieve these results.
You will not only notice an improved game, but you will also feel more relaxed in your golf swing, you will feel more limber because you are not trying to force the shot, and you will be able to play golf pain-free.
Playing golf pain-free will also allow you to play a longer game of golf without having to cut your games short because of discomfort in your tee-offs.
To understand how this technique works, we first need to define some of the terminologies, such as what is a coil in golf?
What Is Coil In Golf?
When most people hear the word coil, the first image that they see in their mind is that of a spring, which is exactly where this analogy in golf comes from.
The coil is described as your body positioning as you reach the peak of your backswing prior to delivering the strike with your forward swing.
The action during your backswing essentially loads your body and muscles like a coiled spring. Releasing the spring or the “coil” is where your forward swing of the club is initiated.
The power of your golf shot is determined by how effective your “coil” is since if it is not correct when you release it, the forward action will lack the necessary power for the shot. Trying to force the shot to add more power to the shot may cause you to pull the shot or cause yourself an injury.
Most of the instructions and coaching techniques are focused on perfecting the same swing that pro-golfers use, but this strategy is not practical for senior golfers who cannot physically execute the body movements to effectively perfect this swing.
Square Vs. Open Vs. Closed Stance
The stance with which you face the ball is an important aspect of the closed coil golf swing, so we need to make sure that we are aware of the terminology used for the stance.
The square stance in golf is where your setup to the ball is standing with the ball in the middle of your feet, which are slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
The position of your feet is 90-degrees from the position of the ball and the direction the ball will travel. In the square stance, there is no flare to the feet. Your toes are in line with your heel and 90-degrees to the ball position. This is a neutral rotation portion and offers equal backswing and follow-through rotation on your swing.
In an open stance, your left foot is positioned slightly back from the square position, which turns your body downrange in the direction that the ball is going to travel.
This position will change your angle to the ball position, and you may have to position a little further to the right to position the ball in the middle of the gap between your feet. This stance limits your backswing rotation but promotes a more aggressive follow-through rotation.
This is not the stance we need for the closed coil golf swing since we need more bak swing rotation.
A closed stance is the reverse of an open stance. This stance is where your right foot is positioned slightly back from the “square line and turns your right shoulder slightly away from the ball.
This stance limits your follow-through rotation but promotes an increased rotation on your backswing, which is what you would be looking for for the closed coil golf swing.
Mechanics Of The Closed Coil Golf Swing
The closed coil swing techniques can be incorporated into your current swing, so you don’t have to learn a completely new style of swing, which can take some time to perfect. Much of the tweaks come from understanding how the momentum and additional power in the strike are achieved.
An analogy the explains the concept well is comparing ancient siege weapons, the catapult, and the French version, the trebuchet.
The catapult was a spring-loaded weapon that had a single spring that, when released, launched the projectile towards the enemy castle. The catapult was effective, but its range was limited.
The trebuchet performed exactly the same role, but the launch mechanism that was used was slightly different, which enabled it to have a range of nearly 3 times that of the catapult.
With the catapult, the spring is coiled, but most of the power is generated in the forward motion, which is how many golfers try to play their swing. They have a fairly casual backswing and then try to put all their force into the forward swing and follow-through.
It is this additional force and the windmill-style follow-through that causes pain and can injure joints and muscles that no longer have flexibility or a full range of motion.
The trebuchet relied on a spring as well as a counterweight, which relied more on the backswing to generate the power that was transferred to the projectile.
Translated into your golf swing, it is similar to using your body weight as the counterweight to contribute to the power from your coil release to drive the ball harder and further without using more power.
The trebuchet releases its projectile before the arm of the ancient weapon is deep into its fore swing and follow-through. For older golfers, the fore swing, or forward swing and the follow-through with its associated rotation are where most of the problems and injuries occur.
In the closed coil spring, your body acts in a similar way to the trebuchet, generating most of the power from the backswing. Putting less effort into the fore swing and the follow-through prevents the injuries that are commonly seen in senior golfers.
Less force in the fore swing will also allow you to strike the ball more cleanly and with greater accuracy. This combination will make your shot travel 15 to 30-yards further than struggling with a traditional golf swing.
Perfecting this swing, you will also stop hooking and slicing your golf shots and with your shot following the perfect slight right to left curve for the perfect baby draw.
Focus On Rotation On The Backswing
As a senior player or someone with a previous injury, you want to focus the rotation that gives you power in your golf swing on the backswing rather than the forward swing and follow-through.
The way that you make the adjustment starts with your setup or stance as your prepare for the shot. There are 3 main types of stance in golf. Square, open and closed stance.
If you are standing in a square stance, the more neutral your rotation will be. The more open your stance is to the left if you are a right-handed golfer, you will have more rotation in the follow-through of your shot but less rotation in the backswing.
A closed stance, where your right foot is off from square to the ball, promotes rotation in the backswing but less rotation in the follow-through.
Focus on the closed stance is the first aspect of the closed coil golf swing and is where the “closed” part of the name of the technique stems from. In this stance, your right foot will be slightly further back than if you were in the square stance.
To get the correct stance, stand at the tee in the square stance, then move your right foot a little to the back and your left foot a little forward. This sets your aim a little to the right of the target of where you want to place the golf ball.
Foot Flare For The Closed Coil Swing
Foot flare is the orientation of your foot in the setup before your swing. Your right foot could be turned in, or it could be turned out.
If your left foot is flared in or downrange to the target, your rotation forward or for the follow-through will be promoted, but your rotation for the backswing will be limited.
Conversely, a right foot that is flared out, away from the target direction, will promote a greater rotation for the backswing, which is what we are looking for in the closed coil swing.
Golf Ball Position For The Closed Coil Swing
With your stance adjusted this way, you will find that you are a little further away from the ball, and your orientation to the ball will place you so that the ball is not n the center of your swing arch.
Reposition yourself so that you are slightly closer to the ball and that the ball is centered between your feet, which will center the ball in your swing arch.
Club And Swing Direction For The Closed Coil Golf Swing
The direction of your swing is going to be a little different from your standard golf swing. You want to get the club to swing in a draw pattern, which is an in-to-out pattern.
To achieve this draw pattern, the forward swing pattern will come in closer to your body and exit more to your right, and you will finish the stroke with the club in a much higher exit position than in a standard swing. This will involve more forearm rotation than you would apply in a standard golf swing.
On your downswing stroke, you will keep the club head closer to your body than your would in a standard golf swing, with the club head exiting the downswing further to the right than on a standard stroke.
The upswing finish or follow-through of the club head will result in the club finishing in a higher position, more between the left shoulder and neck position. This is different from the standard golf swing, which finishes at a point below the left shoulder.
This change in finish position is because of the reduction in the rotation of the body and shoulders during the follow-through, which is the main cause of injury in senior golfers.
The goal is to go for an intentional hook motion. You will also go for an early extension or straightening of the body. In a standard golf swing, the extension of the body or straightening up plays less of a role in developing power in the shot. In the closed coil golf swing, early extension is encouraged to get back some of the power loss from the limited rotation.
The early extension also produces greater loft of the ball, which translates to further distance in the shot and a longer roll time of the ball after it makes contact with the ground after the shot.
The early extension also adds speed to the ball as you make contact because of the extra momentum release that is given before you make contact with the ball. Think back to the trebuchet example with the flexible sling that launches the projectile.
As you straighten up your knees and your body, emphasize the arm rotation, which gets the club head in the right position for making an accurate shot.
When practicing this swing pattern, you will find that you will hit some hook patterns, which is a good thing because these shots give you good distance.
How Easy Is The Closed Coil Swing To Learn?
Because you are not learning a completely new golf swing, it is not going to take months of practice to master this technique.
The technique tweaks your current golf swing with small adjustments, starting with your setup on the ball, adopting a slightly more closed stance to increase your backswing rotation and minimize your follow-through rotation.
The second aspect is modifying the path of the club head and where you start your forward swing of the club toward the ball, your exit point of the club head, and the finish point of the forward swing.
The technique is not difficult to master, with most people being able to see noticeable differences in the distance and accuracy within a few hours of focused practice on these technique tweaks.
The closed coil golf swing can certainly make a difference to the golf game for seniors and people who are struggling with injuries to arms, shoulders, and back. This technique will allow you to increase your distance and accuracy on your shots and use less effort to make your shots.
The technique is designed to allow seniors and people with injuries to continue to not only still play golf but play a good game of golf with more comfort and less pain.
If you are a golfer in this category and you want to find a way to continue to play golf despite your physical limitations, then giving this technique an opportunity is well worth the effort!