Leslie King's Free Arm Swing

Just curious, in this day and age of rotary, passive arm, body driven swings, does anyone subscribe to the old skool teachings of Leslie King? He put out a pretty fascinating book called THE MASTER KEY TO GOOD GOLF in the 70s and coached five time British Am. champion, Michael Bonallack. I rarely see his name come up. With King's method, it's all about swinging with the arms - the body reacts to the swing of the arms. The downswing begins with a downward swing of the left arm and hand, independent of the shoulders, what he calls SEPARATION. During this phase of the swing, maintaining of the shoulders in the fully turned position is essential.



Much to my surprise, most - if not all - of this book in online in PDF format.



Leslie King



Here's page 41, where he describes the role of the body.



Cheers!

Comments

  • kevn357kevn357 Members Posts: 663 ✭✭
    This can't end well :p
  • TheWoatTheWoat Members Posts: 550
    edited Jan 12, 2009 #4
    Power



    This upaward resistance is what creates potential power in the hands at the top of the swing.....power that will be released at the correct time in the downswing. Hence we can say that.... Downward drive plus upward resistance equals POWER.
    The raised left heel thus creates power in the hands at the top.



    We not only sense the power in the hands, we also (thanks to the control imparted by correct use of the left foot) sense that we can conserve and release that power at will.



    For the first time in the swing movement we are aware of the potential power in the hands....and we are conscious of the fact that we have the necessary control to "release" that power at the correct time.



    Thus, the body poise at the top imparted by the correct use of the inside of the left foot makes us



    1. Conscious of the potential power in the hands,



    2. A sense of the need to conserve this power for the right place in the swing, and finally



    3. We have a feeling of complete confidence that we can "release" this power at the right time and place in the downswing...and thus we subconsciously sense exactly where that "release" point is!




    http://www.golftoday.co.uk/proshop/tuition/lesson11.html

    Huh?



    Edit:

    My sister basically uses this swing, and if it wasnt for her casting and horrible putting, shed be a decent player. Her swing is smooth with great tempo, so I know this method can work.
  • turtlekcturtlekc 1995 MN PGA WisconsinClubWRX Posts: 12,782 ClubWRX
    In the early 80's my game was in a terrible funk after experimenting with some pretty goofy ideas. It was suggested that I buy Mr. Leslie King's book and give it a try. It got me out of my funk and on my way to becoming a much better player. It's not what I use now, but a lot of very good information, very similar to some of Mr. Flick's motion...



    Some good solid alignments combined with this method wouldn't be a bad way to go about it at all.



    Kevin
    I could be wrong
    I've been wrong before
    I'll be wrong again
  • juststevejuststeve Members Posts: 4,820 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Whether the body responds to the hands and arms or the hands and arms respond to the body is a time old debate. The truth is that both methods work.



    I learned the game from Manuel de la Torre who taught that the body was simply responsive to the swinging of the club. The club was swung back with the hands and forward with the arms. Apart from a disastrous flirtation with Jimmy Ballad that’s how I have swung the club my whole life with very good effect.



    While I don’t knock body orientation or even Ballard for other folks, its not for me. I really believe that the de la Torre method is easier to learn, easier to hold on to once you’ve learned it, and requires a lot less maintenance. At 60 I still play to a plus handicap with little more than weekend golf and an hour or so on the range during the week.



    Steve
  • turtlekcturtlekc 1995 MN PGA WisconsinClubWRX Posts: 12,782 ClubWRX
    juststeve wrote on Jan 12 2009, 05:41 PM:
    Whether the body responds to the hands and arms or the hands and arms respond to the body is a time old debate. The truth is that both methods work.



    I learned the game from Manuel de la Torre who taught that the body was simply responsive to the swinging of the club. The club was swung back with the hands and forward with the arms. Apart from a disastrous flirtation with Jimmy Ballad that’s how I have swung the club my whole life with very good effect.



    While I don’t knock body orientation or even Ballard for other folks, its not for me. I really believe that the de la Torre method is easier to learn, easier to hold on to once you’ve learned it, and requires a lot less maintenance. At 60 I still play to a plus handicap with little more than weekend golf and an hour or so on the range during the week.



    Steve




    I just started reading Manuel de la Torre's book. Excellent stuff. There are a lot of great teachers out there!



    Kevin
    I could be wrong
    I've been wrong before
    I'll be wrong again
  • Tanner25Tanner25 Members Posts: 6,326 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    KevCarter wrote on Jan 12 2009, 05:54 PM:
    In the early 80's my game was in a terrible funk after experimenting with some pretty goofy ideas. It was suggested that I buy Mr. Leslie King's book and give it a try. It got me out of my funk and on my way to becoming a much better player. It's not what I use now, but a lot of very good information, very similar to some of Mr. Flick's motion...



    Some good solid alignments combined with this method wouldn't be a bad way to go about it at all.



    Kevin




    Kevin,



    I was thinking Mr. Flick as well. I remember some of his Golf Channel academy live ( best show ever ) where he suggests to " swing the instrument and let the body react to the club and swing "
  • downtoscratchdowntoscratch Members Posts: 1,256
    edited Jan 12, 2009 #9
    Leslie King's "Front End Therapy" was/is a classic approach to learning the vitals of a swing. dts



    A Vital Exercise- "FRONT END THERAPY"



    I am now going to introduce you to an exercise which will prepare you for the new backswing that you will learn in a later lesson.



    This exercise, which I call front-end therapy has quickly transformed swings and scores of thousands of players because it establishes an early principle that we must swing freely into and along the intended line of flight with a square blade...driving the ball powerfully forward. This creates both accuracy and power.



    You may find it novel that we are dealing with the "front end" (the through swing) of the movement first, before correcting the backswing. However, it is fact that unless your movement through the ball is correct (a square impact into and along the intended line of flight), the best backswing in the world is of no avail at all! After all, the backswing itself is shaped by the intention to swing squarely along the intended line of flight through impact.



    So we get the most important part of the movement right first. Then we add it to a correct backswing.



    The Most Common Problem In Golf



    All poor players, without exception, start the downswing by turning the shoulders first, while the feet remain static. This, of course, throws the club out of line from the top, and any possibility of a correct downswing is instantly ruined



    In fact, in a correct downswing, the body should unwind from the feet…….up. This means that the feet and legs should come into play first with the shoulders unwinding last! In other words, the shoulder line must never run ahead of the hip line in the downswing.



    THIS CORRECT DOWNSWING IS ACHIEVED BY PROPER LEG ACTION IN THE SWING, and this exercise shows you how to acquire good foot and leg action…



    THIS EXERCISE CAN TRANSFORM YOUR GOLF ALMOST IMMEDIATELY!



    EXERCISE PRELIMINARY



    First, assume the correct address position and, with a 7 iron in your hands, "free off" the arms by moving them up and down in front of you as described earlier.( Lesson 1) Remember to keep the height constant….. do not allow the body to rise up as you swing the club up!



    The purpose of this exercise, you will remember, is to get the feeling that the hands and arms can swing freely from the shoulders while the body retains its position.



    We are now going to apply this principle to the swing movement.



    THE EXERCISE



    1. Ground the club as if you were addressing the ball.



    2. Move the club-head forward ….. along the intended line of flight …. But ensure the right heel immediately comes off the ground, and the right knee begins to fold in towards the left. NOTE. Do not allow your body to rise up or move in the direction of the hand and arm swing!







    3. As the hands and arms swing the club up to about shoulder height (Note the blade is dead square), the right heel is well clear of the ground and the weight has moved to the inside of the right foot. The right knee has moved progressively closer in toward the left knee. The player's height has NOT increased!



    4 & 5 As the hands and arms swing the club up to a finish, the right foot comes up on to the toe.

    6. The finish of the stroke. The right knee is now alongside the left. The right foot is now balanced up on the toe, and the foot is vertical. THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT. The player now drops their hands to waist level and checks the blade is still square, as it was at address.



    Do this exercise slowly at first, and be sure to bring the right foot and knee into play as soon as the exercise begins. Then, place a ball down, and , taking a short backswing of about two feet, go into the exercise again…..this time striking the ball.



    CORRECT FOOT AND LEG ACTION ENABLES THE SHOULDERS TO UNWIND LAST. THE CLUB CAN THEN SWING SQUARELY "ON LINE."
  • CloranCloran Members Posts: 1,047 ✭✭
    juststeve wrote on Jan 12 2009, 06:41 PM:
    Whether the body responds to the hands and arms or the hands and arms respond to the body is a time old debate. The truth is that both methods work.



    I learned the game from Manuel de la Torre who taught that the body was simply responsive to the swinging of the club. The club was swung back with the hands and forward with the arms. Apart from a disastrous flirtation with Jimmy Ballad that's how I have swung the club my whole life with very good effect.



    While I don't knock body orientation or even Ballard for other folks, its not for me. I really believe that the de la Torre method is easier to learn, easier to hold on to once you've learned it, and requires a lot less maintenance. At 60 I still play to a plus handicap with little more than weekend golf and an hour or so on the range during the week.



    Steve




    That's fantastic! How long did it take you to get to that point? How long did it take you to learn this swing? Can you still generate power with an arm(sy) swing? Sorry for all the questions... I'd love a swing that was that repetitive and "easy."
  • juststevejuststeve Members Posts: 4,820 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Streetkid:



    I learned the game over a period of two summers while I was in college, early June through August, about 40 years ago. By August of the second summer I was scratch. During that period I saw Manuel frequently, played quite a bit of golf and hit a lot of balls. Can’t say how many but during those two summers it was all day every day at the club.



    The key to my progress and continued success is something Manuel teaches all his students. He teaches everyone that once you know what to do, spend the rest of your life learning to do it better. Simple wisdom which so many golfers forget. With the exception of my Ballard flirtation I have hit every practice ball I have ever hit trying to do the few simple things Manuel teaches.



    I’m not sure that it is proper to call the swing arm(sy) although I can see how you would get that impression. The body is fully responsive to the swinging of the club, back and through. Manuel teaches that the body responds to the swing immediately. As a consequence I don’t think you could tell with the unaided eye whether I was generating the swing with the hands and arms or with the body.



    As to power, I was very long when I was younger by the standards of balata balls and persimmon woods. With modern equipment I carry my driver about 250 my stock five iron is 175. Not long by internet standards but sort of mid-pack when I’ve played in U.S.G.A. events.



    If you are suggesting that there are other methods that have more potential for generating power I would agree. I think well executed a body oriented action is potentially more powerful. If my grandson wanted to start golf I might well take him to another teacher who might teach him to hit it longer. The game is all about long now. Nevertheless I think Manuel’s method is ideal for the person who wants to learn the game fast and play it for a long time.



    Steve
  • CloranCloran Members Posts: 1,047 ✭✭
    juststeve wrote on Jan 13 2009, 09:18 AM:
    Streetkid:



    I learned the game over a period of two summers while I was in college, early June through August, about 40 years ago. By August of the second summer I was scratch. During that period I saw Manuel frequently, played quite a bit of golf and hit a lot of balls. Can't say how many but during those two summers it was all day every day at the club.



    The key to my progress and continued success is something Manuel teaches all his students. He teaches everyone that once you know what to do, spend the rest of your life learning to do it better. Simple wisdom which so many golfers forget. With the exception of my Ballard flirtation I have hit every practice ball I have ever hit trying to do the few simple things Manuel teaches.



    I'm not sure that it is proper to call the swing arm(sy) although I can see how you would get that impression. The body is fully responsive to the swinging of the club, back and through. Manuel teaches that the body responds to the swing immediately. As a consequence I don't think you could tell with the unaided eye whether I was generating the swing with the hands and arms or with the body.



    As to power, I was very long when I was younger by the standards of balata balls and persimmon woods. With modern equipment I carry my driver about 250 my stock five iron is 175. Not long by internet standards but sort of mid-pack when I've played in U.S.G.A. events.



    If you are suggesting that there are other methods that have more potential for generating power I would agree. I think well executed a body oriented action is potentially more powerful. If my grandson wanted to start golf I might well take him to another teacher who might teach him to hit it longer. The game is all about long now. Nevertheless I think Manuel's method is ideal for the person who wants to learn the game fast and play it for a long time.



    Steve




    Steve,

    What would you say to those that think this type of swing was only good for hickory shafts and balata balls... that today's equipment makes a rotary swing necessary. I'm more concerned with accuracy than distance (and your distance is better than mine, those yardages are well above average no doubt) for my own game. I rarely play a course longer than 6500 yards... and if the LPGA Pros can tear up those courses with 240-260 yard drives why can't I?



    Would you say that this swing tends to promote a straight ball flight? Again, sorry for all the questions, I'm fascinated by the golf swing and always looking for an "easier" method... the proof is in the dirt.
  • PurePursuit PurePursuit Members Posts: 2,237
    I would say that its nearly impossible to generate consistent speed with just your arms/hands, and that your using your body more than you think.
  • juststevejuststeve Members Posts: 4,820 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Streetkid:



    No, I don’t think what Manuel teaches is just for hickory and balata. He was an accomplished golfer himself in the steel shaft era and still teaches the same thing today in the graphite titanium world. What he teaches still produces good golfers.



    No, I don’t think his method produces straighter shots. Tiger’s are straighter than mine, at least with the irons, so that can’t be so.



    I think the body oriented swing used by folks like Tiger or Adam Scott is extremely effective and perhaps most effective provided that the golfer is strong, flexible and able to devote a lot of time to learning the swing and maintaining it once learned. If you’re young strong and flexible and willing to make golf your full time job I would probably point you in that direction. Certainly that is what the very best golfers in the world are doing now. If on the other hand you want to play at a high level and can’t make golf a full time thing, try Manuel’s medicine.



    PurePursuit:



    I think I use my body quite a lot but I use it in response to the swinging of the club, not as a cause of swinging the club. If my body was not fully responsive to the club’s swinging I would just be waiving at the ball. I don’t know anyone who teaches that, certainly not Manuel.



    If you want an idea of what’s going on try what I consider to be the master drill, hitting balls with the feet together. Swing the club freely with the hands and arms allowing the body to just respond. You’ll be amazed how far you can hit the ball that way. As you get more advanced you might try the same thing off one foot at a time. Left foot for irons, right foot when the ball is teed up. When I first knew Manuel he could break 80 off either foot. That’s when you know you’re really making the club swing.



    Steve
  • turtlekcturtlekc 1995 MN PGA WisconsinClubWRX Posts: 12,782 ClubWRX
    PurePursuit wrote on Jan 13 2009, 09:02 AM:
    I would say that its nearly impossible to generate consistent speed with just your arms/hands, and that your using your body more than you think.




    PurePursuit,



    I agree, and it depends a lot on the person swinging it. Some people need to consciously think about the body controlling the pivot, and some peoples bodies react well to what the hands and club are doing. Players option:



    Hands controlled pivot or Pivot controlled hands.



    TGM talks about "the magic of the right forearm." It's amazing for some people how the hands and right forearm can drive and control the entire motion. Rotary based swingers will say I'm nuts, maybe Homer was as well, but I don't think so... image/laugh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />



    Kevin
    I could be wrong
    I've been wrong before
    I'll be wrong again
  • PurePursuit PurePursuit Members Posts: 2,237
    Kev I know exactly what your talking about. I still think the shoulder/core are providing the majority of the power with either method. Very difficult to generate enough strength and speed from just arms.



    Juststeve, I do the feet together drill all the time, but the pivot still controls my swing..it just rotates on a tighter axis.
  • jebbjebb Unregistered Posts: 1,647 ✭✭
    Guys- fans of Leslie King may wish to check out the Knightsbridge School of Golf where among others, students have included Hugh Grant, Gianfranco Zola and Dracula himself Christopher Lee.



    Also the book "The Swing Factory" would be worth a read.



    http://www.knightsbridgegolfschool.com/history.html
    That Aint Billy Bob!!
  • turtlekcturtlekc 1995 MN PGA WisconsinClubWRX Posts: 12,782 ClubWRX
    jebb wrote on Jan 13 2009, 10:31 AM:
    Guys- fans of Leslie King may wish to check out the Knightsbridge School of Golf where among others, students have included Hugh Grant, Gianfranco Zola and Dracula himself Christopher Lee.



    Also the book "The Swing Factory" would be worth a read.



    http://www.knightsbridgegolfschool.com/history.html




    I think it's very cool to see Mr. King's work kept alive. I had no idea, thanks for posting the site!



    Kevin
    I could be wrong
    I've been wrong before
    I'll be wrong again
  • juststevejuststeve Members Posts: 4,820 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    PurePursuit:



    I am not arguing with you about how you swing the club or whether your method works. I’m just suggesting that folks who are not progressing with a pivot oriented method might try something else. Different strokes for different folks.



    Steve
  • jebbjebb Unregistered Posts: 1,647 ✭✭
    Kev- I picked the book up in the local library a while ago and had no idea about the Knightsbridge School of Golf.



    Looks like they have some fairly high-brow clientele and I noticed that the club they are linked with is Stoke Park (where Goldfinger was filmed).
    That Aint Billy Bob!!
  • PurePursuit PurePursuit Members Posts: 2,237
    juststeve I'm not trying to argue either, I came off wrong. Lots of different methods can work.
  • mogstermogster Members Posts: 11
    jebb wrote on Jan 13 2009, 11:31 PM:
    Guys- fans of Leslie King may wish to check out the Knightsbridge School of Golf where among others, students have included Hugh Grant, Gianfranco Zola and Dracula himself Christopher Lee.



    Also the book "The Swing Factory" would be worth a read.



    http://www.knightsbridgegolfschool.com/history.html





    jebb wrote on Jan 13 2009, 11:49 PM:
    Kev- I picked the book up in the local library a while ago and had no idea about the Knightsbridge School of Golf.



    Looks like they have some fairly high-brow clientele and I noticed that the club they are linked with is Stoke Park (where Goldfinger was filmed).




    yes, Sean Connery was taught golf at the Knightsbridge Golf school as well, especially for his role in Goldfinger.
  • turtlekcturtlekc 1995 MN PGA WisconsinClubWRX Posts: 12,782 ClubWRX
    "Weren't you playing a Penfold Ace #1 Goldfinger?"



    image/laugh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />



    Kevin
    I could be wrong
    I've been wrong before
    I'll be wrong again
  • jebbjebb Unregistered Posts: 1,647 ✭✭
    edited Jan 13, 2009 #24
    Kev- well I have to smile because while I was at University I became friends with a guy on my course who is now the Chief Exec of Stoke Park Golf Club. In fact his Dad owns the club.



    So the old line when Odd Job takes the head off the statue in the car park "What will the Secretary say about that?"

    "Not much- I own the club" kind of rings true!!



    stokepark.jpg
    That Aint Billy Bob!!
  • turtlekcturtlekc 1995 MN PGA WisconsinClubWRX Posts: 12,782 ClubWRX
    Great picture Jebb, thanks for sharing! image/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    Kevin
    I could be wrong
    I've been wrong before
    I'll be wrong again
  • avragavrag Members Posts: 5,216 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    aslan wrote on Jan 13 2009, 01:44 AM:
    Kevin,



    I was thinking Mr. Flick as well. I remember some of his Golf Channel academy live ( best show ever ) where he suggests to " swing the instrument and let the body react to the club and swing "




    This also sounds very similar to the ideas of Bob Toski and Davis Love Jr. in "How to Feel a Real Golf Swing", doesn't it?
    I see a gap. There definitely is a gap.
  • turtlekcturtlekc 1995 MN PGA WisconsinClubWRX Posts: 12,782 ClubWRX
    avrag wrote on Jan 13 2009, 11:34 AM:
    aslan wrote on Jan 13 2009, 01:44 AM:
    Kevin,



    I was thinking Mr. Flick as well. I remember some of his Golf Channel academy live ( best show ever ) where he suggests to " swing the instrument and let the body react to the club and swing "




    This also sounds very similar to the ideas of Bob Toski and Davis Love Jr. in "How to Feel a Real Golf Swing", doesn't it?




    avrag, I haven't read that one, but it sure makes sense. Those 3 great teachers worked together a lot.



    Kevin
    I could be wrong
    I've been wrong before
    I'll be wrong again
  • rbrbrbrb Members Posts: 468
    I started using this swing (or something like it) last summer after many years of making inconsistent contact. I previously started my swing with my right shoulder, which caused slices and other ball striking issues. After trying 100s of tips and different swing thoughts I saw an article in one of the golf magazines about "building a consistent swing". One of the suggestions was to hold the right shoulder back as long as possible during the transition and downswing and just drop the arms straight down.

    My ballstriking now is much more consistent (solid contact), length has improved, trajectory and accuracy are way better and my scores have gone down. I really don't know what my lower body's doing--I guess it's following my swing. If you aren't happy with your results, try this. It may help. It did me and it's a lot more fun playing when the ball goes where you want!
  • jc4birdiejc4birdie Members Posts: 72 ✭✭

    I'm rehabbing a scoped knee, 12 days in. I can't take full swings yet, so I'm doing front end therapy at 70% effort, working on grooving that 2 feet until impact thru a full, on target line, full finish. It's a good drill to build a better impact and thruswing....I do believe that many a good swing is ruined by poor sequence which causes a poor line at impact, w/ hands cutting in/holding off, all sorts of shots ruined an instant before impact. Front end therapy, done correctly, builds a thruswing/impact that will provide a roadmap for improving backswing mechanics.

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