Watch Your Language

Jeff Fisher
Director of Instruction
Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club
Mesa, AZ

More Information

Sometimes golf instruction can be confusing because the language we use is not always defined in the same way from instructor to instructor and because when taken literally some of the phrases we use may not actually lead to productive outcomes.

Let’s take the term “release”. Many golfers interpret it as the unhinging motion of the wrists during the downswing. At our academy however, we consider release to be the rotation of the forearms that applies the club head to the target line and through the ball.

Or how about the word “turn”. You will often hear or read about turn in the backswing or through the ball in the downswing. But is it possible to make a turn in the backswing and not put yourself in an efficient position to hit a good golf shot? Absolutely!

When it comes to the language I use as an instructor I have two goals. One, to make things as simple as possible for you, the student, to understand and two, to use that language to create images in your mind that will lead to solid athletic golf swings.

As I said, I can use the word “turn” with a student and not have them accomplish what I am after. But if I use words like “load” or “coil” they seem to create better visual images and more athletic movements. Try it for yourself. Stand in front of a mirror and think turn. You can accomplish that type of movement and create no torque or pressure. But, if you think “load” or “coil” you will almost certainly make a better movement.

I take that a step further to create the full body motion of a swing by not only eliminating the word “turn” but also “shift”. I feel that shift is again a passive movement that does not create the athleticism needed in a golf swing. So, rather than shifting your weight from back foot to front, I want to see you “drive” that weight into your front foot! It is a much more dynamic image and movement and combined with loading in the backswing it creates a more powerful overall swing.

Think about it this way. If I tell you to toss me a ball, throw me a ball or fire a ball to me you will most likely have three separate reactions to those phrases and the ball will come at me at three different speeds. Depending on which reaction I, as the coach, am trying to elicit, I need to make sure I use the correct term.

We talk often in golf about good visual images. When you are thinking about your golf swing make sure the images you create are ones that are athletic, dynamic and powerful!

Jeff Fisher is Director of Instruction at the Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club. Jeff can be reached at 480.414.9330 or