The Most Important Swing Step

The 8-Step Swing by Jim McLean came out in 1999, and at one time or another, has been a topic of conversation among swing gurus. We recently watched the video in Golf Fundamentals, and one of our homework assignments was to identify the most important Swing Step (other than Step 6). I recommend you check the video out on YouTube. It’s an oldie, but it’s also a goodie.

Step 6 is Impact. It’s the “moment of truth” in the golf swing, and it’s the most important Step. So what’s the 2nd most important Step? You decide. Here are the 8 Swing Steps:

1. The clubhead is moved about three-feet away from the ball in a uniform motion
2. Shaft is parallel to the ground and the butt end of the club is pointed toward the target
3. The club is at the three-quarter position with the left arm parallel to the ground
4. Completion of the backswing; full shoulder turn
5. Transition from backswing to downswing
6. Impact
7. Early follow-through
8. Completed follow-through

The 8-Step Swing is the all-time best selling video on the Golf Channel.
The 8-Step Swing is the all-time best selling video on the Golf Channel.

Based on the discussion we had in class today, the general consensus was that Step 1 is the 2nd most important Step in the swing process but that Steps 4 and 5 aren’t too far behind. Of all the Steps, Step 1 has by far the most “death moves,” or moves that decrease the likelihood for a successful swing. It sounds simplistic, but if you can perfect the first three-feet of the golf swing, you have a better chance to make a successful swing. The 8-Step Swing may seem like an overly-simplified way to break down the kinematic sequence of the golf swing, but it can also be an effective teaching and learning tool.



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