By Fred Collins, PGA
The elusive golf swing, how do you find it and how do you keep it? For beginners the frustration is learning the swing from verbal instruction as well as visual images. We watch our swings and listen to instructors tells us what we need to do. Other golfers try to improve by searching for a better technique or more consistent fundamentals to improve and perfect their swings. We practice, but aren’t sure whether we’re on the correct path or not. Practicing your swing can be frustrating because sometimes after your practice you may feel you’re worse than when you started. Are you doing what you think you are doing (or have seen or been told) or not?
Swing Shirt can help cure some of these problems. Created by PGA Master Teaching Professional Fred Collins, Swing Shirt was developed to help golfers “feel” a good swing and have more effective practice. It looks like a regular golf shirt but it has zippers between the body of the shirt and the sleeves. When zipped down the body and sleeves come together creating a one piece shirt. The shirt becomes a swing aid. A golfer feels the connection between their arms and body, creating a powerful and controlled swing. In 1951 Ben Hogan on the Ed Sullivan Show told America how he felt he swung. He said “To swing a golf club, what you need to do is clutch your sides with your elbows and visualize your elbows being attached to your body instead of your shoulders. Now start moving your body from right and left in a circle holding your elbows into your sides, then just start lengthening your swing. Now isn’t that easy?”
Swing Shirt can give you this same feeling by directing your movements, without binding or forcing your arms to be in an unnatural position. The shirt will remind you, by pulling on your arms if you lift or separate them from your body. Swing Shirt gives you a connected feel each time you swing. For the beginner you can immediately feel the need to turn as opposed to lifting the club in a “flying elbow” syndrome. Many golfers lift the club as opposed to turning, believing this will help them get the club in the right position. If you turn your body, your arms will move up or rotate without a lift. Swing Shirt also helps intermediate and more advanced golfers by allowing them to really FEEL how they want their arms and body to work together. This movement results in straighter shots, controlled swings, and better timing.
A problem golfers have with improving their swings is they can’t feel what that better swing feels like. Swing Shirt helps the golfer get that feel easily each time they wear it, without the tension or binding effect that other swing aids create.
When working to improve your swing, the feel you are searching for may be totally foreign to you. This is where the shirt does wonders in giving a quick feel for more solid fundamentals. You could search for that feel through hitting hundreds of balls or use the shirt and find the feel immediately. Swing changes can be difficult to do, but with the shirt, you get the same feel each time you wear it.
Jim Hardy, 2007 PGA Teacher of the Year, and Chris O’Connell, Top 100 Teacher along with Hardy, have endorsed Swing Shirt and believe that it can help golfers at any level improve and perfect the swing. Jim said “It’s like having your own swing coach with you each time you practice or play.” Chris comments, “The Swing Shirt helps to tie in your upper arms to your torso. Getting the arms synced up with the body is a key ingredient to more solid and repetitive shots.”
“Swing Shirt was developed to help golfers learn, improve and perfect their swings.” Fred Collins said. “I’ve taught for over 30 years and used teaching aids that tried to teach connection, but found they mostly create tension in the arms or body. These aids are not realistic and can even give golfers a misinterpretation of the swing as though the muscles need to be tense or tight or bound up during a swing.” Swing Shirt just guides your arms so you’re able to make a free swing with different levels of firmness. To practice your chipping or pitching, tuck the shirt in for a firmer feel. Pull the shirt out for less firmness or completely out. There is no right or wrong way to use the shirt, whatever suits your needs. You can also just zip down one arm to focus on specific areas of your swing.
One of the great benefits of the shirt is that it just looks like a shirt. No one will even know you have a swing aid on. You can throw it in your bag and slip it over your shirt or wear it as your shirt. Each time you put the shirt on, you’ll feel the same swing you felt the last time you put it on. One of the major reasons people drop out of the game is the difficultly of learning the swing. Also, many swing aids can be embarrassing to wear… with harnesses or making you look like an elephant. Swing Shirt can help people learn the swing easier and faster – while looking NORMAL! It is available for men, women and children.
Fred Collins is a PGA Master Teaching Professional. Fred comes from a family of golf professionals. His father Ross Collins is in the PGA Hall of Fame, was the 1971 National PGA Professional of the Year and a long time pro at Dallas Athletic Club (DAC). The Collins family has long believed that golfing is for everyone and is committed to making the game of golf enjoyable to create golfers for life!