How to apply athleticism from *other* sports into your golf swing

brian mogg demonstrates drill

Most golfers get into the game having played other sports. Here's how you can apply those skills into your golf swing.

Stephen Denton

Most golfers get into the game having played other sports, yet they rarely see the connection between, say, football or baseball and golf. Some even think of the swing as an entirely new movement and that old varsity moves must be unlearned to build a solid motion. 

Absolutely untrue. It’s really about channeling your athleticism and mixing in good golf feels. Once you know the right movements to emulate, you can use your innate skills to get good in a hurry.

Read below to learn how.


Stephen Denton

A quarterback getting set to heave a football reaches the same position as a good golfer at the top of his backswing. Notice the position of my right arm in the picture above: It’s away from my body with my elbow pointing down at the ground and my right hand more under the ball (hey — just like Tom Brady!). My right elbow pointing down is evidence that my right arm is folded correctly and is now in perfect position to support the club at the top. (My right hand is also about equal to the height it should reach when I swing a club.)

Stephen Denton

All these football feels can be a boon to your swing; you’ll get that “wide” feel and create a natural gap of space between your torso and right elbow, ensuring a power-rich arc and full backswing. To really nail it, make a right-hand-only backswing (above, left), creating as much space as possible between your right elbow and side. Stop at the top and add your left hand (above, right). Perfect — and almost identical to the motion you use to toss a football.


A MLB power hitter typically lifts his front foot and replants it just before contact. These moves are essential to create the sequence and timing for flush contact. All golfers should copy this “stride and plant.”

Stephen Denton

Try this: Make swings by lifting and then planting your front foot, pushing up and rotating off it just prior to impact. Notice how much energy and speed you can create. Really exaggerate the step and plant at first, so you learn to get your weight over your front foot.

Next, work these feelings into your normal swing and then without lifting and replanting. You got it right when you sense your weight driving down and forward. This “ground energy” sensation will help you produce a more dynamic and powerful swing, just like a big-league basher.

Brian Mogg is a GOLF Top 100 Teacher and operates five academies across the U.S. (

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