Golf tip: Waggles from Ben Hogan to Michelle Wie (Video)

Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mo Martin understands Ben Hogan’s waggle. She learned the game by studying Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf. But is that actually a waggle?

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Martin is one of the most accurate drivers of the ball on the LPGA Tour and, averaging only 235 yards off the tee, she’s also one of the shortest. Is her subdued, subtle waggle holding her back? Does that tiny, barely perceptible pre-shot action even qualify as a waggle?

I would argue that Martin’s tiny club head movement does quality as a waggle, and it also points to one of the fundamental differences I’ve observed between men’s and women’s golf swings. Mo Martin, like many of the very best women pros – Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park, Ariya Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko, just to mention a few – seems to make a full practice swing rather than a Hogan-esque waggle, the centerpiece of her pre-shot routine. Among the best men, the reverse seems to be the case.

I’m not going to even speculate on why this is the case and I’m certainly not asserting that women’s don’t waggle and men don’t use a practice swing. It’s not that simple.

This golf tip makes clear that the point of the pre-shot routine is to get all the body parts set and in synch. The waggle offers one approach to that goal and the practice swing offers an alternative. Which is best? The one that more effectively advances the ball in an accurate direction, for you.

Next: 10 steps to avoid disaster on the tee box

Do you waggle? Do you use a practice swing as a part of your pre-shot routine? Which is the more effective component of your pre-shot routine. What other golf tips would you like to have the ProGolfNow team address? Leave your golf tip wish list in the comment section.