What is 'coil' in the golf swing?

What is 'coil' in the golf swing?
What is 'coil' in the golf swing?
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In this exclusive video, Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach Andrew Jones asks what is 'coil' in the golf swing? His simple explanation could help you find extra power and accuracy in yours!

This video from Andrew Jones looks at what is 'coil' in the golf swing? We have also asked Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach Paul Foston for his explanation of what it is and how - when you get it right - it helps deliver more power and control. His insight and advice is below.

What is 'coil' in the golf swing?

There is a reason golf coaches use the word ‘coil’ when referring to the rotation of the body. This is because your upper body is turning – or coiling – against the resistance provided by your lower body. It is the difference in the angle between your upper and lower body at the top of the backswing that is the secret power ingredient that provides real speed as you unwind through the downswing. Often, this is what the pros do well and amateurs struggle with.

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To picture how it works, think of your body as a coil. At the top of the backswing it is stretched, ready to spring back through the downswing. The only way to create that stretch however, is to resist the turn of the upper body. Without any resistance (if you let your hips turn as much as your upper body) your top of backswing position will be very easy to hold. It might feel like you are making a full backswing and ready for a powerful drive back into the ball but you are actually in a weak position.

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Instead, at the top it should feel as if your body is under stress and, if you pause for a few seconds, the position is hard to maintain. What you should be feeling here is power that is stored up, ready to use.

How to use your body for power

Remember, the body is the engine of the golf swing. A crucial element to that is the way you ‘coil’ in the backswing. Can you turn your upper body while resisting with your lower body? If so, you’ll unlock that special ingredient for real power. Without swinging any harder you'll pick up crucial yardage without losing control.

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X