REVIEW: The A Swing by David Leadbetter

David Leadbetter showing the A Swing.

David Leadbetter showing the A Swing.

  For the past 30 years, David Leadbetter has been considered one of the world's leading golf instructors whose students have won hundreds of professional golf tournaments. His new book, The A Swing: The Alternative Approach to Great Golf, offers all players an easy-to-learn alternative to the conventional golf swing.

I got my hands on an advance copy of Mr. Leadbetter's new book, threw everything I knew about the golf swing out the window and gave The A Swing a shot.

The main premise behind The A Swing is simplicity. Leadbetter has combined years of teaching experience with student feedback to create a compact, repeatable golf swing with as few moving parts as possible.

For example, the butt-end of your golf club only moves about 30 inches from address to the top of the backswing. That's efficient.


You'll notice the A Swing's takeaway is extremely steep on the way back. I found this to be a little uncomfortable at first and it may be challenging for players who've used a conventional swing for years. Over time, however, I found that Leadbetter's backswing was much easier to repeat than any swing I've ever used.

For as "alternative" as the backswing appears, the downswing flips back to a conventional look and feel.

As you can see, the entire swing "package" is very compact and doesn't leave much room for error. Which, of course, is exactly the quality you want in your golf swing.

The A Swing is a well-organized instructional guide with clear descriptions, over 200 illustrations and bolded passages within the text to add emphasis to boost reader comprehension. While the introduction and biomechanic summaries were tedious to read, learning how to execute the swing was a breeze. I've read a lot of golf instructional books in my career, but this might be the most clearly-written of the bunch.

As far as the swing itself, I'm not entirely sold just yet. Leadbetter does admit that The A Swing won't be for everybody -- especially players who have had success with a more conventional method -- and I found this to be true in my case. For example, this swing stresses the need for consistent tempo and a proper lower body motion that could be difficult for some players.

Regardless, I definitely see the value in elements of The A Swing that will benefit my own swing for years. Leadbetter's ability to convey a clear message comes across beautifully in this book, making The A Swing a must-read for any golfer looking to improve his game.

Visit Leadbetter's website to learn more:

The A Swing: The Alternative Approach to Great Golf

By David Leadbetter with Ron Kaspriske

Published by St. Martin's Press

$27.99 US/ $32.50 CDN