Fundamentals of the Golf Swing
This post is going to take an in-depth look at the fundamentals of a great golf game, plus give you some solid ideas on how to get better.
But there is one element that can never be too refined is the golf swing.
Your golf swing may come naturally, but isn’t there something about it that could use some help?
What do you spend the majority of your practice time working on? Is it your swing or your short game?
If you want to make some real progress, you have to strategize your approach.
The next two sections will not only help you strategize your approach, but will help you eliminate some of the bad habits that may be holding you back.
Fundamental #1: Position yourself in line with the flag
Positioning yourself in line with the flag, will help you to aim your body and your feet to the flag. This is a fundamental part of a great golf swing. The average PGA Tour player grips the club and then aligns their feet and body to the flag.
However, if you want to build a great golf swing, then you have to master the basics. That includes learning how to position yourself in line with the flag.
This should be done every time you practice your golf swing, as it will help you to refine your swing. Learn more about fundamentals in my article 6 Simple Fundamentals of a Great Golf Swing.
Fundamental #2: Grip your top hand properly
I’ve seen many new players grip their top hand too loosely in many games of golf. If this is you, it’s time to re-look at the way your top hand is placed in your golf grip.
First off, check to make sure your grip isn’t too tight. If your top hand is in too much of a death grip (if it’s shaking), then loosen it up and tighten it until it feels natural.
Secondly, check to make sure you’re not gripping the club too tightly with your fingertips. If so, relax them a bit. This will help you control the club as you swing it through the golf ball.
When you’re finally gripping the top of the club correctly, you are much more likely to hit longer, straighter shots.
Complete your grip by placing your right hand on the club
At address, with your forefinger on the club’s topmost groove. This will align the leading edge of the club face square to the target, providing you will a square club face at impact and a tour-caliber, piercing trajectory.
The lead-hand fingers – the forefinger in particular – should remain in the club’s uppermost groove the entire time during the swing.
On your backswing and into your downswing, your lead-hand finger should be placed alongside the shaft, just below the lead weighting of the club.
During your downswing, your lead-hand finger will slide along your lead hand as your hands lower the club toward impact.
This sliding motion will feel unstable at first, but it will disappear naturally after time; allowing your left arm to do the work it needs to do to maintain your lead-hand position.
Which golf grip is right for you?
Before you can get the most out of your perfect golf swing you first need to complete simple tasks such as finding golf clubs for sale and ensuring that your equipment is up to scratch.
One of the other things that you should do prior to practicing your golf swing is to select the right grip for you.
There are a variety of different golf grips and hitting a golf ball will never be as easy or as accurate if you use the wrong one.
The variety of golf grips can be reduced into three fundamental groups: the interlocking grip, the overlapping grip and the strong grip. Understanding the differences between each grip is crucial if you are going to fix your golf swing.
Adopt a strong athletic stance while addressing the ball
Golf body language is similar to that of the baseball batter. The athlete adopts a pose that provides a low center of gravity and a stable base of power.
This is not a stationary posture.
Establishing a strong athletic stance allows you to create a rhythmic two-part swing pattern that will produce a consistent and smooth motion.
The key to improving your golf swing begins with diagnosing and solving any issues with your stance.
A good athletic stance is easy to recognize because it presents an athletic appearance.
The athlete¡¦s weight is balanced within a stable center of mass. The feet are positioned slightly apart with the knees slightly bent. Knees and hips are aligned in an athletic stride position. The head is up, but tilted comfortably downward. Arms are extended, but not locked. And the wrist and hands are relaxed.
Fundamental #5: Perform your swing
You may have the absolute best swing possible, but if you do not perform it regularly, you will start to lose it. Practice makes perfect. Without practicing the proper swing, you will gradually come to perform a poor swing. Then, you will have to start from scratch. Try to perform 20 swings every day, if you possibly can. The more often you practice a particular swing, the better you will become at it.
You can practice at just about any time and place. Just make sure you do not do it in the presence of others, as you may be embarrassed.
Here are some great ways to practice your swing:
In order to improve your swing, you must be able to concentrate on the task at hand. Your golfing buddies may annoy you with their bad habits, but if you start thinking about them and their habits instead of your own, you may not be able to properly practice the swing. Make sure not to think about anyone else while you are practicing your swing. Concentrating on the correct technique is essential.
You can also try practicing golf in your yard, as you have more control over the grass. You can concentrate on the ball with much more ease
One of the best places to practice the full swing is on a driving range. If you are a beginner, you can ask the staff there to assist and coach you on proper swing form
Tips and Exercises That You Can Apply Right Away To Improve Your Golf Swing
Golf is one of the popular sports in which you have to master a swing in order to improve your skills. You can spend hours learning and practicing the correct execution of the swing, but if you are practicing the wrong way, you will never learn how to master it.
In order to increase your chances of improving your golf swing, here are a few tips that you can apply when you are practicing:
Start with the basics. After you have learned the correct grip and set-up, you can move on to understanding the various parts of the swing. Understand how each movement is related to the other and make a mental picture of the entire swing.
Practice the proper posture and balance. Your posture, the position of your body and hands, and your grip should align in such a way that you feel comfortable and that your swing is the most effortless.
Practice with a friend. Having a friend watch you practice will help you determine if you are doing things right or wrong, your friend can also spot your mistakes and tell you what you should improve.
Remember practice makes perfect. You may make mistakes when you practice, but your mistakes are better than not practicing at all. Every swing that you make will help you improve and learn more about the game—even if it is the same swing that you made incorrectly.
One of the most important things in the golf swing is to make sure the club stays behind your body at the top of the swing.
If the club heads out in front of your body at the top, it’s called a takeaway—and far too many golfers lift the head of the club up and out in front of them during the backswing.
If this happens to you, it’s no surprise your body is unable to rotate back and deliver a good amount of power on the downswing.
One way to correct this is with the takeaway club—a simple numbered club that you simply hold behind the golf ball to keep you in the correct position in the takeaway position.
When using a takeaway club, it’s okay to have this club two inches or so behind the ball. But if you’re lifting the club up and out in front of your body, you’ll likely see that this club is off the ground or several inches away from the golf ball.
Another reason why golfers have trouble bringing their takeaway club behind their body at the top of the swing is they are overactive with their right shoulder.
A big key to a great golf swing is weight transfer. This is what happens when your weight is shifted from one leg to another after a club head impact. It basically adds more momentum to your swing and you can hit the ball further and further.
The other part of your golf swing is your head. You’ll want to keep it as still as possible through your swing.
Keeping your head still is easy enough, and you’ll get that down after your first hit. What takes practice is the weight transfer. You’re going to want to try to have your weight back on your back foot to transfer it to your front foot after the club head impact. This will cause your hips to rotate and give you that one swing that so many pros have.
These are two of the most important parts of the golf swing that you’ll want to master when you’re first starting out. It’s not easy, but you’ll get faster with practice, and the more you practice, the better you’re going to get.
Collect everything together at the top
One of the biggest mistakes amateur golfers make is rushing the backswing then "casting" everything forward, ending with a forward press with the club head. You can’t do that on the pro tour because good players take the time to get everything collected behind the ball.
To make this happen, remember this old golf tip – swing the club head back just as far as the arms and club. Picture your arms perfectly straight, your hands touching your midriff, and your club impacting the ball like a split-second after your hands impact with your midriff. That’s being well collected behind the ball, which is the same as being "set up behind the ball".
After you’re back and in a balanced position, use a pivot of your feet to get your body weight onto your left leg and set up for the downswing. Keep you head in position during the transition to and through the ball.
Now that you know how to square the club to the target as well as release your hips and activate your torso, we’ll move onto defining the downswing action where all of your hard work is cashed in for great impact.
So you are going to drop the club straight down to a point that is beneath the ball.
Remember you want to hold the inside of your right leg, squeeze your right buttock hard and bend your left knee.
As you are swinging down, remember to keep your wrists, arms and elbows all fixed because you want to make contact with the ball at the bottom so you’ll have to flex your wrist and elbows slightly at the time of impact.
Now you’re aiming to make contact with the ball as it is travelling through the hitting area.
As you can see the wrists are released at the point where the club is in the hitting zone and the ball is in the exact same place.
In this position you are at the optimum impact position.
You are also going to release the club head and your wrists are straight which means your shaft is parallel to the ground.
This is absolutely the best position you can achieve in the swing because you have a great setup and you have great impact position.
Is that you that you see in the mirror?
How many times have you seen yourself standing over your golf ball after just having hit a bad shot?
That’s because when you realize you have made a bad shot, just after you have done so, you suddenly want to see it first hand.
We all do it, I am sure that I have done it many a time over the years.
Playing a good golf swing is about many things. It is about balance, good timing and coordination, and setting up correctly.
However, the number one aspect of having a great golf swing that I would like to talk to you about is that of follow through.
Everyone in the game of golf will teach you differently. Some will tell you to follow through almost as if you are trying to hit the ball with your head.
Others will tell you to follow through with your hands, duck hooking them behind your back as you approach the ball.
Here I am going to talk to you about the correct follow through for a good golf swing.
Too many people have talked about the follow through on the golf swing previously.
Everyone has their own thoughts on how the follow through part of a golf swing needs to be performed.
What I want to do here is to give you the real deal on the follow through that is necessary for a GREAT golf swing.
Common Mistakes That You Should Avoid
A golf swing can be described as a high-impact and complex movement. It involves the body, mind, and golf club. If you are not confident with your golf game, it would be hard to improve your golf swing. Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid to improve your golf swing.
Being Inconsistent in Your Stance and Grip
An inconsistent stance and grip could mean one thing; you are unstable. As a golfer, you should always maintain your body balance. It will help with good posture, good swing, and better shots. When you have plans of improving your golf swing, you should first maintain your stance and grip. If it is not what you are used to, be consistent about it.
Your strengths are not excelling!
Yes! Golfers should be using their strengths to maximize their scores. The reason why you love playing golf is because you can express yourself. Whatever you are good at doing, you should use it to your advantage. But make sure you do it constantly. You should practice, practice, practice, and practice.
Casting the club, or coming over the top
If the club is cast or thrown rather than being allowed to swing freely, the leading edge of the club head will remain shut at impact, imparting a slicing action to the stroke. This action is most commonly seen when the club head is thrown downwards and away from the target in a hacking motion. The energy that is generated by this action is carried by the hands and arms rather than by the body and upper/lower synchronization. The player can deliver the club head too early or too late. Unable to wait for the right moment to release the energy, their tendency will be to either release the club early, which will give a slicing action, or to delay releasing it, making a hook in the process.
Improper grip pressure
Avoid gripping your club too hard or too light. If you hold the club too tightly and rigidly, the muscles in your hands and wrists may tighten up, which restricts your movement and can even disrupt your golf swing. On the other hand, if you relax too much, you will not have much control over the club.
Grip size and the position of the hands on the golf club
Grip size is very important, and so is the position of the hands on the golf club.
The proper grip size and position is essential.
If the grip is too small, your hands will slide on the club, and this can lead to uncontrollable hand action during your swing and poor grip control.
Check the grip size on your golf club.
The proper golf grip size requires you to remove the golf grip to examine the distance between the top edge of the grip and the rim of the golf club.
The optimal distance between the top edge of the grip and the rim of the golf club should be equal to your forefinger (the finger nearest your thumb). If this distance is less than your forefinger, the grip is too small. Therefore, you should go for a larger-sized grip to make up for the space.
The opposite is true too, if the distance is too great.
The Dangers Of Playing Your Second Shot From Just Off The Green
A lot of golfers I encounter are in the habit of playing the second shot from well off the green (especially when they are on a long and difficult par 5). Their reasoning is that they won’t leave their 2- to 3- foot putt for par hanging in the air and will get them closer to the hole than when they play from the fairway.
They think they are being smart by playing their second shot from under the golf ball.
It’s true that playing from an undulated lie gives you a better chance of converting a longer putt for par. But it’s also true that this method of playing the ball below the level of the ball on the fairway means that you will have to chip the ball in most situations.
Underclubbing is the practice of playing a ball well below your feet. It’s a confusing contradiction since underclubbing is often thought to be when you play the ball short of the target and hence have to hit the ball much harder in order to clear the obstacle.
But that’s not true. "Underclubbing" in golf refers to the type of stance you have to adopt in order to make it easier to lift the ball up in the air.
Not opening up to the golf course
Hold the club out in front of you and take a step forward and then backward twice. Should feel a bit like skipping.
Do the same with your eyes, and watch how it looks different from your last one.
Do the same with your shoulders, practice opening them up to the golf course.
It doesn’t really matter what you practice in your living room. What matters is that what you practice is the very same thing that you do when you play the game.
So it doesn’t have to be the actual golf swing. The important thing is to be absolutely sure that you are practicing the right motion.
Not opening your shoulders to the golf course is a very common cause for your shots to go wayward.
It happens when you play golf.
But in practice, it’s usually where your club face is pointed to when you’re at address.
Most people play the game the same way that they practice it. It’s obvious why. What is not obvious at first is that they are not practicing the same thing.
When you develop the habit of leading with your eyes, rather than leading with your club, you’re much more likely to make a beautiful golf swing.
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I hope you enjoyed the book and found it useful. Thanks for taking the time to read it.