How To Swing A Golf Club Like A Pro – Our Top Tips
How to swing a golf club like the pros is something a lot of people are dying to do. One of the most most common questions I hear from friends just beginning to golf when I'm out with them is, “is this the right way to swing?” Of course I'm aware that everyone has their own way of doing things, which is why the term “signature move” was coined for most types of sports.
Just the same, as far as the most suitable approach and style, it is a certainty that all sports, golf included, have basics that need to be mastered before a personal “signature” style is developed. Regardless of the level of golfer you are, a novice needing to learn the basics or a long time player want to develop a better golf swing, here are a few tips that will help you in your quest.
How To Improve your Golf Swing
Before you can start to learn the proper way to swing a golf club, you first have to know what good golf swing is. Perhaps the best way to approach the problem is to first tell you what a bad golf swing is. If you've been playing golf for years and want to achieve the perfect golf swing, here are the things you shouldn't be doing when trying for a great golf swing.
Throughout this post, you're going to see this term often. What is a slice, then? A slice is when your back leg straightens during the back swing, and your pivot point is at your hip. The proper way to swing, as you'll learn next in the fundamentals of swinging, is to keep your back leg flexed and your pivot point at the hip.
Inconsistent Contact With The Ball
Another mistake a lot of golfers make when working on the best golf swing mechanics is not having consistent contact with the ball. The key here is to keep your head relaxed and still throughout your back swing. If you have a tendency to move your head around, it's a habit you need to break. The way to notice and then prevent this habit if you have it is to pay attention to the motion of your head during your back swing. Your head should stay in place. It should not go up or down, nor left nor right. If you have the bad habit of moving your head around while making your back swing, you need to practice keeping your head still.
When you want to get your golf swing sequence in order, your toe-line has to be parallel to the line from the tee along the target line you want the ball to travel on. We will get back to this in greater depth when we continue to discuss the fundamentals of the golf swing.
The direction becomes inconsistent when the parts of your body are not aligned with one another. For example, if your toes are aligned in a particular direction, your knees, hips and shoulders should also be in the same line, and ultimately, in parallel with the desired direction of travel of the golf ball. This has almost everything to do with the way you set yourself before you take your swing. When you are learning how to make a successful golf swing, it's important to make sure you are consistently in line with the target line of the ball.
An excellent description of these common mistakes and how to avoid them is detailed here.
The Basic Elements of Your Golf Swing
Before describing the nuts and bolts of the golf swing, you need to know about a few of the basic elements you might at first believe have little or nothing to do with the golf swing. You might thing they have nothing to do with the golf swing, but in reality, they are what really make a successfully executed golf swing. The three basic elements of a gold swing are: your stance, your posture and your alignment.
If you watch closely, you will notice that most of the pros plant their feet in a position that is flared out 10 to 30 degrees. This makes it easier for the pelvis, legs and knees to rotate with the torso throughout the golf swing. It also helps the left foot from the mid-point to the end of the downswing, because the left side has to hold most of the weight of the body as the power is transferred through the shift and rotation of the lower body. With your left foot flared out, the knee will be able to freely rotate counterclockwise as it straightens toward the end of the downswing.
When you're swinging a driver, make sure the distance between your feet is the same as the width of your shoulders. When swinging the mid irons (irons from 5 through 7), keep the distance from foot to foot on the outside approximately the same as your shoulder width.
Finally, when you use the short irons, the distance from outside to outside of your feet should be a bit less than your shoulder width but not less than than the width of your pelvis. If you find flexibility to be a challenge, it's okay to choose a stance width that is closer to the width of your pelvis with all your clubs in order to keep your knees more closely aligned with your hips.
Depending on your preference, you can choose other alternatives for your stance that are appropriate. Every golfer ought to try out several different stances to compare them in order to decide what which one is the most comfortable.
I learned a trick a long time ago that will allow you to achieve perfect posture when you're learning how to swing a golf club is to start with your body straight and your feet about the width of your shoulders apart. Then bend your knees a bit, like you were about to sit on a bar stool.
This will help you find the perfect amount of flex at your knees, which you can determine by looking at your knees while imagining a straight line going down just in front of your kneecap and passing through the ball of your foot, or where your forefoot and mid foot meet. If the line ends up in front of your toes, your knees are too flexed; conversely, if the line goes through the back of the mid foot, your knees need to be flexed more.
Then tuck your hips back creating a bit of an angle at the level of your hips. If it seems to be a bit of a struggle getting enough of a bend at your hips, here's a trick that works for me: Place the shaft of a golf club up against your upper thighs, then bend forward at your hips while you hold the shaft tight to your thighs. This help you bend properly at the hips while you keep your lower back fairly straight.
Finally, you must keep your lower back straight while keeping a slight curve in your upper back. Here's a trick I've used for that. Hold the shaft of a club vertically along your lower back, while slouching your upper back slightly to get that slight curve.
The final basic element for this short lesson is alignment, or the position of your body in relation to the ball's planned line of travel. It is best to align your body parallel to the ball's line of travel for most shots. Every part of your body, including shoulders, hips, knees, thighs and feet ought to be absolutely parallel to the line of travel of the ball.
It is critical for your shoulders to be completely parallel to the ball's line of travel. Your shoulder are the main deciding factor in the direction your arms travel when swinging across your body through the downswing, because your arms tend to follow your shoulder line.
For further information on golf swing basics, visit this page.
Proper Grip for a Proper Golf Swing
Even though a proper grip may fit into the same category as the basic elements of the golf swing, there are many points to be examined when working on achieving a correct golf swing.
What is the reason for this? It's because there are as many ways for a proper grip as there are for an incorrect grip. Novices who are just learning how to swing a golf club can find learning about a proper grip quite confusing.
This grip is achieved by placing the right pinkie in between the index and middle fingers of the left hand, basically locking the hands together. This type of grip makes a tight unit of the hands, cutting down on excessive wrist movement while creating a firmer grip on the handle with less squeezing, which can reduce the kind of tension that can kill your swing. The overall advantage of this kind of grip is the way it turns both hands into a single unit, allowing your wrists to act like a hinge through your golf swing.
Furthermore, if your hands are fairly small like mine, you will gain a better grip by having all your fingers close to the cushioned part of the grip without having large gaps underneath them. It is very helpful for golfers who don't have strong hands, because it looks them in place with very little effort. For those golfers with strong hands, it gives them a nice firm grip without creating a lot of tension in their hands and forearms.
In spite of the aforementioned advantages, some of the people I golf with find this grip less than comfortable and even awkward, so it really depends on what your preferences are.
Also known as the Vardon Grip, this grip was popularized by the British golfer, Harry Vardon. To make this grip, place the right pinkie finger on top of the small gap between the left index and middle fingers. This grip is more advantageous for golfers who have large, strong hands, as they tend to overlap.
This grip unifies the hands without restricting their movement, allowing the golfer to swing through fully for powerful shots. This grip is not comfortable for me and not something I would recommend for golfers with small hands who will find it difficult to control the club with their hands overlapped like this.
Most consider this grip to be the ideal grip, because the hands are directly aligned with the club face. When this grip is properly formed, you should be able to see two knuckles on your left hand when facing the ball. If you have all your basic elements in order, it won't be necessary to manipulate this grip to keep the club face parallel to the ball's line of travel throughout your swing.
In theory, there are no drawbacks to this grip, but while it does not cause slices or hooks and lets you work the ball in either direction, there are still golfers who say it feels unnatural and uncomfortable.
The term used in this grip has nothing to do with the firmness of the grip, but instead refers to the way the hands rotate to the left on the shaft. With this grip, you can see only one knuckle of the left hand when addressing the ball.
This grip has the advantage of keeping the club face open, which is conducive to hitting the ball higher and with more backspin. Just the same, there are golfer who find the restriction in arm rotation uncomfortable. Some golfers tend have a hard time properly releasing the club through the impact with this grip and the majority tend to slice more.
In contrast to the weak grip, the hands in this grip are turned to the right. When you form this grip, you will see more than two knuckles on your left hand when you address the ball. Many golfers find this the most natural grip. It lets their arms rotate freely, helps in the release, and reduces the chance of slicing the ball.
This grip makes it easier to achieve a low, controlled trajectory. The only problem is, this grip tends to make golfers end up with a shut or closed club face, making them more like to hook their shots. If your grip is too strong when you hit the ball, it can be difficult to get enough height and backspin on the ball.
How Can I Improve My Golf Swing?
If you've been golfing for years and wonder how to achieve a better golf swing, the secret that immediately comes to mind is that you should keep your knees flexed throughout your golf swing. When your knees are flexed, you will have better balance, because your weight is centered on the balls of your feet. Flexed knees will also keep you from pivoting in reverse, which is where your hips move toward your target in your back swing, something that can happen if you fully straighten your right leg.
It's important for you to remember that each one of your knees is performing a different function during your backswing. If you are a right-handed golfer, your left knee will bend a bit more and point back to the right, which allows your hips to rotate properly, while your right knee does not flex further but holds its position, acting like a brake on your hip rotation, which keeps them from rotating too far. This produces a stable, spring-like effect in the upper body.
Finally, it's important to keep your knees flexed throughout the impact as they move toward the target in the downswing. When your right knee is flexed, your heel stays down longer, which tends to produce the kind of wide, shallow swing you want when you hit the ball off the tee. Keep your left knee slightly flexed throughout the impact.
There it is. I have enjoyed sharing my tips and tricks with you to help you learn how to swing a golf club. I'm sure you have notice that there are a number of steps in the process. As with any sport, practice is the key. Try all the possibilities to be sure you discover which one is most comfortable for you and that you can achieve the greatest level of success with when making your swing. Once you figure out what works best for you, I am convinced you will increase your level of golfing skill over time with practice. Again, practice is the key to success, so get out on the golf course with your friends as often as you can or practice with a golf swing trainer at home.