How To Swing A Golf Club
Golf is a sport that requires skill and finesse. In order to master the game, it is essential to know how to swing a golf club and how to swing a golf club consistently. There are many ways that you can improve your game. Once you have mastered the golf stance, it is time to tackle the basics of a golf swing. The swing is the very basis of your game and contains many different elements, each one building off of the last.
Use Your Body When You Swing
Too often, we don’t stop to consider how we use our bodies each time we pick up the golf club. As a result, many golfers assume that the motion is simple and easy. However, the truth is that it’s a complex motion that requires alignment, full body rotation and calculated movements to execute appropriately.
To fully understand this concept, you must look at what’s happening with your body when you swing a golf club. Consider swinging in front of a mirror to evaluate each part of your body at a given moment. Pay attention to your hips, arms, and hands throughout your swing. Specifically, at impact.
Remember Your Posture and Timing
The first thing to know about posture is that it’s essential. Good posture helps you hit the ball with better balance, timing and technique. It’s common to hear golfers tell each other to “bend your knees” but often neglect the upper body. The posture of the upper body should be slightly tilted towards the ground. It should feel easier as your body rotates when you return the club to the center of the golf ball. It should feel like you circle around your body when you swing.
Adjust Your Grip for An Optimal Swing
The most important thing to remember about your swing is it is directly proportional to your grip. Be sure to find one that suits you and is comfortable for you.
Close shots (< 50 yards): Firm grip; arms extended toward the target but not locked
Medium range shots (50 – 100 yards): Strong grip; arms bent slightly inward toward each other as if holding onto something behind them (think about trying not to let go of balloons).
Every golf shot is unique, and you want to assess each swing appropriately. Think about:
- Your comfort level
- The type of shot you’re going for on this hole
- The type of golf club you have selected
The first factor is self-explanatory, but some significant caveats exist here. For example, if you have a hard time gripping the club, then your grip might be too tight or too loose depending on whether or not it causes pain in your hands or arms when holding the club at the address position (when you’re standing over your ball). Having a comfortable setup allows your attention to focus more clearly on what matters—the swing itself—so make sure that whatever grip suits you best is also appropriate for your specific shots.
Try playing with your back to adjust your posture and stance correctly. Remember:
- Stand at address, but don’t get too comfortable
- Avoid slouching or hunching; only bend slightly towards the ground
- Your back is crucial and powers your body
- Use your legs and hips as well as your arms to generate power
Try Not to Lock Your Wrists At the Top
When you are at the top of your swing and going down, it’s common to lock your wrists. But you need to rotate them through impact as well. So you should keep them flexible, relaxed and straight—not locked. This will give you more fluidity through your swing as well as avoid injury when you swing through.
Mastering The Backswing
Your setup is the foundation for how your body will correspond to any swing. To complete the backswing correctly, you turn your body, and a natural hinge of your wrists occurs. If you have your backswing setup correct, you’ll find that your wrists will automatically want to hinge as you turn your body. A golf club’s path around our body is a tilted circle. It’s often called your arc or your swing plane.
Additionally, keeping your right elbow closer to your side during the beginning of your backswing helps your arms rotate much easier and keeps your arms closer to your body. Finally, when the club head reaches the top of the backswing, it should be pointed over your right shoulder. This puts you in a great position to unwind and hit the ball.
Perfecting The Downswing
The downswing is about properly unwinding through a balanced finish when you have a nice backswing. When you are at the top of your golf swing, make sure you feel your weight shift slightly toward your front foot. Feel yourself fluidly and naturally unwind and face your target. The shifting your weight sequence is something that many golfers struggle with when properly learning how to swing. If your arms are doing too much and your body isn’t as involved, you’ll quickly run out of steam and chop across the ball, which is also a common thing slicers find challenging to master.
However, if you don’t unwind your body, it will cause the club to swing down too close to your body, requiring extra work to extend out towards the ball. The key is letting the ball get in the way as you unwind into a balanced finish and follow through. It seems like such a simple thought, yet you will be shocked how this simple movement creates a downswing that only gets better going forward.
Keep Your Follow Through Fluid
The perfect swing can only end with an effortless follow through. If you finish your swing on balance, you were probably balanced at the top of your backswing. This also applies to your follow through. It ensures that you hit the center of the clubface on impact. A successful follow through occurs when the golfer has completely rotated to face toward the target line. It should feel balanced with most weight leaning on the front foot.
Guidelines to Remember
When you’ve perfected each part of the swing and have mastered your technique, remember these essential guidelines as you go forward with the game.
- If it feels awkward, it’s probably wrong. All steps should feel natural to the body with a lot of practice.
- A full swing is better than a half-swing. If you can’t feel what a correct full swing is like, try swinging with less power until you feel comfortable enough with the motion. Build up to your power swing.
- Don’t lock your wrists at the top of your backswing; this will cause an improper impact position and poor ball flight. Instead, keep them slightly flexed so that they can absorb some of the shock when hitting the ball.
No matter what aspect of the game you are trying to master, each lesson builds off of the previous one. Keep practicing until your muscle memory confirms your technique and it becomes second nature to you.