In this article I am going to provide you with some simple, basic concepts on how to build a repeatable golf swing so you can make consistent contact with the ball and to send it where you want it to go. Wow! Wouldn’t that be great? Isn’t that what we all want? An easy guide on how to perfect your golf swing. Well, it is doable. It is not that hard. Follow along and let’s get started
Proper Setup – Get This Down First
If you don’t have the proper setup, you will never be able to have a repeatable swing and make consistent solid contact. Notice I said swing your club and not hit your ball. I will get more into this swing your club thought process rather than hitting your ball idea later. But for now, let’s work on the proper setup with grip, posture, alignment and ball position.
1. The Grip – One of the fundamentals of golf is having the proper grip. I am going to use a right-handed golfer in all of my discussion. If you are a left-handed golfer, just apply the concepts to your opposite hand or side.
The most common grips are either an interlocking, or an overlap. If you have been playing golf for any period, there is a good chance you are using one of these two. Whether you are a newbie or have been playing for a while, understanding how to implement a proper grip will help you make more consistent contact. It may not feel comfortable at first, but trust me, it works.
For a right-hander, standing upright, hold the shaft of the club in your right hand about waist high. Then, with your left hand, place the club so that the grip in lying just above your knuckles and wrap your hand around the grip. The “V” formed with your thumb and forefinger should be pointing between your right ear and shoulder.
Now, place the club along the same knuckles of your right hand and wrap your hand around the club with this “V” pointing en your right ear and shoulder. For an “overlap” grip, place the bottom finger of your right hand over the forefinger of your left-hand. As you can see, the lines formed by these two “Vs” should be parallel.
For an interlocking grip, allow the forefinger of your left-hand to slip between the bottom finger and index finger of your right hand before wrapping your right hand around the club. The two “Vs” should again be parallel and pointing between your right ear and shoulder.
The first thing I hear when I see someone who needs to correct their grip, is it doesn’t feel comfortable. I’ve tried to help my wife with her grip, but she won’t listen , says it doesn’t feel comfortable and she does her own thing. Guys, don’t try to teach your wife, or significant other golf. They just won’t listen to you. They will listen to other people, but not to you. Guys, you can still try to teach your girlfriend, because she is still trying to impress you so you will fall in love with her and marry her.
And remember to keep a loose grip throughout your swing without any tension in hands, arms or shoulders. This will facilitate creating lag at the top of your back swing and the release of the club at impact.
If you get nothing else out of this article, I want you to start thinking about swinging your club and not thinking about hitting your ball. It will be much easier to build a repeatable swing thinking about just swinging your club with letting the club do the work.
2. Posture – While standing upright with your weight over your ankles, bend at your hips (not waist) while allowing your arms to hand down from your shoulders with your knees slight bent. That is 90 percent of it. Next you need a little axis tilt. Hold a club with the top of the handle against the center of your chest and bend slightly to the right until the club face hits your left thigh, Now you have the correct axis tilt and you have developed the proper posture to address the ball.
3. Alignment – You will have the correct alignment when your shoulders, hips, knees and feet are all parallel and in alignment slightly left of your target. If any one of these are not correct, you will have problems with the path of your swing.
4. Ball Position – Now this might be the most controversial, as many golfers play the ball in different positions to compensate on other incorrect things they are doing in their attempt to hit the ball.
You want to play the ball just behind the bottom of its arch as the club makes contact with the ball before you take a divot or sweep the ground. So that position would be just behind your armpit or in line with the logo on your shirt. Now this is the case for most of your irons.
For the driver, you may want to play it a little more forward so you are making contact on the upswing. For fairway woods, just off the left heel and for hybrids, a bit behind that.
Implement all of these and you will be well on your way in perfecting your golf swing.
The Takeaway – Stop Using Your Arms and Hands
To have any chance of making solid contact, your takeaway has to be almost perfect. I would say almost 90% of golfers use their arms and hands to start their takeaway instead of using shoulders and chest/torso to move the club back.
As you rotate your shoulders and chest, your hands should be in front of your chest throughout and away from your body. When your hands are waist high, your fingers should be pointing down to the ground. As you continue to rotate to the top of your back swing, you should feel you have transferred your weight to your right heel and your obliques on your left side are stretched.
Ideally, your shoulders should turn about 90 degrees so your back is to the target and your hips about 45 degrees while maintain g your axis tilt and not straightening your right leg. Keep that right knee locked in place as you rotate your upper body. This will help you from swaying off of the ball.
Another swing thought that may help is to visualize that you are rotating within a cylinder and you do not want to sway outside of this cylinder.
The Downswing – Start Before Finishing the BackSwing
Once you are almost to the top of your back swing with your weight on your right heel and your wrists loose, start to shift your weight to your left ankle while keeping your shoulders and belt buckle away from the ball. The weight shift to the left will bring your arms and hands down while having created some lag with your loose wrists.
As your hands get in front of your right thigh, start pushing the ground with your left foot to straighten your left leg causing your left hip to move up and back. The emphasis should be on pulling with your left side rather that pushing with your right arm and hand. Use the right hand to increase speed rather than power as you release the club through impact.
At impact, your hands should be in front of the ball with the logo on your left-hand turning down toward the ground and rolling over as you release the club, your hips should have opened up and your shoulder should be just slight open, with your right shoulder lower than your left.
Maintain your axis tilt through impact allowing your right shoulder to move under your chin. Just after impact, your hands and arms should be fully extended with the shaft and handle of the club pointing right back to your chest.
Your right foot should just roll on its instep fully coming off the ground to its toe, as the momentum of the swing carries your body around.
At the finish, you want to have fully shifted your weight to your left foot, your chest should be pointing to about 10 o’clock and your waist should be pointing at the target
It All Starts with the Body
The number one problem with most amateur golfers, (aside from faults in their setup) is that they use too much arms and hands to move the club and do not use their bodies efficiently. Everything in the golf swing centers around the movement of your core, that area between your rib cage and just above your knees.
Power will come from your legs and core, your large muscles, but speed will come from your small muscles. It is about the sequencing of moving your core, then your arms and hands.
To leave you with one final swing thought, it is wide on the takeaway, narrow as we move from the top of our back swing and wide on the follow through after impact.