How to Swing a Golf Club to Hit the Perfect Shot

How to Swing a Golf Club

 

If you were to ask ten golfers the question, “How to Swing a Golf Club,” you would probably get 10 different answers.  Unlike tasks in which there is a definitive right or wrong answer, the art of swinging a golf club is a bit more subjective. From the type of stance involved to addressing the ball, to the takeaway and follow-through, many of today’s most successful golfers have minor variations in their setup and swing. However, if you are a beginner golfer that is new to the game, there are some basic tips you should definitely follow to construct a consistent golf swing.
 

3 Simple Steps that Will Help You Hit the Perfect Shot

Each day a countless number of new and enthusiastic golfers flock to driving ranges around the country to test their new set of golf clubs. Collectively whacking away, these eager golfers continue hitting ball after ball until they finally hit that one perfect shot, the shot that will keep them coming back to the golf course or range time and again. Unfortunately, what most of these individuals quickly discover is they are not able to repeat that “perfect shot” consistently, and hence discouragement begins to sink in.

How to Swing a Golf Club

Learning how to golf in this manner just indiscriminately hitting balls may work for the truly gifted athlete, but is not the best of ideas for the rest us mere mortals, as it tends to reinforce bad habits that can remain with a golfer for years if not rectified. Instead, players new to the game (or those eager to break bad habits) should first learn to divide their swing down into several different components or steps, and move through each step only after the one before has been mastered. This strategy can develop consistency, which can ultimately lead to lower scores and a greater enjoyment for the game.

Step 1: Address the Golf Ball

As the Golden Bear Jack Nicklaus once said, “A good setup can often turn even the most miserable swing into a reasonable shot.” is how to properly address the ball an address that will lead to more consistent shots with every club.

Perfect Ball Position Drill

How to Swing a Golf Club

  • As you stand in front of the ball, keep your feet together while holding the club in the air at a perpendicular angle above the ball.

  • As you open up your stance, try to stand in the most comfortable, non-forced position possible.  For most people, the most relaxed stance is one in which the feet are roughly shoulder width apart. Your feet should also be parallel to the target.

  • With the club still held straight up and down before you, lock your knees.  As you do this, you should feel your weight shift just a bit to your heels.

  • Using only your hips, bend forward slightly, making certain your spine angle is straight and your shoulder blades are back. Now, place the club behind the ball, square to the target.

  • Flex or unlock your knees just a bit, maintaining your comfortable position. The trick is to flex your legs just enough that you can still keep them engaged.

  • Finally, move your upper body slightly to the right, making sure your head is just behind the ball.  You are now in a perfect striking position./li>

 

Step 2: Set Up Your Hands and Arms

Before you move on to a full golf swing (and all the moving parts that swing entails), there are several practice exercises you should master first. The first of these is a mini-swing drill that focuses exclusively on the arms and hands. Keep in mind that the following instructions are for a right-handed golfer; if you golf left-handed, simply reverse the hand positions.
 
How to Swing a Golf Club

 

The Mini Swing Drill

  • While standing in front of the ball take a stance just as we described in the address.

  • Next, grasp your club with your left hand near the top of the club and with your right hand about 4-5 inches below your left hand. Now, without actually moving the hands along the club push down with your left hand as you pull up with the right hand.

  • After taking your grip, and without moving anything but your hands, wrist and forearms, rotate the club backwards until the shaft is horizontal or parallel to the ground and the toe of the club is pointing up. The key to this part of the drill is to keep your left hand in the same place it was upon address. This hand the left hand for right-handed golfers and the right hand for left-handed golfers is the fulcrum around which the swing rotates..

  • As you open up your stance, try to stand in the most comfortable, non-forced position possible. For most people, the most relaxed stance is one in which the feet are roughly shoulder width apart.  Your feet should also be parallel to the target.

  • With the club still held straight up and down before you, lock your knees. As you do this, you should feel your weight shift just a bit to your heels.

  • Using only your hips, bend forward slightly, making certain your spine angle is straight and your shoulder blades are back. Now, place the club behind the ball, square to the target.

  • Flex or unlock your knees just a bit, maintaining your comfortable position. The trick is to flex your legs just enough that you can still keep them engaged.

  • Finally, move your upper body slightly to the right, making sure your head is just behind the ball. You are now in a perfect striking position.

Step 3: Incorporate Your Body into the Swing

The next step towards creating a consistent golf swing is to incorporate your body into the swing, adding it to the movement of your arms and hands. The manner in which your body turns during the takeaway (backswing), fore-swing and finish is one of the keys to consistency.
 
How to Swing a Golf Club

The Backswing Drill

For the backswing or takeaway portion of your swing, try following the outlined steps of this helpful drill for adding the proper body movements to the motions of the hands and arms.

  • While standing at address, cross your arms over your chest. As you do this, make sure to place your right hand on your left shoulder, and your left hand on your right shoulder.

  • Next, slide a golf club horizontally across your chest just below your shoulders and grasp the club with both hands.

  • While maintaining this cross-arm position, turn your body as if you are starting your backswing. As you do this, allow your left knee (if you are a right-handed golfer) to turn slightly inward. Ideally, the knee should now be pointing at the ball.  Continue to turn your body until the shaft of the club is straight up and down—a 90 degree turn. The club should now be perpendicular to the ground—or perpendicular to a line formed by the tips of your toes.

The primary purpose of this third step is to keep your right leg stationary, although slightly flexed at the knees as it was at address.  Maintain this flex in your right leg and you will find that the only way to achieve the 90 degree turn that is necessary for getting the shaft of the club in that position is to rotate your body.

Think of your right leg as a pivot point—a point around which the rest of your body rotates. If done correctly and completely, your back should be pointing at the target once you reach the very top of your backswing. Also, remember that the angle of your spine at address should be maintained throughout the backswing until you reach the top.

How to Swing a Golf Club

The Unwind Drill

Now that you have reached the top of the backswing, the trick is to allow your body to unwind or uncoil back to the ball by essentially reversing the above-outlined sequence. Like with the backswing, you will maintain the cross-arm position for this drill.The unwinding process, which starts low and goes high in terms of the body parts involved, is as follows:

  • First, slide your front knee forward—moving it from its position over the top of the ball until it is now pointing at the target. Ideally, your kneecap should stop directly over your left or front foot. One of the biggest mistakes of the newbie or weekend golfer is an under-shifting or over-shifting of this front knee, especially the latter, which causes your legs to slide past the ball, thus interfering with the proper uncoiling process.

  • As we move up the body, you will now slide the front hip toward the target until it is directly over the front knee and foot. Once again, under or over-shifting of this hip can negatively impact the golf swing.

  • While practicing the uncoiling of the club using this cross-arm drill, pay close attention to the shaft of the club across your chest. The shaft of the club should be parallel with the slope of your shoulders. One way to practice this is to perform the drill in front of a mirror.

How to Swing a Golf Club

The Finishing Drill

The hand, arm and body movements you practiced in the two drills above are the same movements you will use when making a full golf swing. However, there is one final drill remaining: finishing or following through.

  • As you begin to shift your weight (as you did in step one and step two of the “unwind” drill), bring the club downwards through the point of impact and all the way to the finish position. In doing so, remember the proper swing plane you practiced in the mini-swing exercise.

  • As the club comes through, keep your left (front) leg straight and allow your right knee to rotate slightly until it just touches your left knee. When you finish, your spine angle should again be the same as it was at address, and your belly should be pointing at the target.

How to Swing a Golf Club to HIt the Perfect Shot Video

 

Final Words

The next time you hit the driving range, try incorporating each of these exercises/drills into your routine. After mastering the mini-swing drill, combine those movements with the backswing, uncoiling and finishing drills we outlined above. Keep practicing each drill until you feel comfortable enough to combine the steps into a full golf swing. Once you accomplish this, you’ll have the framework for a very consistent swing. Remember to use all of your clubs at the driving range (not just the driver), and practice these movements over and over until they become second nature. By implementing this strategy you have a much better chance to create the necessary muscle memory to repeat a consistent swing time and time again.
 

How to Swing a Golf Club Infographic

How to Swing a Golf Club
 

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