Top 5 Best Chipping Tips and Drills to Instantly Lower Your Score

Chipping Tips

 
Every golfer knows the key to shooting lower scores is getting the ball in the hole quicker from 100 yards and in. This is the area where more than 60% of your shots come from and sadly for most players, it’s where they struggle the most. Even the best players in the world miss between four and seven greens in regulation per round meaning they must rely on their short game to get them out of trouble. If you find yourself throwing away precious strokes from around the green, we’ve compiled our Top Five Chipping Tips to help you lower your scores and have more fun – plus a bonus tip at the end.
 
Chipping Tips
 

Understanding Chipping Basics

The phrase “up and down” means one chip and one putt. Getting the ball up and down or chipping it in should be your goal every time you miss a green. In order to do this consistently, it’s important to have a grasp of the fundamentals that ensure proper contact on every time.
 

Setup

To set up for any basic chip shot, start with your feet close together and your stance a little open (aiming to the left of the target for right-handed players). Ball position should be in the middle or slightly back (toward your right foot if you’re right-handed) in your stance. When you set the club the behind the ball your hands should be leaning slightly forward, and the shaft should be pointed toward your target-side pocket (left pocket for right-handers). Lastly your weight distribution should be dispersed with 60% of your weight on your front foot.
 

Chipping Motion

If you watch the best players in the world, you’ll notice that their left arm (right-handed players) and the shaft of the club form a straight line at address. The key to making solid contact is maintaining this relationship throughout the entire swing. The tendency for amateurs is to scoop or try to help the ball in the air. When this happens, the relationship between the shaft and lead arm is lost as the lead wrist bows through impact. This tendency leads to fat and thin shots and trouble controlling distance.
 

Club Selection

Anytime you hit a chip shot, your goal should be to get the ball on the green and rolling like a putt as soon as possible. Most weekend players grab their lob wedge for any chip shot they have. While this might be the right club for a shot the needs to be hit high and stop quickly, it certainly isn’t for a shot where you have plenty of room to run the ball.

As a rule of thumb, the more green you have to work with, the less loft you should use (seven, eight or nine-iron) and the less green between you and the hole more loft you should use (pitching wedge, sand wedge or lob wedge).
 

Tip #1 – Have Fun

Chipping
 
There is no other facet of the game that allows for creativity and experimentation like the short game. While there are some fundamentals that are universal, if you want to take your chipping to the next level, spend some time learning to hit different shots with different clubs. If you do this kind of practice enough, you’ll quickly find that your touch improves, and you’ll have an arsenal of shots for just about any situation. Even though you might look silly at first, your golf game will thank you down the road. So, the next time you want to go hit a large bucket on your lunch break, grab a couple of wedges and a few balls and have some fun chipping around the practice green instead.
 

Tip #2 – Spice Things Up

One of the things that makes chipping fun is that you can changes things up and keep your routine fresh. Unlike blasting seven-irons and drivers at the same target repeatedly on the range, chipping allows you to create different situations like you’ll encounter on the course.

If you go to the practice green at any golf course, you’re bound to see someone out practicing with a shag bag of 100 balls hitting the same chip shot repeatedly. What these players fail to realize is that while they will quickly better at a particular chip, the odds of seeing that same exact shot on the course are low. Make sure when you practice your chipping that you regularly switch targets and clubs to emulate the real thing as much as possible.
 

Tip #3 – Smooth Landing

Chipping
 
If you were to ask any Tour Pro where they are trying to land a chip shot, they will point to a specific spot on the green. Most amateurs on the other hand simply see the green and the pin in front of them and try to hit it close. Landing the ball in a chosen spot not only improves your distance control but allows you to focus on how the ball reacts when it hits the green.

The hula hoop drill is a great way to practice this. All you need to do is find a circular object about three feet in diameter and place it a few feet on to the green. We recommend taking ten balls and seeing how many you can get to land in the circle from various lies. When you can consistently make five or six out of ten, move to more difficult lies and longer shots.
 

Tip #4 – Be On Time

World renown teacher David Leadbetter developed the clockface method for chipping and pitching and to this day it is used by players all over the world. This system takes some practice to perfect but proves genius for controlling your distance.

If you imagine the golf swing as a circular clockface, half-way back and half-way through would be swinging three-o’clock to nine-o’clock. If you want to dial in your yardages with different pitching and chipping clubs, having a playbook of built-in swing lengths and yardages with different clubs is a must.

The first place to start this drill is with your favorite chipping club, probably your sand or lob wedge. To begin, hit a few shots with a half swing. Measure the yardage you hit these shots to establish a baseline. From here, envision the clock face and make some bigger and smaller swings to take note of the yardages the ball travels.

If you put in the time to do this with a few different clubs and practice out of different lies and conditions, you’re sure to start knocking the ball close to hole and saving strokes.
 

Tip #5 – Two’s Company and Three’s a Crowd

Chipping
 
Chances are you enjoy competing with your buddies or regular group on some level. Practicing with a partner or two and making it competitive makes everyone better. Whether you play for pride or a beer at the end, perfecting your short game in a competitive way will lower your scores quickly.
 

1. Seven-Up

This is one of our favorite games to playgri with each other and we have all lowered our scores because of it. If you have a buddy or two and a space to chip and putt seven-up is sure to improve your short game as well.

Format:

Each player begins with two balls. You can flip a tee or coin to see who goes first. Player A hits a shot then player B (and/or C, D, etc.) hits a shot. The cycle repeats again until each player hits both their balls.

The player with the ball closest to the hole gets one point and the player with the ball farthest away loses a point.

If a player chips in he gets two points. If someone misses the green, they lose two points.

The player who wins the closest to the hole point chooses the next location.

If you get to seven points you win and if you reach negative seven points you lose.

Seven-up is a great game that can take a while and allows for creativity and strategy.
 

2. Par 18

As we said earlier, getting up and down is the quickest way to lower your scores. Par 18 is a game you can play with yourself or against your buddies.

Format:

Simply put, you choose nine holes to chip and putt to. “Par” is set at two shots for each hole and the player with lowest score is the winner.
 

3. Extra Credit – High-Rise Living

Chipping Tips
 
Have you ever seen Tiger of Phil take a full swing and launch the ball straight up in the air only to watch it go 30 feet and stop inches from the hole? Yep, we are talking about the flop shot. This is a shot that takes a tremendous amount of practice but can get you out of the stickiest of situations.

The flop shot should only be used when you have minimal green to work with and need to stop the ball quickly.

To set up, open the club face so that it lays almost flat at address and open your stance accordingly (feet, hips and shoulders aim left of target if you’re right-handed).

From here, make an aggressive swing sliding the club under the ball and watch it fly high and land like a butterfly with sore feet.

Format:

Simply put, you choose nine holes to chip and putt to. “Par” is set at two shots for each hole and the player with lowest score is the winner.
 

Conclusion

The fact is you’re going to miss the green with your approach shot on occasion. How you recover from here is what makes or breaks your score. While there is a time and place for hitting balls and working on technical thoughts on the range, refining your short game and trusting your instincts is the easiest way to lower your scores. If you want to save money on a large bucket and are willing to be creative and experiment, learning to turn chipping and pitching clubs into weapons instead of liabilities will find you having more fun and taking money from your buddies in no time.

 

Learn How to Hit a Draw in 3 Easy Steps

How to Hit a Draw

 
There’s a reason golf course homes on the right side of holes are cheaper than the ones on the left. It’s because 90% of golfers are right-handed and hit slices that break windows and land in swimming pools on the right side. If you’re like me, you’ve hit plenty of sliced, weak shots to right that either end up out-of-bounds or short and right your intended target. You know that hitting a draw (right-to-left shot) is preferred because it goes farther and isn’t as affected by the wind. But for the life of you, you can’t seem to make it happen. You’re in luck as we are here to help.

Hitting a Golf Ball
 

Understanding the Difference Between a Hook and Draw and a Slice and Fade

The lexicon of golf is bewildering at best. While you probably have a grasp of the terms that describe a shot that curves right (slice and fade) and one that curves left (hook and draw) the distinctions go a touch further to define what you’re really after.

A slice is a shot that curves hard to the right and ends up in trouble. A fade is a shot that curves slightly to the right but is controlled.

Conversely, a hook is a shot that curves hard left into the junk. Draws are controlled shots that move gently from right-to-left.

 

What Makes a Golf Ball Curve?

There are a few factors that cause a shot to curve either right or left.
 

Swing Path

Chances are you slice the ball more often than you draw it. If pay close attention, your shots probably start left of your intended target before slicing. The reason slices start left is because the club is traveling on an outside to inside path (moving left to right, this being for a right-handed player) through impact.

Outside to Inside
Outside to Inside

 

Face Angle

Face angle is what causes shots to spin one direction or the other. If the clubface is open at impact (pointing to the right for righties) the ball will curve to the right or slice. If the face closed at impact (pointing to the left for right-handers) the ball will curve to the left.

Having a basic understanding of swing path and face angle gives you a base from which you can start to turn that viscous slice into a controlled draw. We polled a number of top PGA Pros and below are our best tips for hitting draw

For players that start the ball slightly right of the target and hit draws, the path is inside to out through impact.

Inside to Outside
Inside to Outside

 

Setup

As with any shot in golf, setup is where everything begins. If you don’t get setup correct every time, you’re setting yourself up for inconsistency and unnecessary compensations during your golf swing. If you’re going to learn to hit solid shots repeatedly you have to make sure your feet, shoulders and hips are all aligned to the target, your ball position is where it needs to be and your posture is correct.

Alignment

When you’re setting up to any full shot, picture a train track starting at your ball and running to the target. The ball and clubface should align with the outside rail pointing directly at the target. Your feet, hips and shoulders are the inside rail and point parallel left to the target for right handed players.

If your clubface and ball are not pointed at the target or your feet, hips and shoulders aren’t parallel, your chances of hitting a solid shot in the intended direction are slim.

Ball Position

As we discussed in our article How to Hit a Driver, the position of the ball is going to vary depending on what club you have in your hands. While drivers, fairway woods and irons should be played forward in your stance, irons and wedges should be in the middle. Getting the postion of the ball correct for the club and type of shot you’re playing is crucial.

Posture

The golf swing is an athletic motion and having proper posture gives you a solid base and while allowing you to swing in balance. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width, your knees a little flexed and your torso tall and solid. Notice how much more athletic the posture on the left looks than on the right.

How to Hit a Draw
Golf Posture. Source meandmygolf.com

 

3 Easy Steps to Hitting a Draw

Step 1 – Create an Inside to Outside Swing Path

One of the toughest things about the game of golf is that what you feel like you’re doing is most often a lot different than what you’re actually doing. In the case of most amateur players that slice the ball, the feeling of golf swinging the club from the inside is usually a path that is either still slightly outside to in or straight down the target line. This is easy to check by taking just a few short videos of your golf swing from the down the line angle. If you find yourself struggling to deliver the club to impact from the inside, try dropping your right foot back at address. This allows you to create more room to make a full shoulder turn on the way back and for the club to come from the inside on the downswing.
 

Step 2 – Swing Your Arms Around Your Body

When you’re first starting to learn hitting a draw, make it a point to emphasize your arms swinging around body as opposed to up and down. Players that slice the ball have swings that are too vertical, creating a steep chopping motion. Moving your arms around your body creates a flatter move that has the club coming from the inside instead of the outside through impact.
 

Step 3 – Remember to Have Low Hands on the Finish

Next time you’re watching the Pros on television, make it a point to notice the position of their hands on the finish. Players trying to hit fades will finish with their hands level or above the head. Conversely, players trying to hit draws will finish with their hands much lower, at or just above their front shoulder.
 

Two of the Best Practice Drills to Help you Hit a Draw

If you’re serious about learning to hit a draw instead of slice, you need to realize that it isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a lot of practice and there are sure to moments of frustration when you feel like throwing in the towel. To help you get the most out of your practice, we’ve listed are best drills for creating a repeatable swing that hits the ball right-to-left.
 

Water Bottle Drill

This is my all-time favorite drill because the feedback is instantaneous. All you need is a bucket of range balls and half-filled plastic water bottle. To begin, set the water bottle two or three inches behind the ball and just outside the target line.

From here all you’re trying to do is swing the club from the inside without hitting the bottle. If the club hits the bottle, it’s a sure sign you’re club is moving from the outside to the inside instead of the inside to the outside. This might seem extremely awkward at first and your contact won’t be solid. That’s okay, you’re making a drastic change to the path of your swing so stay patient.


 

Alignment Stick Starting Line

Once you feel confident that your swing the club from the inside to the out, it’s time to put it to the test. Remember, a proper draw is a shot that starts right of the target and curves a little left back to it. For this drill, take an alignment rod and stick in the ground a few yards in front of your ball exactly on the target line.

Once you’re set up, hit a few shots trying to start the ball to the right of the stick and watch it curve back to your target. Once again, this might take a fair bit of practice but once you can do it consistently, it’s something that you should be able to take to the course.

How to Hit a Draw
Alignment Stick Drill. Source youtube.com

 

Video Guide on How to Hit a Draw

 

Draws and Course Management

Hitting a reliable draw is the holy grail for any player that fights a slice and wants to hit solid shots that go farther on a consistent basis. Even if you’ve mastered hitting a draw consistently, it doesn’t mean that you should fire at every flag and hit driver off every tee.

Tee shots on dog-leg right holes might not suit your eye as well as someone that plays a fade. To give yourself the best chance of hitting the fairway, make sure you tee up on the far left side of the tee box. This maximizes the amount of room you have to start your tee shot down the right side and let it work back to the middle. If you feel like your driver might go through the fairway, don’t be afraid to sacrifice a little distance for accuracy and use a fairway wood or hybrid.

When your tee shot finds the fairway, it’s tempting to fire your approach straight at the flag regardless of where it’s located on the green. There are some flags that are tough to get at with a draw however. A great example is a flag that is cut in the front, right part of the green over a bunker. In order to get this shot close, you have to start it out over the bunker, hope it curves back and flies the exact right distance. The chances missing this shot in a bad spot and making a big number are high. The smart play is to start your shot at the pin and let it curve to the middle of the green leaving yourself 20 or 30 feet and virtually guaranteeing an easy par at worst.
 

Conclusion

Learning to hit a draw consistently will do wonders for your golf game. Your shots will travel farther, fight through the wind, your confidence will grow and you’re sure to shoot lower scores. The road to get there however, is one that takes time and a lot of practice. But if you’re willing to fight through occasional frustration and stay the course, you’ll come out on the other side a much more complete and consistent player.

5 Simple Tips On How to Drive a Golf Ball Further Without Increasing Clubhead Speed

How To Drive A Golf Ball

If you are a player that dreams of hitting high flying drives of over 300 yards then you are not alone. If you, like many, do not have the time or energy to spend long hours in the gym or with speed training devices on the range, then this article is for you. Finding ways to improve your driving distance doesn’t start in the gym, it starts with understanding what makes long drivers so efficient. These 5 simple steps will help you hit longer, straighter drives without picking up a single weight or doing a single stretch.

How to Drive a Golf Ball
 
If you feel like you are leaving yards on the course from drives that slice violently or see shots continuously falling short of where you think they ought to be, then these 5 tips can make a difference in your game. While it is true that PGA Tour players like Rickie Fowler, Dustin Jonhson, Tiger Woods, Jordan Speith, and Brooks Kopeka have fast speeds that not everyone can achieve, the efficiency off the tee box can be mimicked and that can lead to you picking up 10, 20, or even 30 yards off the tee box. Understanding how far you should be hitting the golf ball is a crucial part in maximizing your distance.

See the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A set performance standards and limitations on golf equipment companies and the states of golf club equipment. Currently, the maximum efficiency ratio that drivers can create is 1:1.5. In its simplest form, that ratio means that for every one mile per hour of speed you produce, your driver can give you up to 1.5 miles per hour of ball speed. The average male swing speed is currently around 90 miles per hour, mph, and should produce a ball speed of near 130 miles per hour. 130 mph ball speed should yield a total distance of over 250 yards. If 90 mph clubhead speeds sound like you, but your driver is not giving you well over 200 yards of performance, then you are leaving distance on the table without the need to improve your fitness level or swing speed.
 

Step 1 – Setting Up To Hit The Ball A Long Way

A proper setup with your driver can lead to instant performance improvements. In an effort to find the fairway more often, golfers tend to set up with their driver in much the same way they do with their irons or wedges. Because the driver shaft is longer and the golf ball is resting on a tee rather than the ground, player’s setup positions need to change. Players should try playing the golf ball just inside of their front foot and as they grip their club, they should feel their trail shoulder work below their forward shoulder creating a tilt in their spine. This ball position and spinal tilt will set the foundation for the following four steps.

Golf Stance

 

Step 2 – Taking Advantage Of The Drivers Natural Playing Position And Engineering to Hit the Ball

With the golf ball near your front foot and forward of the center of your body, you will be naturally inclined to hit the ball with a club path that is traveling upward and away from the ground at impact. An upwards angle of attack often referred to as a positive angle of attack, helps to launch the golf ball into the air and reduces spin for longer shots that roll further once they come down.

 

Step 3 – Changing Your Ball Flight Curvature

Draws do not automatically go further than golf shots that fade, however, the club characteristics that help players hit a draw most often lead to longer shots and more golf ball roll out. For a right-handed golfer, a draw is achieved when the club is traveling on a path that is more rightward of the golf club’s face during impact. This difference in face and golf swing path angle will tilt the golf ball to the left and cause the golf ball to draw back towards target. For left-handed players, they should see a club face that is slightly right of a leftward moving golf club. Club faces that are “closed” to club paths often result in golf shots hit with less club loft, less spin, and longer carry distances.

Ball Flight

 

Step 4 – Strike is King when Learning How to Drive a Golf Ball Further

Where you strike the golf ball on the club face will have a large impact on where the ball flies, how much spin it has, and which direction it curves. Even under identical swing conditions, differences in strikes can make the ball draw, fade, launch higher or lower, and spin more and less. The longest drives are actually struck slightly higher on the driver’s face. This higher impact location increases the club’s effective loft and produces a higher launching golf shot with less spin. Spin is reduced by what is referred to as the gearing effect often associated with golf shots not hit in the geometric middle of the club’s face.

Golf Driver

 

Step 5 – Getting A Driver Built For Your Golf Swing

Swing changes can be difficult. Luckily, golf equipment manufactures, and club fitters have unique tools that can help alter standard drivers to fit your individual golf swing characteristics. Loft, lies, centers of gravity, and face angles can all be altered to give you a club that helps you hit it longer, higher, and straighter. Going to test different model drivers or making changes to your current gamer can create lasting impacts on your confidence and driver performance.
 

Video – Simple Drill to Help You Hit the Ball Further

 

Conclusion

Although not everyone can swing the club at 120 miles per hour, everyone can get the most from their golf swing speed. Players that find themselves swinging at speeds higher than their current driving distances reflect can greatly improve their performance off the tee by doing the 5 steps above. Without a doubt, advances in club fitting techniques and driver technology can go a long way in helping you hit more fairway and giving your shorter irons into greens. In today’s modern game, driving the golf ball a long way is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. Making small changes to your setup, swing, and current driver can cause a dramatic shift in your current driving statistics. Thanks for reading and check back later for more golf tips and tricks.
 

How to Fix A Golf Slice in 3 Easy Steps

How-to-fix-a-golf-slice

 
Let’s be honest we all slice the ball, and when we do it can be ever so be frustrating. The unfortunate reality is that slicing the ball is very common and a majority of golfer’s struggle with it each year. However, the truth is that a slice can really hurt your golf game. This is because a slice can cause you to lose accuracy, distance, and most importantly your mental game. But don’t worry we created this guide to help you get rid of your that pesky slice, and with a few simple changes you too can begin hitting the ball straight and far down the fairway every time.
 

What Exactly is a Golf Slice?

For right handed golfers a slice is really any shot that curves very hard to the right when in the air. For left handed golfers it is flipped, and it occurs when a shot curves very hard to the left when in the air.

How to fix a golf slice

 

What Causes a Slice?

The slice occurs when a golfer has poor grip on the club, an improper setup, and an outside-in swing path. What is an outside-in swing path? This is when the golfer reaches too far out on their down swing, which then causes their club to come down on the outside of the target line of the ball. When this occurs it forces the golfer to pull the club head in closer into them in order to hit the ball. Which in turn causes the club face to point to the right of the target at impact.
 

How to Fix a Golf Slice?

Get the Right Driver

Many golfers who are slicing the ball are using the wrong driver. Instead of using a driver with a greater loft of the club face, they are using a driver with very little loft. Many amateur golfers are not aware that there is a very clear relationship between the length and loft of a club to its accuracy. The longer and less lofted a club is the greater the chance that you will not hit the ball straight. A perfect example of this relationship can be found with the driver.
 
How to fix a golf slice

A driver’s shaft length is usually between 43-46 inches long. This greater shaft length will produce a significant amount of “lag” during the downswing. This “lag” is caused by the club head trailing behind the handle of the club due to the flexing of the shaft. So, the longer the club shaft, the longer it will take for the shaft to unflex and the longer it will take for the club face to not trail behind the handle. If this “lag” remains at the time of impact, the clubface will be open and cause a slice. As for loft, a degree or two can make a huge difference. The more loft on a clubface, the more time until the hitting area reaches the ball. This gives the golfer precious time to square up the club before impact. Most divers have just 9-12″ of loft, so there is very little room for error.

Many golfers who are slicing the ball are using the wrong driver. Instead of using a driver with a greater loft of the club face, they are using a driver with very little loft. Many amateur golfers are not aware that there is a very clear relationship between the length and loft of a club to its accuracy. The longer and less lofted a club is the greater the chance that you will not hit the ball straight. A perfect example of this relationship can be found with the driver. If you are not sure if you are holding the golf club properly, here is an exercise that can help.
 

Fix Your Grip on the Club

Golf slices also occur because many amateur golfers do not grip a golf club correctly. They either grip the golf club too strong or too weak. A proper golf grip is one of the best ways you get more control over your shots. Note: For players that are right handed, grip the club in your left hand first. This will be opposite if you are a left-handed golfer.
 
How to fix a golf slice

  • Position the grip of the club mainly on the fingers of your left hand.

  • With the golf club on the ground, you should be able to see at least two of the knuckles on your left hand as you look down the shaft of the club. Now to help remedy your slice you should try to see at least three of your knuckles on your left hand instead of two.

  • The “V” formed by your left index finger and thumb should be pointing towards your right shoulder.

  • Now place your right-hand grip on top of the left so that they complement one another.

There you have it, the proper way to hold a golf club. This type of golf grip will help you keep the face of the club in the correct position all the way through impact with the golf ball, and will contribute significantly to eliminating your slice.
 

An Easy Practice Drill that will Help Fix Your Golf Slice

Step 1: Make a Backward Loop

  • Make sure you are gripping the golf club correctly.

  • Get in your normal golf stance and set the ball just inside your front heal.

  • Place the club head in front of the ball, not behind as you would normally.

  • Make a slow circle with your hands, swinging the club toward the ball and then over the ball.

  • Only focus on making a nice circular loop.

Step 2: Lift and Turn Your Body

  • Once you have Step 1 down, you can now incorporate the shoulder turn.

  • To begin, start with the clubhead behind the ball not in front of the ball like we did in Step 1.

  • Lift the club over your head until your hands are now in front of your face.

  • Turn your shoulders back, and while keeping it on the plane you have established swing it over the ball.

Step 3: Turn Your Body and Release

  • Once you have Step 1 and Step 2 down, it’s now time to go from practice drill to a real golf swing.

  • Lift the club into a 2/3 position backswing with your left arm in front of your chest.

  • Then make a full backswing turn and go from swinging over the ball to actually hitting the ball.

  • As you practice you will feel the backward loop from Step 1, and you should start to see a right-to-left ball flight.

How to Fix Your Golf Slice Video

 

Final Words

Golf is a great and slicing the ball is quite common for all golfers, and can really take a tole on your mental game, especially when on the tee box. However, by using the above techniques you too can begin to have better control over your shots, and hit the ball straight each and every time.
 

How to Fix A Golf Slice

How to Fix a Golf SLice
 

The Secret to Hitting a Golf Driver Straight and Far

How-to-hit-a-driver-2-1

 
If you’re reading this article, then you’ve probably been left speechless while watching golfers with names like Rory, Dustin, Jason, Justin, and Brooks bomb drives down the center of the fairway on Sunday afternoons. Top Tracer Technology, employed by NBC, CBS, the Golf Channel, and others, shows us real time data, such as 180 mph ball speeds and 335 yard carry distances. For the best in the world the driver is a critical offensive weapon and it should be for you too. Although you probably won’t sniff the numbers of the flat-bellies on TV, there are some basic things you can employ to help you hit longer and straighter drives more consistently.
 

What’s a House Without a Foundation?

How to hit a driver
 
Setup, setup, setup!

In my teaching I constantly hear people tell me about all their swing ailments and what they read in the latest version of Golf Digest. After watching them hit a few errant shots, I inevitably stop the lesson and have the following conversation:

Teacher: “So [insert student name] you live in a nice house. It’s full of all the things you treasure in life: family pictures on the wall; granite countertops in the kitchen; and that his and hers bathroom you’ve always dreamed of.”

Student: “Yes! I love my house.”

Teacher: “What would happen to your house if it didn’t have a foundation?”

Student: “It would crumble around me.”

Teacher: “Correct. Think of the golf swing the same way. Your swing, even with all its quirks, is capable of producing decent golf shots. Without a proper setup, however, you create bad habits that lead to mishits and inconsistency.”

The truth is that setup is something any golfer can get right every time. The setup is the foundation that allows the swing to happen. And the best part? It’s easy! You haven’t even started your swing yet!
 

Driver Setup

The setup with the driver is a little different than with irons. Because the ball is on a tee, you’re actually trying to catch it slightly on the upswing. For this reason, your ball position should be slightly inside your target-side foot (left foot for right-handed players).

How to hit a driver
 
When you set up with irons, you’ll notice that your shoulders are fairly level. This position helps to create a slightly descending angle of attack, with the hands and shaft leaning ahead of the ball at impact. Since you’re trying to catch the driver on the upswing, however, tilt your spine slightly back so that your front shoulder is a little higher than your back shoulder. This will help you stay behind the shot and catch it solidly every time.

How to hit a driver
 
Because most amateurs want to hit the driver as hard as they can, they unconsciously grip the life out of the club at address. If you’re gripping the club too hard, then you’ll see the whites of your knuckles and even the veins in your forearms. If you have tension at address, any chance of making a smooth swing in good tempo is gone. While you want control of the club, make sure your hands, wrists, and forearms are relaxed.

Before you head to the range and try to fix your swing with every tip you’ve ever read, take time to check your setup and the three keys mentioned above. Chances are that many of your problems can be solved before you take the club back.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

As mentioned above, most golfers equate swinging fast with hitting the ball far. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When you overswing, you rarely catch the ball solidly and the result is a shot that travels way off line.

Two of the best driver swings in the game are Vijay Singh and Fred Couples. Even at over 50 years old, both these players still boom it and they never look like they’re in a hurry. The key to their long and accurate drives is the time they take at the top of their backswing. By taking an extra second or feeling like there is a short pause, you give the shaft time to fully load and your body a chance to sync all the energy you’ve built up. From here, you’re able to make your downswing with proper timing and deliver the face square to impact.

I recommend watching some video of both Vijay Singh and Fred Couples to gain a visual sense of what it means to “take your time” at the top.
 

Fred Couples Explains the Key to His Golf Swing

 

Balance is Key

I get the question in nearly every lesson I give, “How hard can I swing?” The answer is simple—as hard as you want, BUT you have to maintain your balance. If you’ve spent time watching any of the names mentioned at the beginning of this article, then you can count on one hand the number of times they have lost their balance. Of course they are finely tuned athletes that spend hours in the gym, but the truth remains: if you’re not in balance, then you’ve got no chance of consistently hitting solid drives.

A great way to tell if you’re swinging in balance is seeing if you can hold your finish until the ball lands. If you can do this consistently with a driver, then you’re swinging in control and within yourself. You may look kind of silly holding your finish for so long, but trust me, your long game will thank you for it.
 

The Fairway Isn’t Your Target

When most players bring the driver out of the bag they are aiming for the fairway. Sounds pretty reasonable right? Aren’t you supposed to hit your tee shot on that big beautiful piece of turf? The answer is, yes. In order to hit more fairways though, picking a precise aiming point like a tree or the edge of a bunker, narrows your focus and gives you greater margin for error.

If you watch the best players in the world, they all start their routine from behind the golf ball. This allows them to find a fixed point at which to aim their drive. Next time you go to the range, do this on every shot until it becomes second nature.
 

Have a Go-To Shot

How to Hit a Driver
 
Anytime you pull the big stick out of your bag, you should make an aggressive move. But there are certain holes on every course that really test your mettle off the tee. If you’re going to make a good score, then you have no choice but to find the fairway.

It’s on these holes that it’s crucial to have a “go-to” shot that you’re confident in. A great way for many players to develop a reliable shot is to tee the ball lower. When you tee the ball down, the flight is lower, so it spends less time in the air where it has a chance to curve off line or be affected by wind. A lower shot hits the ground running, will end up in the fairway, and will cost you only minimal distance.
 

Conclusion

While the putter is unquestionably the most important club in your bag, getting off the tee consistently gives you the chance to score well and build confidence. If you find yourself struggling to hit fairways or getting the distance you want, then remember these tips before you go read another instructional article or buy the latest training aid. Until next time, keep it in the short grass.
 
 

The 7 Best Proper Golf Stance Tips that Will Help You Hit The Perfect Shot

Proper-golf-stance

 
The Golf Stance:  According to many of the most successful golfers—and golf instructors—it is one of the most crucial fundamentals in the game.  Sadly, it is also one of the most overlooked skills, one that when performed incorrectly can have some very serious implications on your game.  To help you avoid this fate, below we have compiled a step-by-step tutorial regarding the proper golf stance—an instructional manual aimed at giving you the most advantageous and fundamentally-sound setup prior to your shot.
 

Tip 1: Alignment and the Proper Golf Stance

No golf stance could reasonably be “deemed” proper without the correct alignment.  The position of your body, which for the purposes of this instructional guide means your feet, knees, hips, forearms, shoulders and eyes, should all be completely parallel to the target line—the imaginary line from the ball to the hole.

Golf Stance

To ensure you have achieved the proper alignment, have a friend stand a few yards behind you. If you are aligned correctly, it will appear as if your body (assuming you are a right-handed golfer) is aimed just a bit left of the target. But don’t fret about this perceived misalignment; it is actually an optical illusion—an illusion that occurs because the ball is directly on the target line and the body is not. This optical illusion will be even more pronounced the further your friend moves behind you, making your body appear 3-5 yards left of the target line from 100 yards back; 8-10 yards left at 150 yards; and a whopping 12-15 yards left of the target line when viewed from 200 yards behind you.
 

Tip 2: Your Feet and the Proper Golf Stance

Once you have aligned your body correctly, it’s time to think about the proper foot placement for your setup. As a point of reference, your feet should be shoulder’s width apart. We hear that term—shoulder’s width apart—a lot, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, it means that the inside of your heels should be spaced out so that they are roughly even in distance to the outside of your shoulders. This is what we will call the “base” position. This base position is the proper foot placement you should employ when hitting any of the middle irons (the 4-iron-7-iron). When hitting your driver or longer irons; or when setting up to hit the shorter irons (8-iron-wedges), you should adjust your stance two inches wider and two inches narrower, respectively.

Golf Stance

The front foot, also known as the target foot, should be opened up by about 30 degrees. This will enable your body to rotate fully towards the target as you make your downswing. In most cases, you should keep your back foot totally square—90 degrees to the target. In rare cases, you can open up the back foot slightly to aid in a more complete hip turn. Generally speaking, your foot placement should be dictated by your own personal degree of flexibility and the speed at which you rotate your body.
 

Tip 3: The Golf Ball and the Proper Stance

Ball position has a lot to do with the proper golf stance. Although most amateur and weekend golfers utilize the same ball placement in their stance regardless of the upcoming shot, most of the premier golf instructors will tell you that “the ball placement in one’s stance will vary depending on the club you intend to use.”

  • Short Irons. When using the short irons, such as your 8 and 9 iron and wedges, you will typically want to place the ball in the center of your stance—equidistant between your front and back foot. These clubs, which have a steep angle, must be swung with that angle in mind, which means you will usually leave a small divot in front of the ball.

  • Middle Irons. When positioning yourself to hit the middle irons, usually defined as the 7-iron through the 4-iron, the ball should be about one ball-length north of dead center. For right-handed golfers, this means the ball should be one ball-length to the left of dead center. These clubs have a flatter trajectory and will thus leave only a very small divot when hit.

  • Long Irons. Finally, when striking the long irons (3-iron, 2-iron, 1-iron) and woods, including the driver, the ball should be placed an additional ball length north of dead center, or a total of 2 ball lengths to the left. This will allow you to strike the ball at the very bottom of your swing arc and leave little to no divot.

Golf Stance
 

Tip 4: Balance and the Proper Golf Stance

When we talk about balance as it pertains to the proper golf swing we are actually talking about “how” to stand and “how” to distribute our weight between each foot. What you NEVER want to do when approaching a shot is stand on your heels. This is naturally UNBALANCED, not just for a golf swing, but for any athletic movement. Instead, you want your weight to be on the balls of your feet. Not only will this keep you more balanced throughout the swing, it will also help you to generate more power.

In terms of weight distribution, this again depends on the club you plan to use for a particular shot. For middle irons, you should take the MOST balanced position: with 50 percent of your weight resting on your left (target) foot, and the other 50 percent of your weight resting on your back (anchor) foot. You want this even distribution for the middle irons for two reasons: because of the length of those clubs and the relatively flat arc with which you will use to strike the ball.

Golf Stance

This even, 50-50 weight distribution can technically be used for all your clubs if it makes you feel more comfortable, but for more effective and consistent results you might want to tweak this weight distribution slightly when hitting the lower irons, and the higher irons and woods. For the lower irons, again the 8-iron, 9-iron and your wedges, try placing 60 percent of your weight on your front or target foot and the remainder of your weight on your back foot. This extra weight will help produce the desired arc for which these clubs are designed. When setting up to hit a long iron, a 3-wood or a driver, just reverse this weight distribution by placing 60 percent of your weight on your back foot, and 40 percent of your weight on the target foot. When swinging these longer and more powerful clubs, this extra weight on your back foot will enable you to achieve the correct angle on your back swing.
 

Tip 5: Posture and the Proper Golf Stance

Some might say that your golf “posture” and golf “stance” are one in the same. This is pretty close to the truth. How you stand, or setup to the ball can literally be the difference between a terrific shot and an embarrassing “worm burner” that settles just a few yards away from the tee box. To avoid this latter scenario, check out the following tips on the proper golf posture. As you settle in front of the ball, bend your knees just slightly for balance, but not so much that is causes any discomfort. Your knees should be directly over the balls of your feet, and your upper spine—the part between your shoulder blades—should be on the same basic imaginary line formed by your knees and feet. You will also want to cock your back leg (right leg for right-handed golfers) inward just a bit toward the target. In doing so, you will not only be able to brace yourself throughout the swing, you will also prevent the lower body from swaying too much, which can potentially cause any number of swing complications.

Golf Stance

When you bend over the ball in preparation of taking the shot, your body should always bend at the hips rather than at the waist. If you do this correctly, your rear end will be protruding slightly backwards. Remember that your spine is the axis for your swing—the part of your body around which everything else (arms, hands, club) will rotate. Because of this, it should be bent over the ball—at the hips—at a right angle (90 degrees) to the shaft of the club. Keep your back straight as you set up to the ball, keeping in mind that every degree of bend in the vertebrae decreases your shoulder turn by almost 2 degrees.Your head should be tipped at the same angle as your spine, and your chin should be up and away from the chest, which again allows for a more complete shoulder turn. Your eyes should, of course, be looking downward, with a focus on the back end of the ball.
 

Tip 6: Positioning Your Arms and Hands in the Perfect Golf Stances

When you approach—or address—the ball prior to your shot, your arms should hang freely, just off the inside of your front thigh and just north of your pants zipper.  There is some debate among golf instructors as to how far away from the body you should place your hands, also known as the hands-to-body distance.  Most agree the correct answer to that query depends on the club you are planning to use.  So, for the purposes of this tutorial, we will explain the hands-to-distance conundrum in the following manner:

  • Short and Middle Irons.  When using any of your short or middle irons—from the 4-iron all the way down to the wedges—your hands, as they grip these clubs, should be 3-4 inches away from your body, roughly the distance of the width of your hand.

  • Long Irons and Woods.  When swinging the “big boys,” the long irons, fairway woods and driver, your hands will need to be a little further away from your body as you grip the club in order to achieve the proper backswing and follow-through.  For these clubs, we recommend you hold the club about 5-7 inches away from your body, or roughly the distance of the length of your hand—from your wrist to the tip of your fingers.

Golf Stance

As you grip the club—any club—your arms and shoulders should form a triangle and the elbows should point to the hips.
 

Tip 7: The Perfect Golf Stance, Putting It All Together

As you start to take your stance now, it’s finally time to put it all together.  Here is what you need to remember:

  • The alignment of your feet and body in relation to the target line
  • To stand with your weight on the balls of your feet
  • The proper position of the ball in your stance
  • To remain balanced throughout the swing
  • The proper posture—how you stand and bend
  • And the proper positioning of your arms and hands

You should also remember that tension in your back, hands or arms can be an enemy to the proper stance and a solid golf swing.  You should grip the club lightly; just firm enough to prevent it from twisting during the swing.  Your arms should hang loosely, and your back should be relaxed.  The only place where you should feel the slightest of tension is towards the inside of the back leg, as this is what you will use to pivot.

Golf Stance

To cement these tips for the proper golf stance into your memory, we recommend you practice your perfect stance in front of the mirror. You may even want to ask a friend to critique you based on the tips you learned here. Remember that the perfect swing is impossible without the perfect setup—and the perfect setup begins with the perfect stance. Once you have mastered these tips, your next trip to the golf course is sure to be a memorable one.

 

Proper Golf Stance Position Video

 

Proper Golf Stance Infographic

Golf Stance
 

The Best Putting Tips that Will Help You Get More Birdies

Putting-tips

 

A very wise man once said, “You drive for show, you putt for dough.”  Sure, massive drives can thrill the gallery and make you feel, even briefly, like a golfing God, but it’s the golfers who are great at putting the ball in the hole that regularly cash the checks from the Tour.  Putting is a huge part of the game (and some would even say the easiest), but sadly, only a small percentage of golfers practice this skill with the same regularity as they do other shots. This is extremely unfortunate.

According to professional golf instructor Dave Pelz, “roughly 40 percents of a golfer’s shots during a typical round will be putts, and more than half of those will be short putts, approximately 6 feet from the cup and in.”  That’s a pretty big chunk of your game that can be improved upon, and a very meaningful statistic when you think about how many shots you could potentially save just by becoming somewhat more adept with the old flat stick.

To assist you with this, in the following article we have compiled a series of well-established tips designed to help you improve your all-important short game—tips that have proven successful with many golfers just like you.
 

On Reading Distance and Breaks in Your Putts

It is now a scientific fact that the majority of amateur golfers tends to under-read the break and distance on their putts—regardless of grip, setup or technique. In a study conducted by Golf Magazine involving 72 golfers, it was found that “65 percent of participants under-read the break on their putts and misjudged the overall distance on the short side.” Needless to say, this resulted in plenty of missed opportunities and a higher score.

Putting Tips

Experts suggest there are two things golfers can do to help properly read their putts:

  • Judge the distance and break from the side of the putt
  • Make several practice swings before actually hitting the ball

Judging the putt from the side—rather than from behind the ball or behind the hole—will give you a better appreciation of the overall putt length.  Once you look at the putt from this angle while judging the distance, you can return to the ball and make a more confident swing.

Making practice swings—with the same club speed you intend to use when actually hitting the ball—can help you transfer the information in your brain to your arms and hands. When making these practice swings, stand to the side of the ball with the club face facing the hole.
 

Grip

Grasping the club too tightly when putting can negatively impact the shot. Instead, try to grip the putter lightly. By “lightly,” we suggest you apply just enough pressure to prevent any slippage of the hands. Regardless of the grip style you use, experts say that the proper grip pressure is the “key to a consistent putting stroke.”

Putting Tips
 

Address

When addressing the ball prior to striking the putt, stand at a comfortable distance from the ball with your knees slightly flexed. Your arms should be able to hang comfortably with the putter directly behind the ball. This will help relieve tension in your arms and upper body and lead to a more consistent putting style. At address, your eyes should be directly over the ball. A perfect setup is one in which your eyes are directly over your line of putt. This will help avoid any distortion in your viewpoint while attempting to aim. To ensure you are set up correctly, you can drop a second ball from your lead eye—the eye closest to the hole. If your setup is perfect, the second golf ball will land directly on top of the first.

Putting Tips
 

Rhythm and Tempo

Once you have judged the distance, taken your grip and properly addressed the ball prior to the putt, you are ready to take your shot. To do this, swing the putter back then forward through the ball by slightly turning your shoulders. Remember, rhythm and tempo should be your primary aim here. This will also help with matching the back and through stroke. Maintain a consistent tempo for all of your putts, regardless of the distance. Whether you have a long putt or a short putt, the same rhythm and tempo should be applied, although the stroke itself will be shortened or lengthened depending on the distance. This will cause the putter to cover more or less distance in the same amount of time, thus enabling you to control the pace of the putter as it makes contact with the ball
 

Practicing Short Putts

As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. And if you want to be a great putter you will need to spend a lot of time practicing the art. In fact, for every hour you spend on the driving range, you should probably practice at least two hours on the putting green—given the fact that 40 percent of your shots on the course will come on that surface.

Putting Tips

When practicing shorter putts, those within about 6 feet of the hole, any of today’s top golf instructors suggest that you spend a little time employing the “don’t look and listen drill.” Here is how it is done:

Place 3-5 golf balls on the ground, approximately 4-6 feet from the hole. Next, go through all of your normal preparations, including reading the putt, addressing the ball, and making your practice swings. Once you are setup and ready to putt, look down at the ball, and keep your head and eyes still and in place while making the putt. Do not look up or look at the hole until after you are certain the ball has stopped rolling. Of course, if you make the putt, you will be able to hear the ball hit the bottom of the cup, otherwise known as the “best sound in golf.” So why should you spend some time on the “don’t look and listen drill?” Actually, this will help your putting game in three ways, including:

  • Steadiness.. This drill will teach you to stay steady over short putts, while also improving your rhythm and tempo.
  • Visualization.. Looking down at the ball throughout the putt, rather than jerking your head up to see the roll, will help you to better visualize the distance and the break.
  • Trust.. By looking down at the ball throughout the putt you can learn to trust your swing, rhythm and tempo, ultimately making you a more confident putter.

Practicing Long Putts

Practicing long putts, especially very long putts, is a great way to shave strokes from your score—and a great way to eliminate the dreaded “three-putt” that plagues so many amateur and weekend golfers. For this drill you are actually going to reverse what you did on the short putt drill. Here are the specifics:

On the practice green (or on an actual green), pick a spot about 25 feet from the hole, and drop 3-5 balls down onto the green. Again, you will want to go through all your normal preparations—read the putt, take your grip and practice swings, and setup to the ball in a comfortable position, with your knees slightly flexed.

Putting Tips

Once you have addressed the ball, look up at the target while you make a confident stroke, looking only at the target and not the ball. Do this with all the balls you have dropped to the green. This “look at the target” drill will enable you to focus on two very important things, including:

  • Trusting Your Mechanics. When you look at the target instead of the ball, you are forced to trust your mechanics and the rhythm and tempo of the shot.

  • Correctly Judge Distance. Looking at the target, instead of the ball, will give you a better idea regarding the distance of the shot. This is especially true after hitting a few balls in succession. The more you practice this drill, the better you will become at reading both the distance and break of your long putts.

 

Read Putts like a Clock

According to Mike Shannon, a golf instructor at the Sea Island Golf Performance Center in Georgia, reading putts like a clock will help you “simplify your reads and visualize where the ball will enter the cup.

When you approach the green with putter in hand, try to picture a clock on top of the hole, with six o’clock pointing directly towards your ball. Then, as you assess the line of the putt, try to imagine exactly where on the clock your putt will roll over and fall into the cup.

Putting Tips

Now simply react to the position on the dial. For example, if you see the ball falling into the cup at five o’clock, try to address and setup in such a way that you are focusing on that particular edge of the cup. Once you have done this, you can smoothly and confidently enable that line to guide your stroke. If your mind’s eye sees the putt entering at seven or eight o’clock, do the very same preparations while focusing on that part of the clock’s dial.

Once you have determined, in your mind’s eye, the entry point of the putt, you can allow your instincts to take over and confidently putt using the read you have determined.

 

Best Putting Tips Video

 

Final Words

By following all of these tips—tips that help you with your grip, stance, rhythm, tempo, and your confidence in judging the read and break of your putts—continue to practice these drills regularly on the putting green. Chances are that in no time at all you will be impressing your regular foursome with your newfound putting ability.
 

Best Putting Tips Infographic

Putting Tips
 

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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