It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

It’s also hard to break bad habits on the golf course.

But so many weekend golfers do not have a proper golf swing, and it’s costing them big on the course. Consider this: if you’re able to remove one bad shot from each hole you play, your score for the round will decrease by 18.

So, what’s the best way to do that? Try reducing the flaws in your golf swing.

Avoid Simple Golf Swing Flaws

Many of the mistakes you’re making are so simple you might not even realize you’re doing them. The good news – this means they are easy to fix.

Here are five major flaws many recreational golfers have with their basic golf swing and solutions you should focus on to improve your golf swing mechanics.

1. Swinging Too Hard

It’s fine to channel your inner Happy Gilmore on an empty range – don’t worry, even the pros do it. But don’t bring it onto the course.

The harder or faster your swing, the greater your chance of developing a slice, hook, or even missing the ball altogether. Keep in mind, most of your power comes from the added torque your wrists provide during your downswing, not the speed at which you swing your club.

Next time you’re on the course, try swinging the club at 70% of your usual speed. You’ll probably notice increased accuracy with comparable distance.

2. Too Much Sway in Your Hips

You need to have a little side-to-side motion in your swing. But many amateur golfers act like they are getting ready to hit a fastball and sway or rock their hips like they are taking a baseball swing. As a result, you are more likely to come down way behind the ball because your body hasn’t caught up with your hands. All that accomplishes is a big divot that sails farther than the ball.

To solve this problem, focus first on just weight transfer – no side-to-side movement. You may temporarily lose distance, but once you are consistently making this shot, you can begin to reintroduce a slight turn of your hips during your downswing.

3. Pulling Your Head Up

Weekend golfers always seem to be so concerned about keeping their eyes on the ball that they want to watch every moment of its flight path. Unfortunately, this can cause your body to pop up early during your downswing or follow through, which increases your risk of topping your ball and sending a dribbler 50 yards down the fairway.

Keep your head down through your follow through and allow it to come up at the last possible second. You’ll still be able to find your ball in the sky, and if you can’t, at least one other member of your foursome will have eyes on it.

4. The Wrong Grip

Why do some golfers grip their clubs like someone is going to come and snatch it out of their hands in the middle of their swing? A golf grip that’s too tight is less forgiving on an errant shot and can even cause prolonged wrist injuries.

Another major problem of which recreational golfers are often guilty is keeping their grip open, which will also naturally open the face of the club. This problem allows the club head to strike the ball at an angle, sending it off target or creating unwanted spin.

The best way to fix this flaw is to focus on swinging with a proper grip, in which both thumbs form a straight line down the club shaft.

5. Falling Out of the Shot

This problem in your follow through is probably the biggest hindrance on your distance. There are some recreational golfers that think leaning back from the moment they strike the ball and keeping their weigh on their back foot will add height and distance to their iron shots. In actuality, this prevents your body from transferring weight and reduces power to your shot. You could also cause the club to shift in your downswing and mishit the ball.

The solution here is to focus on all of the elements in your follow through, especially shifting your weight from your back foot to your front foot. It might feel weird at first if you’ve gotten used to falling out of your shot, but it will do wonders for your golf game.

Concentrate on Your Golf Swing Basics

Practice makes perfect.

If you’ve gotten in the habit of making these common golf swing flaws, it’s going to take some time to fix your shot. But with some patience, a few buckets of balls, and dedication to your golf swing basics, you can improve your game and develop a proper golf swing that will be the envy of the clubhouse.

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