A good or bad golf swing can be one of the most rewarding and frustrating pieces of your game.
If just one aspect of your swing goes awry, your game could plummet as a result. Some of Tiger Woods’ struggles over the past half-decade have been attributed to changes or hitches in his swing.
While you may never find yourself playing on the PGA Tour, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a proper golf swing just like the professionals.
5 Steps to Help You Properly Swing a Golf Club
There are many little nuances that can impact your golf swing, but if you just focus on your fundamentals, you should have a respectable swing that delivers the desired results.
Follow these five steps to swing your golf club correctly.
1. Select Your Grip
There are a few different grip styles golfers tend to favor, but they all start out the same basic way. If you’re looking for a comfortable way to hold a golf club, try the standard grip that most golf pros are now teaching.
With your non-dominant hand, grip the club like you are shaking a hand. The shaft of the club should rest on the inside of the fingers, opposite the knuckles, and your thumb should be pointing at 1 o’clock (11 for lefties).
Place the pad of your bottom hand over the thumb of your top hand and mimic your top hand grip (shaft resting on the inside of the fingers and thumb pointing to 11 o’clock, or 1 o’clock for a left-handed player).
At this point, you can either interlock your bottom hand pinky underneath your top hand pointer finger, or you can let it rest above in the space between the pointer and middle fingers.
Don’t clutch the club as tightly as you can, your grip should be loose enough that the club can slightly move in your hands.
2. Keep a Consistent Stance
This is another area that’s up for debate. Some old school golf instructors still believe your golf stance should vary depending on the club you are swinging.
However, it’s becoming more popular to align the ball with your front foot and make adjustments from there. Former professional and current golf instructor Butch Harmon suggests keeping the ball a few inches behind your front foot and varying the width of your stance depending on your club selection – the bigger the club, the wider your stance. This tactic will help you drive your shoot upwards on your big woods and allow you to get underneath the ball with your irons.
Make sure your knees are bent and the face of your club can comfortably reach the middle of the ball without having to stretch your arms.
3. Control Your Backswing
Begin your golf swing by moving the club backwards to a position that’s eventually over your head, with the head of the club pointing in the direction of your shot.
Start the motion by shifting the weight from your front foot to your back foot while slightly turning your torso and shoulders backwards. Your front arm should stay straight, while your back arm and wrist slightly bend to keep the shaft of the club over your head. If your posture is correct, the club and your front arm should roughly be forming at 90-degree angle.
Be sure you keep your head down, so your body doesn’t pop up during this portion of the swing.
4. Shift Weight During Your Downswing
Your downswing begins with your hands moving back towards the ball, with the club still behind. As you get closer to the ball, begin to straighten out your arms and wrists so you are back in a straight line at the moment of contact. The motion of your wrists turning in your downswing creates additional torque which gives your shot more power and speed.
Shift your weight from your back foot to your front foot as you swing through the ball. Remember to keep your knees bent and head down.
5. Follow Through the Ball
After striking the ball, allow your torso to turn so your belt buckle is facing your target. The club will end up over your lead shoulder and your weight will be on your front foot with your back foot on its toes.
Once again, keep your head down through contact and only bring it up at the very end of your follow through. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to track your ball.
Put It All Together for a Proper Golf Swing
The best way to nail your proper golf swing is with practice.
Simply head to the range with a bucket of balls or just grab a club and practice in your living room during a TV commercial break. Regardless of your training method, if you put in the time and effort, you’ll notice results.