[Complete Step-By-Step Guide]
A golfer is only as good as their swing – to excel at the sport, the first thing players have to learn is how to swing a golf club properly. No one is born knowing the mechanics behind an effective golf swing, and every golfer knows that the process of perfecting your swing can be challenging.
However, you don’t have to deal with this on your own – In fact, we’ve done the research for you and have compiled everything into a step-by-step guide on how to swing a golf club. So sit back and focus on learning the perfect swing technique. In this article, we’re taking you back to the basics and breaking down every step of the process in detail, all the way from ball positioning to the follow through.
Before targeting the golf swing itself, it’s important to tackle the pre-swing. This includes everything from ball positioning to the proper golf stance and is essential when preparing for an effective golf swing.
First let’s focus on ball position, which refers to where the ball lies between your feet. This is especially important since golf clubs are not equal in length – the position of the ball changes along with the swing. There are different considerations for the different clubs used, but always remember to start with your feet approximately shoulders width apart.
When it comes to long irons, adjust the ball approximately 1-2 inches further back in your stance. We recommend playing long irons with the golf ball positioned in the center front of your stance. By positioning the ball too far forward in your stance it can negatively affect the outcome of your shot. Typically, it will result in hitting the ball past the ideal point of impact, which then results in a topped shot or a two-groover.
People can be quick to blame their golf clubs when their round isn’t going well. However, the solution can be as simple as revisiting your grip. Here are the key steps you should follow if you want to learn how to grip your golf club properly.
- Grab the shaft at the top of the grip of the golf club with your right hand and hold it at a 45-degree angle.
- Wrap the pinkie, ring, and middle fingers of your left hand around the grip.
- Roll the pointer finger and thumb of your left hand over the grip.
- Move your right hand on the club, making sure that your right pinky finger goes over the left pointer finger.
- The palm of your right hand should be placed over your left thumb and the pointer finger of your right hand should be wrapped around the grip.
- Move your right thumb to the left side of the grip so that it faces up the club.
Proper grip is essential to a golf swing because it allows you to hit the clubface squarely, which results in an accurate shot. It can also help with distance and greatly improve your short game!
This refers to how hard you should grip the club. While this is different based on the shot you’re taking, golf instructor Butch Harmon (who has famously worked with talent like Tiger Woods and Ricky Fowler) has stated that the perfect grip pressure is 5-7 on a scale of 10.
Holding onto the club too tightly can result in a number of problems. One such problem is taking away speed – tight gripping can lead to reduced speed, and as a result, this will compromise distance.
A really tight grip also doesn’t allow for a smooth swing. To avoid a stiff and mechanical swing, be sure to lighten your grip. However, this doesn’t mean that your grip should be too loose – after all, you need to maintain control.
MAMBA TIP: Want to determine the perfect grip pressure? Loosen your grip until the club is on the verge of falling out of your hands. Then, tighten it just enough so that you have control.
It’s important to note that alignment doesn’t end with aim. While aim is an important part of alignment, there’s much more to consider. Alignment is key to perfecting your golf swing and should be consistent if you want a lower handicap. In order to nail alignment, you need to pay attention to your shoulders, forearms, hips, and feet.
To ensure correct alignment, first pick spots on each forearm between your elbows and wrists. The line made by connecting the two points chosen then needs to be parallel to your hips and shoulders. This should be the same direction your feet are pointed towards.
REMEMBER – Perfect alignment does not include being tense – this disrupts the clean lines you are trying to create.
Stance and Posture
Proper posture makes for not only an easier swing, but also helps to prevent golf related injuries.
- When setting up to swing the golf club you want a shoulder width stance where your body feels stable. Your body weight should be equally divided 50/50 on each foot.
- Stand straight up and bend at the waist slightly. Allow your arms hang so they are straight down.
(It is important not to tense up here. You should feel relaxed.)
When it comes to golf, posture is very different from the way it is in other sports. Instead of bending at the knees, golfers should bend at the waist. Bending at the waist and keeping your back straight are both important when it comes to proper posture in golf.
Many amateur golfers tend to hunch over, which makes them more susceptible to injuries and affects their back swing.
Another thing to pay attention to is your arms. Make sure that your arms are loose and relaxed and hang straight down. Lifting or lowering your arms can put too much tension on your arms and affect your swing negatively.
How To Swing A Golf Club
The Golf Swing
Now that you’re familiar with the Pre-Swing, it’s time to start talking about how to swing a golf club.
When you’re just starting to learn how to swing a golf club, forget about the wrist. While this becomes important later, your focus at the beginning should be on your core, shoulders, and arms.
Make sure not to rush the backswing – a fast backswing isn’t going to help you. All you need to do is to get into position to start your downswing.
Pro golfer, Adam Scott, emphasized this, and said, “The slower I take it back, the better my rhythm gets, which automatically puts me where I need to be at every stage of my backswing. Plus, a slow takeaway gives you time to correct errors by the time you reach the top – which you can’t do if you snatch the club back.”
Therefore, you should remember to turn your shoulders instead of just swinging with your arms – your torso should twist while doing this. When the club is reaching your waist, focus on lifting it over your head until the shaft is parallel to the ground. This will keep you balanced and can result in increased distance and accuracy.
As you start your backswing, there are 3 major factors you want to focus on:
Rotate your chest and hip backwards
Hinge your wrist as you start pulling the club back
Bring the club back as far you feel comfortable
Keep in mind your body should remain in this cylinder where you should not be leaning too far forward or back.
Once you reach the top of your backswing, you need to start working on your downswing towards impact. This includes rotating your hips toward the golf ball and following this motion with your arms and torso.
The main objective when you start your downswing is to derive power from your body, not just your arms.
It is key to shift your hips slightly forward and unwind all the power by rotating your hips.
Also remember to transfer your weight to your front foot – it is all too common for beginners to forget this and let their weight shift in the opposite direction.
To prevent slicing, make sure to hit the ball from the inside instead of from the outside. Knowing where you’re hitting the ball is extremely helpful when learning how to swing a golf club.
Impact should be square to the club face. However, while this holds true for hybrids, irons, and wedges, there is an exception you should make for the driver – the driver should be hit on verge of the upswing.
Don’t make the cardinal mistake of hitting under the ball so that it flies up into the air. This does the opposite of what you want. If you want to get the ball in the air, bottom out your swing. Making contact with both, the ball and the ground will result in a straighter shot that flies further.
MAMBA TIP: When using a driver, hit up on the ball. When using hybrids, irons, and wedges, hit down on the ball.
After impact with the ball, it’s time to finish the swing. This seems easy since you’ve already hit the ball, but there are still a few things to consider.
You want to continue turning your hips so that your chest is facing the target and 90% of your weight has now transferred to your front foot. This is why it is so important to have a stable base at the setup part of the swing.
Your arms should fully extend finishing the circular swing motion with the arms ending up behind your head.
The ideal follow through position should look like your hands and your club resting on your front shoulders while the majority of your weight resides on your front foot.
Lastly, remember to keep your eye on the ball. This is extremely important when following through. You need to allow your head to turn towards your target, especially through the hitting zone. If you keep your head down, this will only limit your upper body from rotating. Watch the shot and finish strong on your front side.
MAMBA TIP: If your weight is balanced over your lead heel at the end of the swing, you’re golden.
This article contains a lot of small details on how to swing a golf club. It is important to note that it is these details that will help turn your golf swing from amateur to professional. Hopefully, you enjoyed this article and benefited from our tips. For more beginner-friendly golf lessons, check out our article on how to practice golf at home.