The golf swing is probably one of the most formulated movement in all of sports. By that I mean there is a blueprint on how your swing should go to maximize power and effectiveness. Despite this, it’s still one of the hardest things to master when in comes to golf. I reckon it is because there are so many steps to fully getting it right, from your knees, to the arch on your back, to where your neck and head are pointed. There are so many mechanics that it gets troubling for folks new to golf.
On this post, I hope to give you guys some insight on how I’ve been improving my golf swing. This information is all free, though I’ve taken plenty of it from a few professional trainers I know. I want to introduce some advice I’ve learned that can improve your swing dramatically, as well as how to make your swing more consistent. That is actually what people tend to lack the most in golf. If every golfer could fix just one thing about their game, I would hope they chose “consistency” as that one thing because it is that much of an issue.
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Erasing some common mistakes
The first thing you should do if you want to get better is recognize your own mistakes. Make a video of yourself swinging a few times and then bring it home where you can analyze it. If you are truly determined to get better at the sport, you will take steps to reduce your shortcomings. This means watching yourself fail hundreds of times. Understand what you’re doing wrong, research on how exactly to fix that, and do it the next time you’re out.
Below are a few common mistakes I’ve been able to identify in newer golfers. These may or may not apply to you. If they don’t, great job. But you still need to analyze your own mistakes as there might be deeper ones that need to be addressed quickly.
Head of the club is steeper than the handle
When you are swinging, you need to be fluid yet in control.
Try not to chop at the ball, but rather swing, with rotation, at it
When the head of your club is steeper than the handle (ie. your swing kind of looks like you’re chopping at the ball), you are not being fluid, but rather stiff. Stiffness could really minimize your potential of hitting the ball far, so look out for this very common swinging mistake.
Lowering pivot point upon swing
I will try to illustrate as best I could through text. This mistake happens most often when you are on your backswing, hit the max point, then prepare to swing and hit the golf ball. At that point, you must keep your pivot point consistent. People always bring their hands down, which lowers the entire club and then messes up the natural motion of the swing.
If you wish to lower your frontswing, do so by angling the club a little, starting from the head and not the handle. It should be almost like the club is getting closer to your back. Your hands should not be lowered. When doing this, also remember to drop the head not only down, but a little away from you as well. This is so you can get more power and more control to hit the golf ball.
Best things to do for a more consistent golf swing
A lot of these are things you can do as a beginner. Most advanced golfers (I do not claim to be an advanced golfer, just one that loves the game so much!) already do these. But if you’re one of those people, just give it a quick read and see if you learn anything new. Worst case scenario, you reaffirm what you already know and remember to continue doing them in order to get better.
Improve your handle on the club
The first thing you need to look at is your grip on the club itself. Start small. Most people try to fix their swing without first looking at the fundamentals. Perhaps your grip on the club is already pretty good, but then again you could always improve it to get more control and power in each swing.
Ideally, the club rests where the base of your fingers are on your palm. It should be slightly more angled where the head of the club is closer to the tip of your index finger. Now, everyone’s grip will be different so I won’t dictate how you should hold it, but follow this general rule. The main takeaway from this is not to hold your golf club too far up your palm. You have less control this way, and thus a less consistent golf swing.
This is me practicing my swing at the local golf course
A better handle on the club also means stronger wrist movement. Here’s a good test to see if your grip needs improvement. Hold the club how you usually do and get into swinging position, but stay in your starting point with the head close to the ground. Try to move your wrists and cock the club head straight up. You can rotate the club while you do this to make it easier. If you can do it, with only the strength coming out of your wrists, your grip is excellent. However, if you struggle and start to use your forearms and elbows to bring the club up, your grip needs reworking.
Improve your posture
Yep, you better believe that to improve your golf swing for consistency, you need consistent body placements and movements. Those things are really the only things you control if you think about it. Your body and how you position it for a swing determines which way that swing goes. So correcting your posture and making sure it is the same every single time will go a long way toward consistency. It is why basketball players do so many drills with the same exact shot form. They don’t score unless they use the same techniques they’ve been practicing for years.
Start with standing straight up. Hold the club the way you usually do, with around a 10-degree drop from parallel, again taking note of your grip on the handle. Now, keep this form and slowly bend over with the club still on your waist, pointed the way it was before. Make sure your knees are bent slightly and softly and your back is straight.
Do not follow your target line while swinging
Another big problem to fix for a more consistent golf swing is following your target line while swinging. Before each swing, you are supposed to have a specific direction you want the ball to go. However, when you swing and start following that direction subconsciously, your power diminishes significantly. Swinging in golf is not as simply as following a target line from your shoulder to the ball to its destination. Your swing should not a straight-back and straight-through hit. Doing so inhibits the potential of your swing, not to mention few people in the world could consistently hit the ball with accuracy using such a swing.
What your swing should mimic, instead of being straight back and then straight forward, is a more rotational movement. Start from your target line on the ball, then rotate your hips to create a sort of narrow arc with the club head. This arc should be around your body. You’ll notice then that swings are not simple straight lines to get your ball to where you want it. It is more of a rotational movement and getting this consistently will improve your overall game.
Work on these common golf problems
Take heed of these common mistakes into your next golfing practice. Even if you don’t believe you suffer from them, keep them in mind when watching yourself swing. I sincerely hope I have revealed some important information for you guys. If you still need help with your swing, definitely drop a comment or email me. I’d be happy to answer all your golf-related questions!