The swing is the most important element of a game of golf. Hitting amazing drives, getting up and down from a bunker, chipping in from just off the green; all of these golf shots proceed from a smooth, properly executed swing. While you might never be able to achieve the 300 yard drives of a professional, achieving a ‘perfect’ golf swing is well within the realm of the attainable for every golfer.
How to perfect your golf swing
- Grip: How you hold the club, whether driver, wedge or putter, is all important. All other things being equal, a club that is not gripped properly will not strike the ball squarely. There are two basic grips, the overlapping and the baseball grip. Which you chose is a matter of personal preference and comfort. While the overlapping grip is steadier; with the little finger of the trailing hand (right hand if you’re right-handed) between the index and second finger of the lead (left) hand, and the thumb of the lead hand under the fleshy part of the thumb of the trailing hand; it is difficult for some people. The baseball grip, where the hands abut, but do not overlap, is not as firm a grip, but is nonetheless serviceable.
- Stance and Posture: Second to grip is your stance or posture. If you are not balanced, you will have a distorted swing plane, and the club face will be off line. The best balance is achieved by standing with feet about shoulder width apart, toes pointing slightly outward, and bent slightly at the knees. For greater distance, spread the feet a bit more than shoulder width; for shorter shots, a little less.
- Backswing: Begin the backswing by bringing the club back on a straight line, along the desired swing plane, by pivoting at the waist, and keeping the arms straight. At the top of the backswing, the trailing arm should be slightly bent, and the elbows at about the level of your chin. You will hear many people say that you should keep your eyes on the ball. You will find that if you execute the backswing properly, the ball will appear to shift slightly to the left, not totally out of view, but at the edge of your vision.
- Downswing: The downswing begins with a shifting of your weight from the rear leg to the forward leg, and a pivoting movement of the hips. Allow the club to drop from its topmost position, along the same plane of the backswing. Resist the urge to ‘drag’ the club down with your arms, allowing the arms to simply rotate back to the address position instead.
- Follow through: Continue swinging the club, rotating hips and shoulders until the movement of your following shoulder lifts your head up and you have rotated your upper torso until it is facing along the target line. Most of your weight at this point should be on the lead foot.
It helps if you try to visualize your own perfect golf swing slow motion action. Better yet, ask a buddy to film your swing so you can study it later. Once you know what’s wrong you can begin your own series of perfect golf swing drills.
Working to get the perfect golf swing will help you get more out of the game, and will lower your score in the process. Get in the swing and enjoy the game!