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There are a ton of ways to develop your technique when it comes to golf. However, if you don’t first learn how to swing a golf club properly, you could develop some bad habits very quickly. So, before you go and mess up your whole technique, it’s best to get down to basics.
While the basic movements are relatively the same when it comes to playing golf, each club is different. You’re not going to want to swing a putter the same way you would a driver.
How to Swing a Golf Club
Learning how to swing a golf club is an essential step in developing your technique. While everyone has their style for playing the game, the core movements are all relatively the same. And regardless of the club you are using, your stance and hand placement will be very similar.
One of the fundamentals of the technique is how to hold and grip your club. The right grip will not only improve your strike but also make you more consistent.
When you grab your club, make sure that your left hand is at the top, allowing about half an inch of the club to poke out of the top of your grip. Next, you’ll want to point your left thumb down and place your right hand on top. It also helps to interlock your left index and right picky fingers.
Your grip shouldn’t be too firm or too light, but right in the middle to properly control your club. You can use this grip for all clubs. However, some do require you to choke up or down on the shaft.
When you are first starting, don’t worry about how perfect your form is. Instead, focus on actually making contact with the ball. As you practice, you can adjust your style correctly, which will significantly affect your stroke.
Take a stance
Your stance will be something that dramatically affects how well you hit your ball. However, your position will be unique to you, and you’ll develop that as you practice. But the basics of the stance is where you’ll want to start.
Oh, and your stance will change depending on which club you are using. But we’ll get to that in a moment.
In general, you’ll want to be in an almost seated position, especially with a driver. Bend your legs, hunch slightly over the ball, and sit back a bit. Keeping your balance is critical here as if you lose balance, your swing will reflect that.
With shorter clubs, you’ll want to sit back far less, and with a putter, you won’t want to sit back at all. It all depends on the club you are using.
How narrow or broad your stance is will also affect your stroke. You want your position narrow enough that you can still transfer your weight without moving your head, but wide enough to stabilize you throughout the swing. It can be confusing, but it’s something that you’ll have to develop on your own.
The stance that Tiger uses may not work out best for you. So, as you practice on the range, you can pay attention to how wide or narrow your legs are and adjust as you need.
Getting feedback on your stroke doesn’t particularly require another person behind you, telling you what you need to do. The best way to learn how to swing a golf club is on your own. Every time you hit the ball, you can feel where your club hits and where the ball goes, and there’s your feedback.
Also, you can feel where your arms are and whether or not you are following through, as well.
After you swing, and assuming you hit the ball, take a look at where the ball is flying and then take a look at your posture. Freeze your body and think about where your limbs are and where they were throughout your stroke. If your ball went to the left, you might have to redistribute your weight to the right.
Of course, it may help to have someone behind you for good measure, especially if you are very inexperienced. They can help decipher all of this feedback for you and make sense of it all.
The great thing about understanding this feedback is that you can use it forever. You will always be working on your form and technique throughout your golf career. Just because you’re good, doesn’t mean you can’t get even better.
The reason we haven’t gotten around to explaining how to swing a golf club is that every single club is different. There are even slight differences within the same clubs of various sizes.
To learn how to swing a golf club, you have to go through all the types of clubs, even the putter. Only then will you truly understand the technique and begin working on your own.
Driver, I barely know her
You first start by setting up your stance and your shot. Walk up to the tee, place your club directly behind the ball, and take your stance.
Staying loose is the name of the game here. If you are too rigid, you won’t be able to follow through with your stroke accurately.
Move the club back using your hands, arms, and shoulders together. Don’t just use your hands, as it will throw off your aim. Turn your shoulders with your upper body as you raise the club.
Your backswing is what will make or break your stroke. Keeping your eyes on your ball and your arms straight, bring your club up and behind your shoulders. You’ll know that your backswing is complete when you can see the clubhead out the corner of your eye over your shoulder.
Now comes the actual swing. As you bring the club down the same path you brought it up, bring your right elbow close to your body to make sure the club stays on the right path. Don’t hesitate from here on out; otherwise, your stroke won’t be as accurate.
This is where following through comes into play. As you’re about to hit the ball, you don’t want the movement of your body to stop. Continue its natural movements, even past hitting the ball.
Swinging the club out to the ball from the inside will allow an easy and repeatable draw — one that you can redo over and over again.
As your ball goes flying, hopefully in the direction you want, your arms and body should keep moving. You should transfer your weight to your front leg, and your arms and club should swing behind you again.
And there you go, that’s how to hit with a driver. But it doesn’t end there. Luckily, it only gets easier from here.
Would you like to hit a wood?
Many golfers use a 3-wood when they have a long shot from the fairway, over a driver. A good swing can give you greater accuracy off the tee than a driver can. And since you’ll be using one a lot throughout your game, it’s important when learning how to swing a golf club.
As usual, you start with your stance, though it’s not going to be as wide as the stance with your driver. You should focus on staying relaxed, without any tension in your arms, legs, or hands.
You start with your backswing the same as you would with a driver. However, during your downswing, you’ll want to be much tighter, as it is a lighter club and more prone to tilting.
Unlike with a driver, you’ll want to hold back your power slightly with a wood. This will give you better control and even 20 to 30 extra yards.
Allow your momentum to fully extend your right arm as you follow through with the stroke. Your club should come up and around your body, like the driver, for a balanced finish.
While hybrids are far easier to hit than some irons, even these take some getting used to. Since it is a combination of a wood and an iron, you’ll want to treat it as such. These are fairly new, but still important when learning how to swing a golf club.
First, the placement of your club to the ball will be different here. You’ll want to place the toe of your hybrid against your left heel, with the face pointing toward your body. The ball should be opposite the hosel.
Your stance will also be much more narrow than others here, as it makes delivering your blow far easier. Since these clubs are much longer, you will want a smooth swing throughout and not a whole lot of power behind it.
The basic movements are the same as the driver or wood, just not with as much power as either. You’ll want your swing to be more natural, allowing the club to be the driving force, instead.
It’s all in the wrist
Irons won’t have you raising the club nearly as much as you would with the wood or driver or even the hybrid. These work mostly in your wrist. You’ll also want to hunch over a bit more for these.
Irons are essential when learning how to swing a golf club.
Once you have your stance, you can begin to take your club away from the ball. You’ll want to stop your club once it’s about parallel with your shoulders. Don’t bring it back as far as you would the driver or wood.
Allow your wrists to bend more than your elbows or shoulders here, as that’s where your power will come from. As you bring the club down, allow your wrists to lead the swing, followed by your arms and shoulders.
Of course, as with every stroke, it’s essential to follow through and distribute your weight accordingly. Finish off with the correct balance, and you’ve got yourself a good swing. Watch this video on The Scene.
Wedges should be even smoother than the standard iron. Of course, it all depends on where you are trying to hit the ball. A sand wedge will require a bit more power, but the same smooth form. To get a shot over a bunker, you’ll need to release the strength and focus on committing to your swing smoothly.
He touched the putt
Putting is the gentlest of all the strokes, but also the one you need to get right. A golfer who is terrible at putting is no golfer at all.
The stance here is rather simple and involves you hunching slightly over your club with it sticking out away from you slightly. Line up your feet with the ball and your shoulders with the direction you want the ball to go.
Everyone has a different putting style, but in general, putting is relatively straightforward, and it’s all in the wrist.
To putt properly, you’ll have to gauge how far your ball is from the hole and apply the correct power. You won’t want to bring your club up very far from the ground at all. Instead, apply pressure with your wrists while you are bringing the club forward to hit the ball.
Now, applying too much power will result in your club tilting and your ball flying in the wrong direction. You need to keep steady and focused on where you want the ball to go. Once you hit the ball, don’t stop, follow through as usual.
Putting is something that you will develop more on your own, as it will vary depending on the distance you are.
Ready For Pro-Am
Learning how to swing a golf club is going to be something you’ll learn as you play. However, it doesn’t hurt to understand the basics of the swing. Just know that the best way to learn is by practicing on your own and paying attention to your body, the club, and where the ball is going.
The driving range is going to be your best friend for a long while, as you work to develop your technique. So be patient and work hard; you’ll get there.
How good is your technique? Which club do you feel the most or least comfortable with?