Golf can be such a technical sport that often one can get caught up in details and ruin their swing.
Before we get into these, just remember never to make multiple changes to your swing at once. Just focus on one change at a time and don’t overcomplicate it. And don’t always expect immediate differences, it will always take practice to better your game.
Here are 5 practical tips to improve your golf swing.
Address and Stance
Often overlooked, the stance is one of the major building blocks of any golf swing. If your stance at address is bad, then you will always struggle to hit the shots that you want. Starting with your driver, you should place your ball just on the inside of your front foot. As you move down your set from your long irons to your wedges the ball should be placed further back until you get to the middle of your stance with your wedges. Doing this correctly will help you make the right kind of contact with each club; it will allow you to hit down on your shorter irons and wedges and hit up on your longer irons and woods. This is a concept that some beginner and intermediate golfers struggle to grasp: hit down on the ball with your irons, but hit up on it with your driver.
It’s important that you know the fundamentals of the stance. Your knees should be bent, and their line should be roughly parallel to the line of your shoulders. The line of your club face should also be parallel to your shoulders and knees. Bent knees and a proper body line will help you coil your muscles and then release for the maximum power. Having said this, stance is also about comfortability, so don’t force yourself into a position that doesn’t work for you.
Similar to stance, grip isn’t spoken about enough by amateurs trying to improve their game. The correct grip will lead to as little wrist movement as possible, which in turn will lead to better club face awareness and positioning at impact. If you’re not sure how this will help, basically it will eliminate issues you might have with a hook or a slice due to an open or closed face at impact. The correct grip is one that is neutral: your left hand’s knuckles should be pointing towards the target, and the line of both thumbs should point up to your right shoulder (if you’re right handed, and the opposite for a left hander). Furthermore, don’t grip the club with all your strength like you’re swinging an axe. Think of your club as a friend, hold it firmly but don’t squeeze it half to death. The video above will help you with this should you be struggling.
Use Those Hips
One thing that amateur golfers never do well is turn their hips. They often get caught up in throwing their hands at the ball to try and get more distance. This, without fail, leads to swinging over the top and slicing the ball. Turning your hips and driving them towards the target is by far the best way to improve your distance and ball striking. It helps you by leading to a shallower swing path, increasing your club head speed, and eliminating at least some of the error that comes from using your wrists too much. If you can improve your hip turn from the top of your downswing, your game will be improved tenfold and your control will be miles better.
A simple drill that you can do to get the feeling of proper hip turn, is to take a club (maybe a six iron) and place it across your chest from shoulder to shoulder. Then, stand, holding the club in place, in your normal position that you would address the golf ball in and turn until the shaft points to the outside of your back foot. From there, turn all the way as far as you can towards the target without standing up. This is the kind of turn you should be getting in your swing for more power and control.
Keep Your Arms Connected
If you’ve ever watched John Daly swing and seen him hit the ball a mile, DO NOT copy him. While his technique might work for him, he just so happens to be one of the most talented players ever to grace a golf course. Don’t let your elbow go flying around at the top of your back swing like he does, keep it tucked in to your body as much as you can. Often people don’t do this and it causes a complete lack of control of the golf club’s swing plane and may lead to a slice if you don’t have a natural ability to control the club face. It all begins in your back swing, so as you take the club back try and keep the line of your shaft in between your arms until the club is parallel. This will help you achieve that wide back swing that you see pros like Rory McIlroy so expertly perform, and will improve your swing consistency. Not to mention, the wider arc will create longer levers and allow you to swing the club faster with less accuracy loss.
As with anything in life, knowing the theory of the perfect swing is all well and good, but you have to go out and put the theory to practice. Get out to a driving range or your local golf club as often as you can and just work on each of these tips one at a time. Golf is like a relationship, the more effort you put in the more rewards you’ll get out of it, so just get out there and put some work in!