As big fans of golf tournaments, we could effortlessly see that Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, or Arnold Palmer always make a good swing, which is beautiful and greatly effective enough to help them win big championships.
But what is the secret behind those consistent swings, particularly under pressure of championship matches? Posture? Backswing with a strong grip? Swing Plane? Honestly, these factors are different from each player.
To help you learn how to properly swing a golf club like a pro, today I will show you step-by-step guide with suggested workouts for you to develop your swinging skills apart from answering some relevant questions in FAQ at the end.
I. How Hard to Swing a Golf Club?
There is a school of thought that the harder you swing, the better result you achieve when it comes to the question ‘How hard to swing a golf club?’. In fact, no exact number is used to set the standard for this question.
Instead of hitting the ball like a baseball bat, it would be much better to stay relaxed by creating perfect rhythm and balance to gaining faster clubhead speed. 75% – 80% of the maximum capability is what most pro golfers do to make a more consistent swing.
Jack Nicklaus stated that he has always used 80 percent while Tiger Woods swung at around 90 percent to take full control as well as ensure greater consistency. It seems like no professional player makes 100% of his physical effort.
Trying too hard will kill the ball that produces a destructive effect. The extra tension on the golf swing does not allow your clubhead to flow leading to the loss of distance and power smoothly.
To correctly understand how hard you should take, let’s watch the following video to see the perfect golf swing in slow motion.
II. How to Properly Swing a Golf Club?
So many people say that golf is a sport of agony and ecstasy that heavily depends on produced consistency. To do this, you must master tiniest things so let’s see how to swing a golf club by official standards correctly.
You are will take 3 important steps – taking up a correct stance, having a relaxed grip, and swinging your golf club.
1. Take Up a Correct Stance
- Place your feet a bit ahead of your ball. Make sure that you widen your stance, so your foot width is slightly wider than shoulders width
- Get close to your ball. The middle of your golf club face should touch the ball with straight but still relaxed arms
- Try to keep the alignment square. The imaginary line moving from the back to the front shoulder and foot should directly point at the target
- Stand with your weight evenly distributed. Move your knees a bit downwards from the ground up to keep your body as natural as possible
2. Have a Relaxed Grip
- Keep in mind that it must be relaxed to generate better distance and accuracy
- Try to hold it like a baseball bat. Curve your fingers over your club after positioning the left-hand underneath
- Bring the right hand to the club
- Slightly tighten the grip. While the right thumb is left-of-center, the left should be right-of-center
- Try to connect your fingers by overlapping them
- Interlock your right and left hands to achieve greater stability
No matter you go with a strong grip or a weak grip, always keep it natural and relaxed!
3. Swing Your Golf Club
Overall, this phase relates to doing backswing and downswing. Look at the diagram below while you are reading the step-by-step instructions.
- Move your hands straight back but still close to the leg. Your arms should be naturally straight. The shaft and the ground should nearly parallel once the clubhead gets hinged backward
- Make a wrist break when you make your arms and the ground parallel to each other. The club should form an angle of 90° with the left arm. Also, its ending will roughly point outside the ball
- Rotate the torso back further to make your clubhead move behind your hands when reaching the top of your backswing. At the end of this backswing, the front arm should slightly bend.
After doing a backswing, you will have to make a downswing right away.
- Before creating impact, the front arm should be locked again to make it straight. This is just like when you start the backswing
- Your weight needs shifting from the ball of the back foot to the front foot, and let the knees move towards the target. Bend the front knee, particularly when you hit a driver
Meanwhile, you should not forget these following tips to make a good swing:
- The shaft ought to lean towards your target at the moment of exerting an impact.
- Make use of your hips, apart from your hands, to put more energy in every shot
- Always keep eyes on the golf ball through the process to avoid mis-hitting it
- Take it easy! Never pummel the golf ball with 100% of your capability if you want to achieve much greater results for distance and speed
B. Keys to A Good Golf Swing
To be honest, contributing to a good golf swing requires many different factors instead of just hitting the ball and watching it fly away. Here are keys to a perfect swing.
1. With Tempo
Under pressure, the tempo is likely to change most that have an impact on the direction and distance of each shot. You might hear about it but what it is and how it works to help golf players do a perfect swing.
Regarding golf, the tempo is used to refer the ratio the amount of time you finish your backswing to the taken time you complete your downswing. No matter how quick or slow their swings are, the tempo of pro players is highly consistent resulting in consistent swings.
At the moment, 3:1 can be considered as the most efficient tempo in swinging a golf club. The reason why the scores of amateur golfers remarkably change is the inconsistency in tempo, not technique changes.
The 3:1 ratio is a magic number for even pros which allows you to follow a complex sequence as well as the transition from backswing to downswing like arms, torso, lower body, and so on.
2. The Right Techniques for Each Type of Clubs
Aside from the tempo, learning and applying wrong techniques will heavily affect your swings. With each type of golf club, your playing skills will change a bit to take advantage of it.
The first one is driver golf club. Take your golf ball and toss it in the air. Now, look at it to see how the direction change, especially when starting to fall. You will realize that your ball seems to stay in mid-air a bit before it drops.
A good flow will be added to the tee shots if you create the feeling of hovering when changing the direction from your backswing to your downswing. Be patient before taking your driver back as you do not need to hurry in finishing the backswing to do downswing.
When it comes to direction change, let your left heel come off the ground as you start your backswing, and plant it back before the downswing. This cue will help you gain greater consistency.
b) Hybrid Golf Club
Compared to other types of golf clubs, hybrid ones have more things to consider and practice if you want to take a perfect golf swing.
Hit the Ball Down
Different from others, you will need to hit the ball at impact aggressively. Of course, you do not have to make a divot when you swing your hybrid. However, you must feel or hear that your golf club suddenly bumps from the ground up at the hitting moment.
Hitting the ball down like this will strongly support you in getting a very good launch angle getting the ball into the air and maximizing the carried distance.
Do a Long Swing
You will suffer from the lack of time to get your shaft loaded up and violently hit your ball if you plant to make a short swing.
In this case, treat our hybrid as a driver by keeping a long swing and smooth tempo when hitting anything. Do not rush in swinging. Take your time and let your golf club do its job for you.
Adjust Your Ball in the Rough
The advantage of taking hybrids is that you can hit the ball even in the rough with ease. Nevertheless, the result will still make you upset in case you do not adjust the ball correctly.
In the rough, move your ball closer to the center of the stance but still in the slot so that you could hit it down at the back. Meanwhile, the long grass on a slope tends to slow everything down which might cause mis-hitting if your ball is placed in the slot towards the front foot.
Suddenly jerking irons up and away from your ball when you kick off your backswing is a big mistake killing consistency that needs correcting in case you desire to hit it straight and solid. As a driver, start the irons back without appreciating the effort.
Make sure that everything must be done smoothly. The grass must be quietly traced by your club before hinging it upwards. A drill to provide you with the feeling of smooth is handling a golf ball with another one behind your club. Start your swing by rolling the second one away.
Get the grip pressure softened, waggle your club a bit, and shift your whole weight between the feet. Once you feel you are ready to hit the ball, place your wedge behind the golf ball and make a move right away.
Remember that do not let the prepared rhythm convert into a disjointed and rigid swing. Stay light, get the tension out of your body to make a smooth and elegant swing like a pro. If you can do this, your hit will be much more improved.
Playing with a fairway wood demands more fineness and concentration to do a solid contact with your ball as well as avoid letting it.
- Place another club on the ground to create the direction for you to do your swing. Arrange your feet and your club to make a straight line which points at your target and does not forget to widen your feet a bit
- Put the ball on the ground. Ensure that it is in your stance
- When hitting, the ball should move your stance forwards and line up with your front heel
- Keep your arms and back extended and straight
- Flex both of your knees to handle the golf ball with your club
Also, there are 2 temptations regarding making swings with a fairway wood.
The first one is looking up and watch the ball immediately you made contact. Make your head follow the normal motion of the arms with your hips through the swing. If you properly swing the club, you will have no difficulty in seeing your ball fly. Keep practicing!
The second one is to do a harder swing than you need. Choose a landing spot which should be within the area of the fairy woods. Do it with tempo when it comes to the tee.
Try as much as you can to maintain the tempo consistently throughout your swings, and you can achieve better results with a fairway wood. Keep practicing with a tempo and make use of your strong desire to every swing to make it harder than what you did with a driver.
3. With Lag
Another factor that contributes to a successful swing is the lag – a hidden move which excellent hitters have. They turn a seemingly rhythmic and smooth movement into the impressive distance.
Lag is the result of the angle between your left forearm and the shaft in your downswing. In fact, the longer you can keep it, the better your lag will be.
a) How to Set Lag
Do not set an angle on your wrists during the backswing. Instead, you had better maintain it till a few final seconds before you hit the ball. Take your clubhead straight up to the sky at the top of your backswing, of course, with no angle on your wrists.
From here, as you can guess, the one and the only way to hit your golf ball are to form that angle. Yes, it is lag in your downswing. Try this drill, but you must not hit it. The point is you can set that angle to get the feeling of how it works.
If you have a chance to see the swing sequence of the best golfers, you might be surprised to realize how their body is bent by the shaft halfway during the downswing. Once the release the angle on their wrists, the whip and flex produce clubhead speed.
A common problem that amateurs often deal with – casting which means you let the lag go too early at the top of your backswing. Your shaft kicks at a wrong time leading to the release of power which is stored by the wrist angle.
You can practice by using an alignment stick and listen for the swoosh that will come after your impact!
c) Leave Your Club Behind
- From the inside, place your golf ball inside the left heel with your narrow stance
- Do a swing to the top and when you start your downswing, make the left foot move towards your target
Your body weight will get shifting towards your target while your club and hands are left behind to release power.
d) Separate Your Hands
In case you still find it difficult in keeping that angle, you can take split-handed swings. Place the left hand on your club, however, move the right halfway down your shaft. Once starting the downswing, try to maintain the right elbow close.
Aside from those above-mentioned deciding factors, I want you to know about 2 things which are not technical, but still important to your success.
a) Relax Your Tense Muscles
I know that it is seemingly impossible to ease the tension when it comes to major matches in comparison with practice time. Don’t worry! The important thing is you should know where the tension is staying and then try to relieve it.
One useful tip for you is to rate your swings by the tension level. This method is very effective in helping you detect any tension so that you can lower it in an easy way.
b) Make a Big Commitment to Your Shot
Trust me! You will never achieve a smooth motion consistently until you have a clear idea of what you want from the shot. The best players said that the images would tell the body how it should swing.
To get this, you must be sure that you pick a good target to make use of the visualization – a peaceful mind and make a swing freely. Getting yourself into a good swing routine forces you to overcome these obstacles. If not, you will never see your desired results.
III. How to Improve Your Golf Swing for Beginners
You will get confused if you are a complete novice at the golf swinging. So in this part, I will show you how to improve your golf swings.
A. Increase Your Golf Swing Speed
The first step you had better pay attention to is to increase your swing speed. Do you know that a lot of expert players reach an amazing speed of over 120 mph? So what is the secret behind?
1. 2 Key Positions
Well, I am sure that some of you will say because they swung very hard, but sorry, you are wrong. That physical effort causes a breakdown as well as reduce the swing speed. So, you should hold your club in these 2 positions if you want to increase the speed:
• At the top when you make a wrist hinge and shoulder turn
• Move it halfway down when you keep your to up and maintain the shaft and the target line parallel to each other. After that, rewind before going back to the top
These positions can give you proper stability and balance, particularly in the right leg. Even if you use an ordinary club, you still can swing it with faster speed.
2. Say Goodbye to Your Tension
Meanwhile, if you want your dream of beating the speed of 120mph into reality, you must learn how to get the tension away from your body to build up the speed for your clubhead. You can try a baseball exercise: swing your club horizontally with no golf ball.
This drill will make you control your club via swinging your hands and arms without tension with the reaction from your shoulders. Hence, you can feel a natural rotation of your forearms producing higher speed.
Likewise, make a relaxed but a bit more aggressive golf swing after widening your stance. Maintain your head to the right because of uncoiling your body. The clubhead still keeps gathering speed passing around your body by the moment the ball is reached.
B. Golf Swing Plane Drills
It is obvious that every time you swing your club, you are active in a circle, right? That circle shows up as the titled line as viewed down your target line from behind you. In a few words, the swing plane is a way that you think about the titled line.
You can imagine a big pane of glass coming with a hole at the center. Then, think that you are standing in the hole. When you swing your golf club, imagine that your club skims along that glass which represents your swing plane.
1. Correct Swing Plane
Swinging your golf club with a highly appropriate and consistent plane will help you hit the driver correctly. For a large number of players, a flatter plane is the best choice for a driver while a steep one will work for irons and fairway woods.
A flatter plane also gives you a longer swing so that you will have more time to accelerate impact improving distance and consistency. Thus, amateurs are strongly advised to apply this. So how check your swing plane?
Drill sticks could be utilized to get the swing on the right plane, of course, in your backswing.
- Prepare 2 drill sticks and call them stick A and B.
- Align A with the target inside the heel of your club.
- Push B into the ground. Remember to let B match your shaft angle
- Your clubhead and the stick must avoid crashing into each other (too far from the inside or outside)
Another method to check the swing plane is to place B through a grip in the club with A which is set up like the old way. Throughout your backswing, B must point at the target line.
I know that hitting your ball with these sticks is challenging but a good way to keep everything on point.
Let’s see the following video to have better understanding
2. The 15-minute Swing
This is a really simple exercise to get your body into the golf shape to swing more on the plane. A lot of people do not practice and play very much so that it is difficult to get into the right and elegant positions.
C. Left Handed
While most written materials are appropriate for right-handed golfers, what about the left-handed ones? If you left-handed players, remember to always keep your head down during the swing.
Most of the newbies, both right and left-handed, often make this mistake – they tend to lift their heads to see how the golf ball moves. So what you will need to care about as a left-handed golfer?
1. Completely Rotate Your Hips and Body
A very big mistake that most golfers are likely to make at least one time is not to rotate their body with your hips completely as they get through the golf ball. Left-handed players should rotate the upper to the right to gain the maximum possibility to power the swing.
Also, this must be led by your right hip with following hands. Honestly, this is the best way for you to gain a really solid hit.
2. Use Left Hand to Finish Your Swing
The key point is to let your right hand lead your swing and use the left to finish. The power from your dominant hand and side must drive through your golf ball jointly as it gets hit.
3. Finish Your Swing with the Full Follow
A very valuable tip for left-handed players – try to finish your swing with the full follows which will leave you on the balls of your feet. This technique is to protect yours from landing on the heels or flat-footed. In addition, you can get the ultimate power thanks to this way.
4. Manage the Course
After playing some shots, you will notice that most holes suddenly change from the left to the right side which is called dogleg holes. Want to deal with them? You must learn a new technique – draw shot.
This technique says that your golf ball ought to create a curve to move to the left or right heavily depending on whether you are a left-handed or right-handed player.
One rule you always need to recall – your body provides power, your hands use the power. The overuse of small muscles including hands and arms, your swings will effortlessly fall out of the consistency.
One-handed players will be more flexible, produce more power with greater consistency, and they can address the high backhand in comparison with two-handed golfers.
One-handed players will have to engage and rotate shoulders, torso, and hips (big muscles) to increase power as well as generate a great speed for your club.
- You should start an iron to make some 3-quarter swings with the right hand on your club only
- Concentrate on turning your hips and shoulders with your left hand behind the back
- Hit 5 – 10 golf balls
- Repeat the process with your left hand if you want
Mastering this skill requires you to practice a lot. Over time, you will feel that you are much better at controlling your club with improved body rotation.
E. How to Practice Golf Swing Without a Club?
Even you do not have any club by your side, you still develop your playing skills, especially increase your swing speed if you join some fitness training.
1. Strengthen your legs
Try to do half an hour on the treadmill by walking backward. Alternatively, you can make use of your stationary bike to strengthen your legs including tendons, calves, hamstrings and so on
2. Strengthen your shoulder muscles
Pretend that somebody is putting a pen between the 2 shoulders blades. Your responsibility is to pinch them together to keep that pen. You will like those blades seemingly touch each other. Do this exercise 3 – 4 times per day.
Additionally, you can get another exercise:
- Stand and rest your forehead on the wall with your arms out to sides forming a cross
- Get your palms pressed into the surface
- Pinch the shoulder blades for 6 seconds before turning around and repeat those steps, but with your back resting on the wall and the palms facing away
- In each direction, do this 4 – 5 times. Do not forget to keep your squeezed position for a few seconds
This fitness was designed to help you control the club with ease.
3. Improve Your Rotation
- Stand tall and set both arms in the goal-post position
- Cross the right foot behind the left, and then step to the side with the left foot
- Cross the right foot before the left before stepping again to the side with the left foot
- Keep doing this until you move around 10 – 20 yards left
- After that, reverse this exercise to the right side
- The upper body must face forward as much as you can
Wow! That is the fundamental knowledge about how to properly swing a golf club. Now, in this part, I will answer some frequently asked questions relating to golf swinging.
1. How to Swing a Golf Club Without Hurting Your Back?
As you need to rotate your body quite hard, to prevent back pain, you should:
- Keep your right knee bent and turn the left shoulder downward in your backswing
- Try to make a squat move with the lower body. As your butt and thigh muscles are great sources of power, this will promote the lateral motion to your left side regarding the downswing
- When creating impact, let your pelvis and hips do the rotational task by transferring your weight to the left leg
- Thrust the pelvis towards your target to let the core muscles and glute absorb stress coming from the weight of your body
In case, you have to play golf with a sore back, I strongly recommend you to:
- Find a certified golf pro to help you adjust this game
- Ask somebody to lift the clubs in and out of the cart
- Warm up the body. You can try side lunges, partial squats, overhead extensions, and moving your arms in a circle
- Do a few slow swings as practicing
- Reduce the swing length
- Stretch your body regularly
- Ice the back before any games
- Listen to the body and never push yourself too hard
2. How to Swing a Golf Club with a Bad Left Knee?
- Improve the hip’s range of motions
- Strengthen the core muscles including legs, arms, knees, shoulders. You had better hire a health expert to do the core training
The video below shows you how to avoid limit the knee pain
3. How to Swing a Golf Club with a Bunion?
When your big toes get injured, you had better:
- Try new shoes after your finished each round. Thus, bring several pairs with you
- Put on the same type of socks during the playing time
- Your shoes must offer your feet enough room. Likewise, the golf shoes must provide you with sufficient support to ensure that they will not stretch your feet
- Remember your arch type and specific foot you have to purchase the best product for them to prevent potential injuries
- In the wet weather, you ought to prepare a pair of waterproof shoes. Keep in mind that you need to dry them before you put them on again
- For improved performances and extra comfort, take moisture flicking and breathable shoes
4. How to Swing a Golf Club with a Large Chest?
For ladies with large breasts, you have 4 tips to correct this issue:
- Try proper clothes that fit your size
- Women with large breasts should change how your arms are placed. Try to hang the upper arms higher on your breasts before swings
- Turn the right toe out to form a 30° angle and slowly move your right heel a few inches far from your target
- Take longer clubs to extend the outward from the body
5. How to Swing a Golf Club with a Bad Hip?
A painful hip will certainly affect your performance because it is a major obstacle in rotating your body.
- Stop playing right away when your hip gets injured and have a consultation with your doctor as soon as possible
- Walk on the wet ground with extreme caution as it might put more stress on your back and hip joints
- Play with the good equipment only. Ensure the clubs are in perfect condition with appropriate weight and length
- Follow the right technique
- Warm up your muscles, especially around the hip before any games
- Do exercises on a regular basis to improve flexibility and balance
- Do golf swings within the limitation of the body and prevent the hip rotation
- After a hip replacement surgery, find special device to tee up and retrieve the golf ball without making squat moves
6. Can You Swing a Golf Club While Pregnant?
Getting pregnant does not mean that you have to stop everything. With the appropriate changes in the setup, you can stick to it until the deadline. Here are top 3 adjustments for ladies who are pregnant who love this sport:
- Move the non-target foot about 6 – 10 inches back for greater flexibility
- Bend your body toward more for arm movements
- Get a strong connection to the ground
7. How Many Calories Does Swinging a Golf Club Burn?
In general, you will burn about 281 calories per hour you do golf with 18 holes. To be more specific, you can get 15 calories away after each swing. A normal golf course often lasts 3 hours, so you can get around 1,124 calories burnt after a round.
8. How Many Muscles Does It Take to Swing a Golf Club?
There are 9 main muscles will work when you do a golf swing:
- Flexor pollicis longus
- Flexor digitorum profundus
- Flexor digiorum superficial
- Latissimus dorsi
- Chest muscle
- 3 external abdominal obliques
9. How Much Is Ceiling Height Needed to Swing a Golf Club?
If you plan to build a homemade golf simulator, I recommend you to create a space 10’ x 10’ with 8.5’ ceiling height as an absolute minimum.
10. How Can Graphite Shafts Improve Your Swing?
Graphite shafts are more lightweight leading to a better result for distance and speed as well. Meanwhile, they are good options for those who suffer from shoulder, arm, and hand problems.
We have finally reached the end! Hope that with the tips on how to properly swing a golf club, you are now confident to make an elegant and effective swing like top golfers you watched on TV.
If you have any questions or any useful tips to share, do not hesitate to leave a comment below. Do not forget to like and share article today with your friends! Thanks for your reading!