Beginner Golf Swing Basics – Improve Your Consistency On The Course
One great thing about the game of golf is that it is essentially a game built on equal terms. No matter what your shape or size is, whether you are short or tall, stronger or not, there is always a club in the bag that can even up the playing field with your opponents. I have come up with some beginner golf swing basics that if followed and practiced properly, will have you improving your consistency greatly and ultimately having more fun!
Before we get right into the swing portion there are some very important steps needed first to help you achieve that great swing. The way you set up directly affects the way you swing and proper impact on the ball is vital.
It all starts here. Without a proper grip you are setting yourself up for less success on the course. A lot of beginners will use a style where hands are apart, almost like holding a baseball bat. This allows the club to twist around with limited support and when the club head impacts the ball it may be pointing at a bad angle, thus affecting where your shot goes considerably.
There are many types of grip styles out there and it’s important to find one you’re comfortable with. Practice different ways of holding the club and see what works for you. The important thing is to find a way to lock both hands together.
I personally use an interlocking grip where you lock your pointer finger on your top hand between your pinky and ring finger on the lower hand. This keeps both hands securely together, both thumbs should be pointing straight down on the shaft of the club. Now you know when everything is straight and in line with your club face.
The importance of where you are aiming your ball is critical. Take a look at your target from directly behind your ball, step back a bit. Sometimes it’s a completely different perspective compared to standing over your ball ready to swing. Angle your body accordingly.
When you are ready, step up to your ball and keep your top hand on your club to get your standing distance from the ball. Place the club head down near the back of the ball where it feels comfortable and add the other hand on the club. You don’t want to be reaching, just extended arms that hang comfortably down.
Knees should be slightly bent and make sure you can see your shoulder alignment is square on both sides out of the corner of your eyes. Hips will be set back and your upper body angled forward facing the ball.
Your stance is basically the way your feet are placed on the ground in relation to the ball. There are many ways to adjust your foot placement depending on the type of shot you are trying to take but we are going to focus on the basics and the most common starting point for beginners.
Generally you want your feet about shoulder length apart to start with for most clubs. You can narrow your stance slightly for shorter length clubs or go slightly wider than shoulders for a long club like your driver. Your toes should be perpendicular to your target line for the back foot and slightly turned towards your target on the front foot, about 20 degrees. Keep your weight distribution equal on both feet.
The ball should be in the middle of your stance for most clubs and move slightly forward in your stance as the length of your club gets longer. For example, your driver is your longest club in your bag and ideally on tee off I like to have it lined up with my heel on my front foot if you’re drawing an imaginary line towards the ball. The shorter clubs like my wedges, 9 iron, 7 iron, I would play in the middle of my stance.
At last, we are ready to talk about beginner golf swing basics that will get you hitting that ball straighter and further. You can see by now how the previous fundamentals go hand in hand with achieving that proper swing. Your swing can be broken down into 3 parts or sections:
Upon takeaway of your club it is very important to keep your arms close to your body. For right handed golfers, (opposite for lefties) you want to keep your right arm close and bring the club back and around you while transferring your weight over to that back right foot. The club will be rising at a 90 degree angle to the ground. Club, hands, arms, and body all turning together as one, using your core as you turn your upper body.
Remember, you don’t have to feel that this needs to be done super quick, even when you’re on the course. Every golfer’s swing is going to be a bit different. It’s quite fine to gradually and slowly start moving your club away properly while keeping good posture, until you reach the top of your backswing.
The downswing happens quite quickly. You are at the top of your backswing and now it’s time to power through the ball. There is not a lot of time to think at this point but you really want to make sure that you swing the club down into the ball from the inside as you impact the ball. Your club face will square up and hit the back of the ball.
Lead with hip rotation as you start on your downswing, keep those arms close to the body on that proper swing plane you had in your takeaway. Head down and eye on the ball. If you lift your head up, you’ve now changed your alignment and your proper plane and it will affect your swing.
Let the club do the work, the loft angles of the clubs will lift the ball as you strike the back of it, don’t try to lift up on the ball. As you swing think about building speed as you move towards the ball. It’s not the kind of swing where you swing as hard as you can right from the start.
Follow Through & Finish
The importance of follow through after the ball is impacted is crucial. Continue your momentum through the ball, arms fully extend, hip rotates as weight transfers to your front foot and your back foot is on its toes. You are now looking at your ball flying towards the target. Your shot is now complete.
So there you have it! Some great fundamentals to go by here. I truly believe that if you follow along with these steps you will be well on your way to a greatly improved game.
Playing great golf requires practice and repetition of the right habits. Sure, it’s going to feel a little robotic at first and lots of thinking through things, but after time it just becomes normal, your muscle memory develops and you just start doing these things naturally. You will be rewarded and proud of yourself for putting in the time and effort.
So go hit that driving range and start your journey to happiness on the course. If you get a little frustrated turn on your TV and watch every pro golfer miss-hit some shots on a regular basis. It is truly a very humbling game.
Go out there and have fun! Making a few great shots in a round of golf is very rewarding and will keep you coming back for more. Wishing you great success!