Golf Swing Tips: Part 1

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Published 05/09/2009 10:20:16
 

Ian Woosnam once described the golf swing as nothing more than two turns and a swish. By this, Woosnam meant that during the swing the upper body turns back and through the target while the hands and arms release the club through impact to send the ball flying towards the target. Unfortunately, many golfers are guilty of over-complicating and over-analysing the swing and, subsequently, lose their natural flair.

 

Stop bobbing your head

Although moving the head laterally from side to side during the swing can be a dangerous swing flaw, Jack Nicklaus believes that allowing the head to bob up and down is equally damaging.

An easy way to see if you lose your height during the swing is to hit some shots while a friend holds the grip end of a driver lightly on top of your head .

 

Flare your feet like Tiger for control

How you position your feet at address will affect how efficiently and effectively you turn on the backswing and through swing.

Tiger Woods likes to flare his right foot away from the target slightly to help him turn his hips without straining his knee or thigh. He flares his left foot toward the target slightly to prevent him from overturning his hips on the backswing, while giving him a little extra freedom in the downswing to rotate powerfully through the ball.

 

Let your left heel rise

Many amateurs mistakenly believe that keeping the left heel planted on the ground will enable them to make a more consistent swing. Unfortunately, this is not the case because a golfer will inevitably lose height and balance on the backswing.

 

Set wrists early, then turn to the top

Many golfers, such as Nick Faldo and Nick Price, work on what is known as "an early wrist set", whereby they expect their wrists to be fully hinged with the club on the correct plane by the time their hands reach waist height. From this point on, all they need to do to complete their backswing is complete the shoulder turn.

 

Rotate right forearm in takeaway

Focus on rotating your right forearm in the takeaway to keep the club in front of you for longer in the backswing. This will mean a less "handsy" swing and result in more power.

 

Hands over clubhead at 9 o'clock

To stop your swing becoming flat, create a swing checkpoint whereby your hands completely cover the clubhead at the 9 o'clock position when you're looking at the target. At this point, your club shaft is parallel to the ground.

 

Don't keep your head down

"One of the most misleading bits of advice in golf is the phrase 'keep your head down'." says Ernie Els in How to build a classic golf swing. "It really does make me want to cringe when I hear someone say this to their playing partner and I reckon it does ten times more harm than good.

"In my experience, when someone is told to keep their head down, they tend to bury their chin into their chest at address. From there, they can't possibly make a good turn in the backswing as there's no room for the left shoulder to turn into.

"Keeping your chin up gives your left shoulder power in your golf swing."

 

Remember - the clubhead strikes the ball

Golfers have a tendency to over-analyse. But you must never forget that it's not your shoulder pivot, your straight left arm, your bent right knee, your hips or even your hands, it's the clubhead that strikes the ball.

The key to a successful golf swing is getting the clubhead to strike the ball as fast and as flush as possible.

 

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