Golf Swing Tips: Part 6

Published 11/09/2009 12:40:00

In this sixth part of our Golf Swing Tips series, we discuss more ways to help improve your golf swing and break into the low numbers. Part five of this guide is available here.


Start downswing from the ground up

A common mistake amongst amateur golfers is to try and start your downswing with their hands, shoulders or upper body. This will most likely result in sliced or pulled shots.

To address this, try and think about starting your downswing from the ground up. Make that focus on transferring your weight to your left foot with a little nudge to the left through your hips and left knee, and then uncoiling your left hip in advance of your shoulders.

This sequence will automatically bring your arms and hands along, and therefore get you in to a good position at point of impact.


Stick to your natural tempo

Everybody has a different tempo, one that is inherent to them, and one that they should stick to. Look at Ernie Els - the "big easy", and compare him with Ian Woosnam. Both were accomplished golfers but with very different swing tempos.


Nail your right side

Clearing the right side out of the way on your backswing permits a full shoulder turn.


Straight left arm can cause problems

"I think there is often too much emphasis placed on the left arm being kept straight through impact" says Nick Faldo.

This tends to produce an action where the arms stay fairly firm and the wrists release with a kind of throwing action through impact which closes the clubface."


Dominant hand controls the takeaway

Many golfers like to control their takeaway and backswing with their left arm. Seve Ballesteros, on the other hand, has always maintained that you should use your dominant side to start the backswing, so he takes the club away from the ball with his right arm and hand.


Hit hard from the start

In Power Golf, Ben Hogan provides this tip: "My advice to the beginning golfer is to go ahead and hit the ball as hard as he can right from the start. He will be wild for a time. That's only natural. Later on he can straighten out his hooks and slices with minor alterations to his swing. But if he doesn't learn to hit the ball hard right at the start, he will never be able to get distance without a major overhauling because his speed and timing setup will be for something less than his full power."


Give your swing a trigger

Freezing over the ball is a major problem for many amateur golfers. It is a good idea to have a swing trigger that will automatically start your backswing.

Gary Player and Same Snead both started their backswing with a slight forward press of the hands toward the target before rebounding into their takeaway.


Lighten grip pressure to improve swing

If your grip is tight at address, it will become even tighter during the swing itself. Try to grip as if you were holding a couple of eggs - you don't want to grip too tightly or you'll break them.


Turn off your conscious mind during the swing

In Training a Tiger, Earl Woods says: "Trouble occurs when the conscious mind is activated during the swing. The conscious mind should be active only during the preshot routine and the analysis of factors that will affect the shot."


Check your grip after every shot

Your grip can become loose in the downswing if you approach it too over-enthusiastically. In most cases, the left thumb comes away from the palm of the right hand, creating a gap. If this happens, it's very difficult to restore your neurtal grip and there's every chance that the clubface will be out of position at impact.

The cure is to focus on making a full backswing and then progressively accelerate the clubhead to the fastest poiont of the swing - just after impact.


Imagine swinging in a barrel

If you imagine you're inside a barrel, this will stop you swaying too much on your swing. If you do, the barrel will fall and you will lose balance. You don't need much room to create a "whipping" action with your hips - that is what generate clubhead speed and thus power.

The other parts of this guide are also available:



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