You think there’s ever a better time to learn golf or any other sport or activity? To be honest, we’ll always have at least a minimum of three reasons to postpone learning something new. And with activities like golf, it’s even more difficult sometimes. Because choosing the right equipment and learning golf swing mechanics are not easy tasks.
But both of these major concerns are addressed by our professional team at Tam O’Shanter Golf. Be it buying the best petite-size golf clubs for women or, as in this case, learning how to swing a golf club for beginners. We’ve got you covered!
Before we begin, let us bring to your attention that not everyone you see on the golf course has fully grasped the nitty-gritty of the golf swing technique. There are plenty of them still making mistakes and learning along the way. So there’s no reason why you can’t do the same as well, especially when you’ve understood the basics. And that’s where our expertise comes in!
- Complete Guide to Learning the Basics of Golf Swing (The Pre-Swing)
- Golf Swing Mechanics - How to Swing Your Golf Club the Right Way
- Most Useful Tips for Beginners to Perfect the Golf Swing
- Frequently Asked Questions
Complete Guide to Learning the Basics of Golf Swing (The Pre-Swing)
Do you know why your golf club grip is so important? Because it’s one of the most significant factors responsible for controlling the swing movement. When you have the right grip on your club, the way you strike the golf ball improves. In fact, it also makes ball striking more consistent.
At first, especially for beginners, the correct form of golf club grip tends to feel a bit uncomfortable. And that’s completely normal. At this point, remind yourself that grip is one of the most crucial aspects of your golf swing. So you can’t neglect or downplay its importance just because it feels uncomfortable.
Keep in mind that once you get used to it, the grip becomes second nature. So how do you go about getting it right in the first place?
Golf Club Grip Size
Naturally, every golf club out there features a rubberized grip. And needless to say, the thickness and size of these grips are not the same. A standard size, after all, isn’t always the most suitable choice for you. On that note, make sure you’re using a small grip if you have smaller hands or a large one if your hands are bigger.
Golf Grip Hand Positioning
This is the part where we tell you how to grip your golf club the right way...
The left hand (for a right-handed golfer) is placed at the top of your golf club. Leave a space of around half-inch of the club at the top.
Then point the left thumb of your grip hand downward and place your right hand over the left. At this point, you would be interlocking the right hand’s pinky and left hand’s index fingers.
Does this seem comfortable? Most likely not, right? And that’s completely normal. For beginners especially, this does seem a bit awkward. So you just have to get used to it.
The ultimate goal here is to avoid creating a grip that’s too tight as that often tends to affect mobility. Just keep it firm enough to secure your golf club while also making sure it doesn’t move during the swing.
When you grip the golf club too tight, it ends up jeopardizing control. Therefore, producing inconsistent strikes. So if your forearms are too tense, it means you have to let go a little to strike the perfect balance between too firm and too light. So relax those arms and grip your golf club softly.
And if this seems a bit too tricky or complicated to execute, then why not make the most of special molded grips. These are designed with markings on the grip for where to place your thumbs, fingers, or hands. Isn’t it amazing how there’s a solution, in the form of the most helpful golfing gear, to almost every problem!
Overlapping vs. Interlocking Golf Grip
Do you really have to interlock the fingers at the time of gripping your golf club? Meaning is it necessary or required to do so? Well, of course not. But that is the standard approach.
However, this doesn’t mean all professional golfers create an interlocked grip. This particular method is the most useful for those who want to form a highly solid grip and also enhance the swing.
Then there’s the overlapping grip. This technique involves joining your hands together. Place the index finger of your top hand between the ring and pinky finger of your bottom hand.
Now it’s time to correct your aim.
So do you need to aim your body toward the target? No, you don’t. And not many beginners and amateur golfers know this. They think you have to do that. But it’s wrong because what matters is aiming the clubface in the direction of the target and keeping the body parallelly left of that (if you’re a right-handed player of course).
Here is the breakdown of this process…
Take your position behind that golf ball. The ball should be between your body and target.
Find anything on the turf that travels along the line of your golf ball and target. Make that the secondary target. Now your secondary target is not more than a couple of feet ahead of the ball for easy aiming.
Set the clubface to point toward the secondary target. And then set up the body parallel to that. Imagine there’s an imaginary line drawn between the toes, which is infinitely extending in both the directions. So this line is supposed to run parallel to the target line. And so should the infinitely-extending, imaginary lines at your hips, forearms, and shoulders.
3. Stance and Posture
The next part of the process is getting your stance right. Start with keeping your feet shoulder-distance apart. Make sure you have a slight bend in the knees. Remember that your golf stance is not an athletic position, as in the game of baseball, basketball, and football. So the bending of the knees should be minimal. Instead, bend more at your waist.
This is where your posture comes into the picture. When bending at your waist, maintain a fairly straight back. Check this posture with the help of just about any golf club. Does the club touch your tailbone, between your shoulder blades, and head? If yes, then you’ve nailed it!
Moving on, now focus on your arm positioning of the stance. Bending at the waist doesn’t mean lifting or reaching the arms toward the golf club. Rather allow your arms to hang naturally straight down to grab the club.
And lastly, avoid sleeping on golf ball position since that often leads to some of the most common golf swing errors.
Golf Swing Mechanics - How to Swing Your Golf Club the Right Way
Smooth, natural, and continuous - the three things that beginners in the sport of golf struggle to achieve with regards to their golf swing. Agreed that the process is complicated. Learning how to swing seamlessly is indeed easier said than done. But once you understand the basics, everything else becomes much more convenient.
So in terms of golf swing mechanics, there are five factors that play a huge role…
But First, Learn How to Address the Golf Ball - The Additional Step
Before you hit, get ready first. And that part of the process is known as addressing the golf ball. It’s the cornerstone of your golf swing.
So to get it right, align the body with the golf ball. The latter should be at the center of the body. Meaning right between your stance. Maintain a good balance and don’t keep the golf club too away from you.
1. The Takeaway
When the takeaway is full of error, you can expect the rest of your swing to be reflective of that. You can’t possibly recover from a faulty takeaway because this sets you off on your golf swing on the wrong foot, literally.
So the importance of a smooth takeaway has to be smooth. Keep your lower body stable and turn the shoulders away from the golf ball. And keep the hands quiet. Don’t even think of doing anything more here because any extra movements only welcome errors and mess with your balance.
2. The Backswing
Your backswing includes the takeaway. Not many beginners and amateur golfers know that. Technically speaking, it’s the part of your golf swing between takeaway and transition. That’s when you completely turn the shoulders and bring the golf club back all the way.
At the beginning of your backswing, keep the balance stable and don’t come back very quickly. Smooth backswings, no doubt, are the foundation of successful shots.
Even at the end of the backswing, stay balanced. The weight of your body should be distributed evenly with the feet planted firmly into the ground.
3. The Transition
At the peak or top of the backswing, focus more on transitioning the bodyweight for getting the body to rotate back toward the golf ball. No need to shift the weight too soon or even move the hands too quickly. Shifting the body before moving the hands or bringing the hands down first, both change the clubhead angle and affect shot direction.
4. The Downswing and Impact
At the beginning of the downswing, your body and hands move together toward the golf ball. At this point, don’t make the mistake of being too sloppy or aggressive with your downswing.
You may be able to produce the smoothest backswing, but that doesn’t matter when your downswing is not right. Meaning when your arms have excessive movement or if you swing very hard.
The most important thing to remember here is control. Keeping your movements under control is easier said than done. But you’re sure to get the hang of it progressively and become more consistent.
5. The Follow Through
The golf ball has been hit, right? So does that mean you’re done? Nope, you still have to complete your golf swing by following through. Beginners, please take note - follow through and hitting the golf ball may not seem equally important. It’s a common mistake most newbies in golf make.
But here’s the thing. If the follow through is not well-balanced, it means your swing wasn’t either. At the finish of your swing, your body is twisted at a 90-degree angle. And the weight rests on the front foot. And that’s the mark of a flawless follow through.
Most Useful Tips for Beginners to Perfect the Golf Swing
Coiling properly throughout the golf swing is crucial. Meaning the twisting motion should be done right as it provides the power and momentum your swing demands.
The beginning of the backswing requires keeping the arms straight while turning the shoulders. So the arms remain relaxed and straight. As opposed to bending them, which results in striking bad shots because of the moving clubface.
Keep the Wrists Straight
When coiling, the right elbow bends naturally in the case of right-handed golfers. And this leads to the wrists bending as well. Since the back elbow already creates an “L” shape (almost 90 degrees), more or less bending of the elbow breaks the wrists. So the clubface angle changes, which means you tend to slice or pull the golf ball.
The solution? Just keep the wrists straight as much as possible.
Keep the Hands Low
In simple words, when the hands are lower, so is the ball flight. And most beginners benefit a great deal from reducing the height or launch angle of their shots. To achieve this, you can always get a larger golf club and produce a smoother swing. But then your chances of swinging harder are higher in this case, which means your hands inevitably come up.
So the best approach here is to keep the hands lower to avoid striking the golf ball at the top. The mistake is actually called topping. And what it does is produce shots that don’t travel long.
Keep the Head Down
As a beginner learning the ropes of a golf swing, this is very important. The momentum due to swinging excessively hard tends to raise the head. So it’s only natural for your body to do the same. Once again, that leads to topping the golf ball.
And as a beginner, you probably want to see where your golf ball goes once you take the shot. So you forget to first watch your golf club strike the ball. Keep in mind that following the path of your golf ball is something that can wait, you’ll have a lot of time to do that.
Use the Whole Body, Not Just the Arms, for Your Swing
The power every golf swing demands comes from the entire body. If you just focus on using your arm strength, weak and inconsistent shots are inevitable. So make sure to move the whole body in unison in order to achieve consistency.
Follow Through After the Swing
Do not underestimate the importance of follow through once you reach the peak of the backswing. Unwinding the body for hitting the golf ball and then following through - both are a part of a complete swing.
When you bring the golf club down to get to the ball, your wrists and arms should be in sync. Keep excessive movements out of the picture if you don’t want your swing climax to get messed up. That is if you want to escape hitting poor shots.
Don’t let the arms come through first or the other way around. Otherwise, the clubhead angle changes. Therefore, compromising the success of your strikes.
Also, don’t swing too hard either. As a beginner, it’s only natural to think that a harder swing will make the golf ball travel farther. But that’s not how it works. All in all, keep your swing fluid for more consistent, straighter shots.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need professional lessons to learn golf?
The best approach for beginners in golf is to just whack plastic balls into the pond or at the practice range, a par-3 golf course, or maybe even an open field. The primary goal is to get the feel of the golf club and how it and your body moves during the swing.
No doubt, a good professional golf coach teaches you the dynamics and theory of the game. But it’s more important to first understand the feeling of staying connected to your golf club with some speed at the time of swinging.
What are the basics for hitting a golf ball?
Firstly, stop copying other players because that is in no way helping you. Then the next two most common mistakes almost every beginner makes are turning the shoulders back and stalling hip rotation. Correct the former by just tilting your shoulders. As for the stalled hip rotation, turn your hips toward your target during impact nearly twice as much.
Which golf club to use?
Doesn’t each golf club serve a particular purpose? So, as a beginner, how do you know which one to use?
The longest golf clubs include your hybrids, fairway woods, and driver. These feature a less loft and longer shaft, which hit the golf ball farther. Irons, in comparison, have a shorter shaft and higher loft. This reduces the distance covered but prepares you for the other golf clubs in your arsenal. Such as the 5-iron and sand wedge.
These are the fundamentals of a golf swing. So if you get them right, you can hit some solid shots on the turf.
The best thing to do is read through the pre-swing basics thoroughly because these are the easiest to understand and implement on the golf course. And once the foundation is set, your swing movement is bound to just flow naturally. Then you can start to focus on the five influential factors of golf swing mechanics that we’ve discussed at length.