Golf represents one of the poshest and refined sports in the world.
To play it, you have to have a large and well-kempt field with several little holes in them at strategic spots, fair weather, and a set of clubs with which you will be hitting the pimpled balls. And you’ll need the balls, too, of course.
And some skills, though this is not immediately necessary.
You can’t be a pro straight away when you first take the club into your hands, can you? Now, if you want to learn the basics of golf, you should consult a pamphlet on the rules of the game, the different sorts of games withing the sport of golf itself, as well as the regulations in various leagues across the world if you want to compete.
On the other hand, there’s also the question of learning the basics of hitting the ball. If you don’t know how to do this, chances are – you’re not going to progress too much no matter how much you time you put into it.
It’s better to practice only a couple of hours of the week but do it the proper way, than invest half of your every weekday to practicing, but fail to learn the basics.
In this article, we’re going to talk about swinging your golf club. To be more precise, we’ll talk about posturing, learning how to hold the club itself, and we’ll go into the specifics of the swing itself.
Right then future golfers, without further ado, here’s the deal.
How to Swing a Golf Club
Assume Your Initial Position
Half of the job of hitting the ball perfectly would have to do with the posture you assume before swinging the club.
The first thing you need to do is to stand so that the ball is roughly between your feet and in front of you. As far as the distance between your feet is concerned, it should be a bit wider than the distance between your shoulders.
Thus positioned, you can move to step number 2.
Adjust Your Club Position
Once you’ve taken the correct position in terms of your body alignment, you can concentrate on how your club is positioned before making the swinging motion and hitting the ball.
The key here is the distance between you and the ball.
If you’re too far away, you’ll have to stretch your arms with the club in them to reach the ball, which will make your entire body tense. This, in turn, will make the swing awkward and you’re more likely to send the ball flying into the heavens with no hope of it ever returning. (Or, to the nearby pond, it’s the same thing essentially.)
So, the goal is to be close enough so that you can touch the ball with the head of your golf club and for your arms to be relaxed. That way, you can make a swinging motion easily and comfortably, thus increasing your chances of a successful drive.
Align Your Body Appropriately
… so that you can minimize the chances of missing the ball entirely with your club. (Which can happen to beginner golfers.)
What you want to do is ensure you’re facing the ball in front of you. This sounds simple, but you need to pay attention to it the first couple of times before you get used to it. It’s important for both your feet and shoulders to be pointed in exactly the direction the ball is in, so when you do swing the club, you want to have to adjust your body any more during the actual motion.
This allows you to concentrate on the swinging motion itself rather than on how you’re positioned during that period.
Bend Your Knees
Once you’ve aligned yourself perfectly and assumed the stance necessary for making the swing, the last part of the preparatory part of the deal would be to bend your knees somewhat.
The thing is, unlike in many other sports, the accent in golf when it comes to hitting the ball isn’t so much on power as it is on your flexibility and hitting it at the correct sort of angle.
Without bending your knees, your entire stance will be stiff and it will be extra difficult for you to pull off the shot. So, to give your body the right amount of flexibility it requires to make the swinging motion a smooth one, bend your knees slightly and then you can start eyeballing hitting the ball.
Pick Your Grip Style
There are several ways you can hold your golf club.
Here’s the thing – all of the grips we’re about to mention can be used to swing your golf club, so it’s not like some grips are better than the others. Here are some of the common grip styles in golf:
- Baseball grip – As its name suggests, the baseball grip is a two-handed grip similar to the grip used in baseball for holding and swinging baseball bats. Thanks to its simplicity, the baseball grip is popular among beginners who want to learn the ropes of golf without getting their fingers in a twist too much.
- Overlap grip – If you think you need more stability in your golf club grip, you can consider practicing the overlap grip. The idea behind this grip is to grab the golf club in much the same way you would with the baseball grip. After you’ve done this, you lift your right pinky and place it between the index finger and the middle finger. (You can also place it on the index finger itself if you want.)
- Interlocking grip – Offering the most stability out of the three grips, the interlocking grip starts in the same way the baseball grip does. Once you’ve placed your hands as if you were wielding a baseball bat, what you do is take your left index finger and lock it between the righthand pinky and the right ring finger.
Do the Backswing
A golf swing consists of three parts – the backswing, the downswing, and the follow-through.
The backswing represents the first part of this equation, and what you do here is bring the club up and above your head in preparation for the downswing.
Now, as far as the backswing itself is concerned, it consists of three parts – the first part where you rotate your torso along with your arms and bring the club above your head. The second part is where you keep your arms roughly perpendicular to the club. Last but not least, you should try to extend yourself backward, even more, to generate more power. (Remember, you do this with your torso rather than just using the arms muscles.)
Do the Downswing
When bringing the head of the club closer to the ball to hit it, the goal is to make the downward motion slow and relaxed and then swift as you’re getting closer to the ball itself.
It’s similar to leg kicks, in a certain way. With leg kicks, you bring your knee up and then whip your shin and foot as you’re about to hit the target.
So, with a golf swing, the same way you prepared the backswing, you unwind the whole thing and rotate your entire torso back toward the ball. Your arms should be falling slowly as if you were dragging the club behind you. Then, when the clubhead is close to hitting the ball, you want to put some power into it and flick your wrist.
This will give the clubhead a tremendous amount of force and you can rest assured the ball will fly far away as a result. (Which is the goal with drive shots and not so much with the finesse shots for those situations where you are close to the hole.)
The follow-through represents the last part of a golf swing and it refers to the way you move your body after you’ve hit the ball. The thing is after you make contact with the ball with your clubhead, you shouldn’t just stop yourself forcefully. Instead, you should allow your body to naturally rotate slightly to the opposite side and for your arms with the club in them to go in that direction, too.
The most important thing to remember here is to keep your eyes on the ball at all times. So, once you’ve hit the ball, you should follow it with your gaze and allow your body to recover its position after the swing you’ve just completed.
As a last piece of advice here, we would like to point out you shouldn’t use full force when swinging your golf club, as this will certainly be taxing on your accuracy. Also, swinging your club like this can cause injuries, so avoid hitting the ball aggressively. (The last thing you want if you’re only getting into golf is to get injured right off the bat.) We hope you found this guide helpful and we wish you plenty of luck with your golf practice.