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Golf Swing Tips That Will Improve Your Game

August 2020

The golf swing may look like an easy motion when watching the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy or Adam Scott in action.

However, for those of us who don’t spend almost every second practising our golf swing, even while taking golf lessons, sometimes a simple swing tip can make all the difference.

In light of this, here are 11 swing tips to help your game.

Golf Swing Tips

1. Set up with the impact position in mind

At impact, your club shaft should be leaning slightly towards the target with your hands closer to the target than the clubhead.

This position allows you to hit down onto the back of the ball and therefore compress it effectively against the clubface.

At address create this angle early by making the shaft an extension of your leading arm (left arm for right-handers and vice versa for lefties) and try to keep this same position at impact with your lower body rotating out of the way.

2. Swing up to the back of the ball with your driver

In order to launch the ball high with low spin with your driver, you need to tee the ball up high (at least half the ball should sit above your driver’s face at address) and imagine you are hitting the ball up a ramp in front of you.

This visualisation will ensure you hit upon the ball. Placing the ball forward in your stance and tilting your spine away from the target will help achieve the hitting up part too.

3. Hit the ball into the ground with your irons and hybrids

Your golf swing should always have a bottoming out point as you are swinging the club down towards the impact point.

With a driver you want the bottoming out point to be before impact while with irons and hybrids it should be just afterwards.

To ensure this try to hit the ball “into” the ground with these clubs.

This descending motion will help to catch the ball first and compress it effectively for better spin and distance.

The divot should then follow from half an inch to an inch after where the ball was positioned on the turf.

4. Sweep the ball off the turf with your fairway woods

To achieve a consistent strike with your fairway woods off the turf imagine you are sweeping a floor.

You don’t want to press the broom too hard into the ground, but rather move the dirt towards your target with little resistance.

The same applies to a fairway wood. The wide, flat sole of the club will ensure it doesn’t dig into the turf.

5. Walk after the ball at follow through

If you are consistently fading or slicing the ball you may be hanging back through impact and keeping your weight on your trailing side (right side for right handers and vice versa for lefties).

To transition your weight more effectively walk after the ball towards the target after hitting it.

Gary Player used to do this from time to time.

6. Create early momentum by hammering a nail

When hammering a nail into a wall you use your thumb to create the momentum on the hammer handle in order to get the hammerhead to the nail with enough force.

Do the same with your golf clubs. Initiate the momentum leading up to impact by getting your thumb to push the grip at the start of your downswing.

This will create an effective release of power through the impact zone.

7. Flair your leading foot

At address point your toes on your leading foot (left foot for right handers and vice versa for lefties) more towards your target.

This will help you transition your weight onto your leading side so that at the end of your follow through your chest is pointing towards the target and you are still balanced and not falling over your leading leg.

8. Maintain the ‘y’ shape when pitching and chipping

When addressing a pitch or chip shot, your club shaft should be an extension of your leading arm with the trailing arm forming a ‘y’ shape. For lefties, it will be a reverse ‘y’ shape.

Maintain this shape throughout the golf swing when pitching and chipping and you will have a more consistent strike and be able to control your distance more effectively.

9. Let your thumbs determine your shot shape

Hitting a draw requires an effective release through impact while a fade requires you to hold the clubhead open for longer before eventually releasing it.

Your thumbs act as a great indicator for achieving your desired shot shape. Thumbs up immediately after impact means you have released the clubhead while thumbs down immediately after means you have held the clubhead open.

It’s similar to hitting a topspin or slice in tennis.

10. Let your toes determine your ball trajectory

We all need to hit either a low shot under the wind or a high shot over a tree from time to time and often do the opposite. Your toes can help with this.

By pulling your toes in towards your foot on your leading foot your leading leg tenses up and will restrict your backswing making it effectively shorter.

This helps you to cover the ball more effectively at impact and hit a lower shot.

By doing this motion to the toes on your trailing foot it allows a longer backswing and keeps you behind the ball longer to launch it higher.

11. Less fingers means less pressure

Hold the club tight with just your thumbs and forefingers with the other three fingers on each hand just providing support.

This will relax all of the tension in your forearms and allow you to swing the club more freely and release it naturally.

To test this theory for yourself squeeze the tip of your thumb and forefinger together as if you were trying to squash a tiny bug and feel how soft and relaxed your forearm is.

Then ball up just your other three fingers on the same hand and see how tense your forearm becomes.

This article is part of our golf instruction series in our Beginners Golf Guide.

About the author 

Paul Bradshaw

Paul hit his first golf shot at the age of 5, and from that point on was immediately hooked. He went on to become one of the leading amateurs in South Africa, securing a full golf scholarship with the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Turning professional in 2004, Paul played extensively on the Sunshine Tour and co-sanctioned European Tour events. Paul is our lead editor at Golf Assessor.

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