These five tips are little differences that will make a big difference literally overnight in the way you swing a golf club. One hour of practice is all you need to install them in your swing. They will give you a feeling of confidence, control, and ease, three characteristics of good golf.
There is a natural balance point for every club. This is where you hold the club and it feels light, and as if it were an extension of your hands and arms. For most clubs this will be felt when you grip down about 1″-1½” from the end of the grip. When you hold the club at this point, you will feel relaxed and at ease. Swing the club the way this feeling suggests.
Take your stance slightly open to the intended line of flight. Just a little bit. No more than 5 degrees. Being slightly open will let you get your left hip cleared better, and allow you to come into the ball with the right side a little more “underneath” the ball. The first gets the club down the target line more easily, and the second gets the ball in the air more easily.
Swing the club easily. There is no need to rush going back, and certainly no rush going down. If anything, swing more slowly than you think you need to. Make it almost like an easy practice swing. The speed that such a swing will build up is greater than you feel. Combined with the design of the club, you will hit the ball a long way. If your ball-striking gets off during a round, check the speed of your swing first. Odds are that you are swinging too fast, especially at the start of the downswing.
You might have heard the phrase, “finish your backswing.” What does that mean? For every club you swing, from driver to wedge, and even when pitching, it means to finish turning your body before you start your downswing. Get the left shoulder as close to your chin as you can, and your right shoulder turned away as far as you can, without straining. It is not necessary that your arms go to a particular place, but that your turn be full. When our mind begins to wander on the course, this turns gets shorter, and our ball-striking worsens.
One difference between the professional swing and the amateur swing is that professionals do not allow the clubhead to pass their hands until after the ball has been struck. That means when the clubhead is impacting the ball, the shaft is tilted toward the target, not vertical, or worse, tilting away from the target. You ensure this happens by maintaining the wrist set you have at the top of the backswing until your hands get back down to hip height. At that point, the momentum of your swing will release the set, but continue swinging and let the hands win the race with the clubhead to get to and past the ball.