How to Swing a Golf Club – The Basics for Beginners

| December 14, 2012 | 2 Comments

golfswing finish 216x300 How to Swing a Golf Club   The Basics for Beginners
Learning how to swing a golf club for the beginner golfer can be intimidating and very frustrating. Making contact with the ball is not usually the problem, because unlike most other sports, the ball is stationary, so hitting a ball that is not in motion should be fairly simple. However, making contact with the ball and making the ball go where you want it to will take for most of us, years of practice, experience and the knowledge of how the golf club interacts with the ball at impact. What is causing your miss hits? Why is the ball curving to the right or left? Knowing what causes the golf ball to travel of line is the key to understanding and correcting your swing flaws.

Follow these steps when learning how to swing a golf club

Step 1 – Learning how to grip the golf club should always be the first thing taught when instructing any beginner golfer. Hitting a solid shot always start with a fundamentally sound golf grip. If you haven’t already, read our post on how to grip a golf club, then at the bottom of the post, there will be a link back to this article. Otherwise proceed to step 2.

Step 2 – The next step in learning how to properly hit a quality golf shot is in how you address the golf ball. Setting up to the ball correctly with every golf shot is critical in creating consistency in your golf swing. Standing over the ball with the proper alignment and the correct ball position with different clubs will give you the best chance of hitting the ball cleaning and with a proper swing path.

Step 3 – The best way for beginner golfers to learn the proper golf swing, is to break the swing down into three parts – the backswing, impact position and follow through.

The backswing – before you start your backswing, make sure your upper body is in the right position. To do this you need to adjust your upper body by arching your back and sticky your butt out (as if you were going to sit in a chair). Holding this proper spine angle needs to be maintained during all three parts of the swing. A great drill that will help you to do this is to start the swing by using your wrist only, until the club is at waist level. Keep your lower body from moving or turning. Hold the club at waist level for a few seconds. Then turn your shoulders until you have reach the top of your backswing. Remember this is just a drill that will help you keep the proper spine angle throughout the backswing. In a full speed actual swing you will want to transfer your weight to your back leg and your hips and shoulders should make a full turn when at the top of your backswing.

when in the proper position at the top of the backswing, make sure you are making a full shoulder turn, your back should be facing the target and your left shoulder (right handed golfers) should pass under your chin.

Impact Position – Start the downswing from the top of the backswing by dropping your right elbow (right handed golfer) down. Many amateurs first mistake in starting the downswing, is swinging with their shoulders, resulting in an outside to inside swing path, otherwise known as coming over the top of the ball. This is most often what causes the dreaded slice that the majority of beginners are plagued with early on in thier golf game.

Make sure that you are maintaining the same spine angle (upper body position) that you started with at address. Also, make sure that at impact your chin is pointing at the ball. (Most amateur golfers fail to return back into the address position at impact). which is a top reason for miss hits.

Follow Through – It is equally as important to maintain the proper spine angle during the follow through. Rotating your upper body into the correct follow through position, will give you added power and more consistent shots. Don’t slow down your swing or alter your spine angle, keep your upper body moving to a full finish.

The finish position after follow through is an important part of the golf swing and is often overlooked. Your swings finish position can tell you a lot about the rest of your swing. If your golf swing is sloppy it will often be reflected in an off-balanced follow through. check your finish position, the front of your body should be pointing towards your target. When you perform a full body finish, your belt buckle should point the way. Where ever your belt buckle points to at finish, should be the direction that the ball will travel.

Image Credit: bradleypjohnson


2 Comments on "How to Swing a Golf Club – The Basics for Beginners"

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  1. Bill Gere says:

    I think that you have done a great job deconstructing the golf swing into its three component parts: Backswing, Impact (Contact), and Follow-Through. This is what most instructors, like myself, do when teaching players, especially newer golfers, the basics of the golf swing.

    One unique aspect of my swing coaching that I have incorporated into my lessons with positive results is having my students focus, specifically, on impact. I thought that this was the only part of your article that left a little something out. And what I mean by that is that it is imperative to have the club face contact the ball squarely. Yes, by focusing on your other golf swing tips, this should happen, but what I found is that by starting any swing lesson with impact (contact) first, the outcome is usually better than if I had started the lesson with the backswing – as you did above – and as most instructors do.

    Anyway, great article and website and keep up the informative tips and articles.

    Bill –

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