Friday, February 11, 2011

The Basic Golf Swing

Golf is a game as defined by its rules as playing a ball with a club from the teeing
ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the rules.
The first game of golf recorded was played in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1456 A.D.

There are a number of different styles of golf swing that can be seen on the golf
course and not one swing is the correct one. What the basics of the golf swing comes
down to is creating a swing that is consistent and reliable, this is where you will
be able to play the hole as it is intended and get the pars and birdies to get you
down to a scratch (zero) handicap.

The golf swing involves the whole body to produce an accurate, powerful and consistent
golf swing, from the feet, to the knees, the hips, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands
and head. All of these parts must work together to create a consistent swing.

There are 5 fundamentals to a good golf swing. If you can reproduce all of these consistently,
you'll make a scratch golf player in no time at all.


The golf grip is an important part of creating a consistent golf swing. The grip not
only controls the alignment of the club face during the swing but the actual swing
itself. Depending on the size of your hands and what's comfortable the overlapping
grip or interlocking grip is best.

The club should be held with the left hand initially with the grip resting across
the centre of the index finger and along the middle of the palm with the flesh part
of the thumb resting on top of the grip. Closing the remaining fingers of the hand
the last 3 fingers should hold the grip against the flesh part of the thumb. The V
formed with the thumb and index finger will point towards the chin and left shoulder,
and will allow for two or three of the knuckles to be visible when set up to the golf

The right hand is placed snugly over the thumb of the left hand, the golf grip is
placed more into the fingers of the right hand rather than the palm like the left
hand. The right thumb will be slightly left of the handle with a V formed between
the thumb and index finger pointing between the chin and right shoulder. There should
only be the one knuckle from the index finger showing on the right hand when set up
to a golf ball.


Posture and the distribution of weight are a key factor in generating a consistent
golf swing as they are the foundation of which the golf swing revolves around. The
posture of the body should be relaxed to remove tension but athletic to be prepared
for the movements and energy it will create.

Standing up straight the knees should be slightly flexed and a forward bend from the
hips, it is important to bend from the hips and not the back. The back should be straight
with the head continuing the straightness of the spine not bent downwards looking
at the ball in a chin tucked in position.

The bend of the hips is a variable to the club used. As golf clubs vary in size from
the 9 iron to the driver the bend from the hips varies, with more bend from the hips
to the short the club.

Once the hips are bent the arms should naturally hand from the shoulders. This will
give a consistent setup position of the hands and allow you to keep the club on the
correct swing plane.

When setting up to a ball with a shorter club because of the flex of the hips the
shoulders will lie more forward of the body moving your weight towards the balls of
your feet. When using a longer club the weight will move more towards the heels as
the shoulders are more in line with the body.


The stance (space between both feet) will vary between selections of golf club. For
woods the stance is slightly wider than shoulder width apart to create a solid base
for the powerful swing of the wood. With mid irons the feet should be positioned about
shoulder width apart and for short irons the feet are generally chest width apart.
Think of the stance as the foundation of the golf swing, the swing generates a large
amount of torque and weight movement with the driver so is positioned wider than a
pitching wedge which is more about a free swinging motion.

Ball position

It is important that the golf ball is positioned properly in between the feet. The
ball must be positioned so that is makes contact with the club at the correct point
in the golf swing. As a guideline use the left foot as the baseline to measure the
position of the ball, the ball should be played about 3 inches inside from the left
heel with irons and opposite the left heel for woods.


Just like shooting a gun, if you don't aim where you want it to go you're
not going to hit your target. If you're at a driving range or practicing you can place
a golf club on the floor pointing towards the direction of the target you're hitting
the ball towards. Set your feet up directly opposite the club. This is the basic element
of aim for the golf swing. From this line your feet, hips and shoulders should be
square. The club face should be setup to be at a 90 degree angle to the golf club
on the floor, provided the club strikes the ball straight and at the same 90* angle
your ball will go exactly where you want it!

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