Mastering the golf swing basics can not only help lower your scores, but most importantly you’ll have more fun playing golf. I’m sure you’ve read your share of golf magazines and watched the Golf Channel sharing many different golf tips. The thing is, all the information that you hear about swing faults - and ways to fix them - is correct; it’s a matter of applying the correct information to you and your golf swing. Everyone is unique and has different tendencies and faults.
There really isn’t a “one size fits all” that works for every golfer. Again - most of what you hear about the golf swing and how to swing the club is correct; you just need to ask yourself, “What applies to you?”
That’s why I’ve compiled six of my most popular golf blog posts for you. These posts will give you a general overview and provide basic fundamentals to help your golf game.
If you can understand why things happen in your golf swing, it will make it a whole lot easier.
Golf Swing Basics: The Grip
There are many different ways to grip the golf club - just watch a PGA Tour event and you’ll see. The three most common grip types include strong, weak and neutral grips.
If you are a right-handed golfer who generates a lot of power through rotation, and your hips are very open to the target at impact, having a strong left-hand grip will be very beneficial. Golfers with with slow hips, (i.e. hips not very open to the target at impact) will benefit more from a weak left-hand grip.
A strong or weak right-hand grip can really help some golfers - it depends on how the right arm folds during the backswing, the natural wrist hinge, and the delivery path to the ball.
As you can see, it’s important to match the correct grip to your specific golf swing. Each of these three grip types have their strengths and weaknesses.
Read the blog post How to Grip a Golf Club or watch this video to learn the one thing that all grips should have.
Golf Swing Basics: The Slice
The slice - or the dreaded “banana ball” as some would say - has taken many yards and accuracy from golfers. Most of the time golfers will aim farther left to attempt to fix the slice, but this will make it worse!
First, you need to understand why you slice the golf ball. Most of the time, it’s just understanding the ball flight laws.
Second, you need to know where you’re striking the ball on the face. A heel strike will add excess left-to-right curvature to your golf shots. Before you move onto step three, you must first fix the heel strike. Are you standing too close to the ball?
Maybe you just need to improve your awareness of where the club head is in relation to the golf ball. Placing a tee just outside the driver head when you address the ball, and trying to avoid hitting it an impact is a great drill to help you get the centered strike you need.
Third, I have a drill that will help you improve your face and path. The greater the difference between the face and path, the more curve you will see on a golf shot. This drill will help reduce this gap, and the curve on your golf shots will be dramatically reduced.
Learn How to Fix a Slice Using Ball Flight Laws in this blog post (or watch the below video).
Golf Swing Basics: Duck Hook
The “duck hook” or “quick hook” is a golf shot that can pop up out of nowhere.
We are going to be trying to reduce the disparity between our face and path, because the greater the difference between those two, the more the ball is going to curve.
We will discuss the importance of a centered strike and how a toe strike can also contribute to the excess curvature of the ball flight.
I explain everything in detail in the blog post How to Fix a Duck Hook with the Driver and in the video below.
Golf Swing Basics: The Draw
Now that we have covered two of the common misses in the golf swing (the slice and the duck hook) - let’s talk about how to hit a draw shot correctly.
This can be a consistent golf shot if done correctly and really help you on holes that curve to the left.
One of the main things to remember is the golf ball is going to start where the clubface is aimed at impact. This means the clubface will be aiming to the right of your target at impact and a path of the club will be traveling further right of that again. When there is a difference between the face and path, the ball will curve.
In this video, I share a concept to help you understand how this works. This is something that I would like you to try on the driving range and get a feel for it. In reality, when you get on the golf course, I would never want you to aim as far right, or swing as far right as we discuss in the video.
A stock draw shot will be one that curves about 3-5 yards in the air. Aim your face to where you want the ball to start, return the clubface to the same position at impact and try and have the path of the club travelling slightly further right of where your face is aiming at impact.
I show you what I mean by relating it to a clock in this post How to Hit a Draw in 3 Simple Steps or check out the video below.
Golf Swing Basics: The Fade
Many people think a fade is a weak shot, but did you know that if executed correctly, it will go just as far as the draw?
Similar to the draw, the fade is going to incorporate the same principles. We will need to aim the clubface to where we need the ball to start, in most cases it will be 3-5 years left of the target for a stock fade shot.
We want to return the face to the same position at impact, but for the ball to curve back to our target, we need the path of the club to be travelling further to the left of where our club face is aiming at impact.
Hard to believe I know, but physics and doppler radar launch monitors have proven this to be true.
Check out this video on the fade, and I will share a concept which will help you understand the face and path relationship, which is crucial for executing a fade. The video will help create a mental picture so that you can envision hitting a fade correctly. There is a driving range exercise you can practice; when you get to the golf course, you can used a toned down version.
I provide some great pictures and insight in this blog post How to Hit a Fade in Golf Like a Pro and in the below video.
Golf Swing Basics: Practice
Practice is just as important as the fundamentals, because knowing what to do is only half the challenge. When you go to the driving range, you need to know how to effectively practice these changes to get the most out of your golf game.
There are two different ways of practicing on the driving range - both of which can improve your game by leaps and bounds; they're known as Blocked and Random Practice. Studies have shown that these methods are the most effective ways to practice.
I break down both methods in the post Driving Range Tips You Can’t Practice Without and in the video below.
I truly hope you enjoyed this collection of posts. They cover topics which I believe are some of the most important basics to help your golf swing. Hopefully, this information will set you on the fast track to having more fun and playing some of your best golf.