One of the biggest faults of amateur golfers is when they stretch their arms during the address position. Their arms are held away from their body in an effort to reach for the ball. Good posture is one of the most important elements of the golf swing. Swinging correctly is the result of good posture. The body should flex at two main points, the hips and the knees. After taking your stance, set your arms last. Allow the arms to hang loosely from the shoulders with the right elbow bending naturally. If your arms are positioned correctly, there should be a six to eight inch gap between your hands and thighs. Holding the arms away from the body tends to make the golfer chop at the ball thus creating an outside-in swing path, a slice. Some player’s feel that reaching for the ball makes their swing more powerful, the opposite is true. Reaching creates a loss of power. Many players make the mistake of bending at the waist rather than the hips, doing so will restrict a good body-turn going back. If your hips are bent too far it forces your shoulders to turn unnaturally, which will lead to a steep swing and a slice. A good way to check if you’re bent over too far is if the toe of the club is off the ground at address. Knee flex should be enough to feel your body weight on the balls of your feet.
Getting your golf swing transition correct will help your golf swing immensely. There are a few key fundamentals you can incorporate into your swing that will allow you to transition well and hit great golf shots consistently. An improper transition will undoubtedly cause all kinds of errant golf shots and will make golf much more difficult than it should be.
Key #1) A good backswing leads to a good downswing. It’s important to realize that a good downswing is not something which stands on it’s own. It is actually connected to the entire golf swing and is quite dependent on what occurs in the backswing. A golfer who swings the club improperly in the backswing will have to compensate or make other errors in the downswing to try and offset this. Swinging the club back on a good path with good tempo in the first part of the swing will make a good downswing more natural and easier to achieve. The transition from backswing to downswing comes more smoothly when the backswing is in in order.
Key #2) Keep the lower body stable. This is really important as you are starting your downswing. As a golfer prepares to start their downswing, the lower body should be stable and remain firmly planted. This works well when the knees are still bent and the weight is in the center or balls of the feet. The legs are a stable base for the body around which the club can then be swung down.
When the lower body starts to spin open too early from the start of the downswing, the arms can get stuck behind the body. Everything needs to come together at impact which is why the arms should start swinging the club down at the beginning of the downswing. The hips may start to move very slightly as the arms swing down. 90% of the time the problem comes from turning the hips too much or too early from the start of the downswing. Swinging the club down correctly from the top will help to get everything in a powerful position so you can launch the golf ball high and far into the air.
Key #3) Get Your Swing In The Slot. This relates to being on the correct swing plane and path as the club approaches the golf ball towards impact. If the club is too far off of the proper path, it will be quite difficult to hit the ball in the middle of the clubface and produce good golf shots. The golf swing plane needs to be correct at the top of the golf swing while the club is making it’s transition from backswing to downswing.
Key #4) Maintain proper golf swing tempo. Amateur golfers tend to rush their transitions. It’s helpful to think of finishing your backswing before you start your downswing. Sometimes the golf club will still be on the way back and the body has already started opening up towards the target. This is a result of rushing. Keep your tempo good and take your time on the backswing. Everything will work together better and your swing will become more effortless and natural.
When I get a golf club in my hand, I get that feeling of wanting to knock the cover off the ball. It feels good to put all of my strength into hitting the ball. Just hitting the ball as hard as I can does not mean that I play good golf though. If you just need to relieve a little stress, then swinging with all your strength may accomplish your goals. However, if you want to play golf well, then you are going to have to hold back on the power a little. One of the most frequent mistakes is to swing the golf club too hard. A hard swing shows that you have power, but accuracy is the name of the game in golf. You need to relax when you are swinging. This will help you swing easily and will help to reduce your power. If you put your feet closer together, then you can further reduce the strength of your swing. Tensing up will also cause you to use too much effort. Your center of gravity is also very important. Keep your center of gravity the same and your head will stay still. If you keep both of your feet in the same position throughout your swing, then your center of gravity will be stable. If you jerk your body then your head will move and you will not be able to focus on the ball. This can also change your center of gravity. It is imperative that you keep your feet planted so that all your weight will be concentrated in your feet when you make contact with the ball. Expending very little effort should be your goal. If you hit the ball correctly, then it will feel smooth and easy. Don’t tense up when you are about to make contact with the ball. If you tense up, your balance will be thrown off. You want the club head to travel in a straight line to make contact with the ball. To help correct slicing, see how centered you can hit the ball with your club and how low you can send the ball. If you send the ball too high, it gets into the wind and can go left or right on rough ground. You want to only use the amount of power that you are able to control. The goal of the game is not power, but accuracy. You want to be able to control every facet of your swing so that you hit the ball cleanly and it goes where you want it to go. The distance will come from your clean and correct swing, not how much power that you put into it. You want to try to gradually increase your speed during your swing until you connect with the ball solidly. If you do not have a smooth swing, then you are pulling your hands somewhere during the swing. Keep your head as still as you would if you had a glass of water balanced on top of it. This will help to improve your swing and help you to swing more smoothly and fluidly. Swing at a decent enough speed to keep yourself from becoming tense and stiff. Don’t swing too slowly or so hard that you feel the effort of the swing. Stay relaxed. Try to keep the idea of power out of your head. Keeping your power under control so that you can be more accurate is what counts!
Lateral motion can be a killer in the golf swing and it’s important to stop this as quickly as you can spot it. As always, fixing any part of your golf swing starts from first knowing what is wrong with it. Lateral motion occurs in the backswing when the body moves too far to the right. Golfers who don’t turn well in their golf swings tend to suffer from moving too far laterally. Lateral motion can also be referred to as a sway. A golfer who sways in their golf swing will fail to generate power and consistency.
To fix this problem, a golfer should make sure to keep their right knee flexed in the backswing as this will help the hips to turn properly. The weight should shift to the inside part of the right foot as the golfer completes their backswing. The golf backswing motion is simply a swing, a turn, and a shift of the weight. Just shifting the weight to the side without turning will not help a golfer hit good golf shots.
If you feel like you are rolling on the outside part of your right foot at the top of your backswing, you are probably moving too far laterally. Again, keeping the right knee bent the same amount as it was in the setup will keep your weight shift in check. You want the weight to shift on the way back but only so much where it moves to the inside part of the back foot. Not shifting the weight enough or shifting forward while you are making your backswing can be equally as bad.
It is possible to spot a lateral move by one of two ways. Notice if you are off balance on your backswing. You can make practice backswings and simply pause at top of the swing and check where your weight is on your right foot. If you’re rolling on the outside part of the back foot, you are probably feeling off balance and have moved out of the correct position.
The second way to check if you have shifted your weight correctly is by monitoring your shoulder turn. Golfers who move too far laterally often times do not make a proper and complete shoulder turn. The shoulder turn is an essential element of a good golf swing and doing this correctly tends to help other parts of the golf swing as well. You want to feel like your left shoulder turns all the way and gets under your chin in the backswing. If you have turned the shoulders completely, your back will also be pointed towards the target.
Maintaining your angles from your setup position will help to move things into the right positions in the swing. When golfers stand up and come out of their posture and their angles, they can move their bodies the wrong way and make it harder to hit good golf shots consistently. Make it a point to keep your right knee flexed and let your shoulders and hips turn into the right positions. Don’t just try to move your body to the right in your backswing. You want to make a turn and a shift as you are following your golf club on the way back. Once you have turned correctly in the backswing, making a good downswing will come more naturally. A lateral move is generally a problem that occurs in the backswing which can then lead to more problems in the downswing.
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