Swinging a golf club has several requirements that are unique to the sport. Learning how to swing a golf club means picking up unique movements of the arms. You also need to learn how to space yourself away from a tee and square your legs if you want to know how to swing a golf club properly.
TAKE THE TIME TO LEARN A PROPER STANCE
The first step when learning how to swing a golf club is to learn what a golf stance is. Learning to swing a club in golf can be especially difficult if you have played baseball before.
In baseball having a tilted stance and transferring weight between your feet can be beneficial to your swing. You are taught to point your toe towards where you want a ball to go. Golf has a nearly opposite approach to controlling where your swing sends a ball.
DON’T POINT YOUR FEET IN GOLF; SQUARE THEM
For a proper golf stance, you should stand at a ninety-degree angle to where you want the ball to go. Your feet should be squared; that is, your feet should be pointed directly in front of you, and not tilted in or out. If someone ran a string from the toes on your back foot to the front foot, and then to your ball's intended destination, it should form a straight line.
You should stand so that the ball aligns with the center of your body. Your leading foot should be ahead of the ball, and your back foot should be behind it. Bend your knees just enough that the head of a club aligns with the ball and doesn’t touch the ground.
ANGLE YOUR SHOULDERS TO MATCH YOUR FEET
Your shoulders should be squared in the same way. When you swing, you should focus on keeping your shoulders balanced throughout the whole motion.
If you push a shoulder out (towards your chest), or pull it back during your swing, you are more likely to slice the ball which causes it to angle away from your target. When you learn to perform a golf swing consistently, you can use this trick to fight wind or avoid traps on a golf course.
TEST THE DIFFERENT GRIP STYLES
One thing few newcomers focus on when learning how to swing a golf club is the grip. A poor grip can change the level of your swing. If you swing an inch below your last swing or an inch above, those inconsistencies can ruin a good swing completely.
Extend your arms all the way out. Put your dominant hand above your other hand on the handle. Many golfers point the thumb or index finger of their lower hand down the handle of the club. This helps them align their arm with the rod, giving them a better understanding of when the head of the club will connect with the ball.
Another option is to use the same grip you would on a baseball bat. Finally, you can choose the interlocking grip by crossing the index finger of your lower hand over the pinky of your dominant hand. There are several grip styles, and the most important rule is just to find one that is comfortable for your arms.
You should not squeeze the handle too tightly. Golf club handles are made of perforated wraps, and shouldn’t slip even if you keep a somewhat loose grip. Because clubs are made of hollow metal, a tight grip can reduce the natural bend and reverberation of a swing.
PRACTICE THE MOTION OF THE GOLF SWING
All of the advice above weighs into your golf swing, but here we touch on the swing itself. The direction of your feet, the straightness of your arm, and other factors can ruin your swing. When done properly though, they guide you through the proper golf swing motion, which many newcomers say feels strange at first.
ANGLE YOUR SHOULDERS TO MATCH YOUR FEET
A backswing refers to the start of a swing. You should begin with the head of your club positioned just behind the ball, where you want it to connect. You then pull the club backward and up. If you're putting or want to hit it a short distance, this motion shouldn't be large. If you're driving the ball a long distance, you may want to go for a full swing instead.
Don’t twist your shoulders as you begin your backswing. Some golfers rotate their torso for additional power, but you need to be able to perform this exact motion in reverse if you do so.
When you reach the top of your backswing, with the head of the club parallel with your shoulders or higher, make sure your arms are still fully extended. If you are unsure at this point, practice swinging back down to the ball slowly to make sure you haven’t moved out of alignment.
Once you’ve practiced this motion, return to the height of your backswing. You may shift your weight towards your back hip, but try not to move your feet. Then, swing through by using the reverse motion of your backswing.
FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THE FRONT SWING EVERY TIME
Golf clubs are extremely light, so you may feel the rod bend as you swing. This will cause the head of the club to trail slightly behind your arm’s motion. The head should follow the exact trajectory of your swing, so trust in your aim, and don’t let up halfway through your swing.
Shift your weight towards your front hip as you swing through the ball. Make sure to swing through; don’t stop your swing when you connect with the ball, but finish the motion until the club has swung as far forward as it did in your backswing.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL
Keep your eyes on the ball from the moment you begin your swing to the finish. This helps reduce the chance that you swing too low, too high, or so on. People have a natural tendency to pull their body with small motions towards where they are looking, so looking up too soon during a swing is one of the most common ways to ruin a swing.
HOOKS, SLICES, AND CHIPPING THE BALL
When learning how to swing a golf club, it’s tiny mistakes in your swing that have the largest effect. Squaring your shoulders and feet will do more to give you a consistent swing than anything else. Fully extending your arms and not tilting your body during a swing, however, will improve your accuracy the most.
HOOKS ARE CAUSED BY THE NATURAL PULL OF THE BODY
A hook is a common issue for beginners. Many golfers bend their leading arm at the elbow as they swing through. This pulls the ball, and after several moments of straight flying in the air, it will curve away from the target. This curve should be towards the side of the ball you were on.
This happens because the outside of the club connects with the ball first. Even if it connects first by mere tenths of a second, throughout a ball's flight, this small angle will be magnified.
The most common issue is slicing the ball. Many golfers swing slightly too low, or too high. This can cause you to drive the ball, or float it very high but for little overall distance. This issue arises because golfers don’t extend their arms the entire way.
It can be very difficult to keep your arms straight for an entire swing because this motion isn’t natural for the human body. By keeping your arms at full extension though, you guarantee your club doesn’t raise or lower by even small distances during the course of a swing.
If you consistently slice the ball, note whether it falls short or lingers in the air too long. If you grip the rod too tight, it’s common to accidentally move up the handle during a swing, and you will hit the top of the ball, causing a drive. If your grip is too loose, the rod may slip and cut under the center of the ball, lobbing it into the air.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT CLUBS
The difference between clubs lies in more than their weight or name. Different clubs have different angles on the head. If you believe your swing is good but the launch of the ball is bad, experiment with your full club set.
You may also want to grab a set of golf clubs that are the right length. If the head of the club doesn't consistently align with the center of the ball on the tee, you may need shorter or longer clubs.
You can adjust where you place your hands on a club handle to help deal with this issue as well. It may take some practice to consistently place your hands in the same place every time you’re ready to tee off, though.
As stated, even small shifts in the height of your golf club’s head will be magnified over the long distances a ball travels. If you feel that you consistently connect with the ball well, but don’t feel that your swing isn’t putting the ball where you aimed, test different grips and hand placements to decide if your golf handles aren’t working for you.