The golf swing is one of the most important parts of the game. If you’re unable to master good elements of a perfect swing, your scores will be sure to reflect it.
If you’re an avid golfer, whether playing several times a week, or simply a fan of the sport, you know that most of the game is about the golf swing. Sure there are other contributing issues to good performance. How well do your shoes fit, do you wear golf gloves, are your clubs custom fit? But at the end of it all, even with the worst set of equipment imaginable, a solid swing based on good fundamentals will still produce solid results.
Have you ever seen a young hot-shot scratch golfer make his way to the driving range wearing beach style flip flops? What, are you kidding? The reason they are able to get away with this, besides a lax dress code, is that they have been able to master balance, foot placement, and a total understanding of swing mechanics.
As amateurs first get into practicing and playing the game, they’ve already adopted a number of bad habits they need to overcome. One of the hardest initial elements that seem to perplex the new golfer is just how hard they are supposed to swing the club. When they are watching those big, strong, powerful professionals on television, it appears to them their idols are cranking up and whacking the ball with every ounce of power they have.
Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. After many years of getting comfortable with their personal swing style, pro golfers could likely hit a ball off the tee with their eyes closed. When you are this familiar with all aspects of your body, arms and legs, you know where the ball is going to be and how to create power and swing speed.Being efficient, smooth and having the right amount of acceleration into the downswing will provide you with more than enough power for a long drive. More importantly, you’ll also have better accuracy as well.
If you’ve taken any lessons from a PGA Pro or local club professional, one of the first things you should have learned is that bringing your club back further than parallel to the ground (at the height of your back swing) is a sure fire way to over rotate your swing, and derail your swing path. This move will also reduce your ability to create and leverage power, while making it difficult to hit the ball towards your target. Stopping your swing at parallel provide more than enough turn to create the power you need – while ensuring your swing path stays on line.
Understanding the balance between power and control is of paramount importance if you want to improve your game. Too quick and you’ll find it difficult, if not impossible to control the path of your club head’s face as it meets the golf ball. Too little acceleration, and distance and alignment control become very difficult. It will take some practice to determine the right balance – but once you do, you’ll start to develop a reliable and dependable tempo. This is one of the reasons the top golfers in the world practice for many hours a day.
One of the most important and often overlooked areas of concern on the golf swing is your grip. Trying to squeeze the life out of your club will reduce your wrists ability to rotate and turn – dramatically affecting your ability to transfer power and develop “feel” on shorter shots. It takes time and effort to put it all together and master the art of the golf swing. For many, it’s a lifetime pursuit. A lifetime of ups and downs; joys and pains. But one that is well worth the effort while getting better at a game you love.
About the Author Eric Wilson Ph.D. is a PGA Master Professional and the Vice President of golf school: The College of Golf at Keiser University in Port St. Lucie, FL. You can find The College of Golf on Twitter (@CollegeofGolf) or on Facebook.