Golf drills can be a great way to practice key movements in your swing. The best golf swing drills also provide feedback on when you’re performing the movement correctly or incorrectly.
In this article we’ll cover some of the best swing drills to help you improve your golf game. We start with some golf drills for beginners and mid-handicappers and finish off with some more advanced golf drills used by Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood.
Golf swing plane drill
Your swing plane dictates how your club swings through impact, affecting your swing path and the start direction of your shots. The swing drill below gives you a simple way to get feedback on your swing plane halfway back through your backswing.
Practicing this drill gives you a great visual guide of when you have the club set on-plane during your backswing. If you can set the club on plane half way back you only need a simple body turn to complete a great on-plane backswing.
Use an umbrella or alignment stick for this drill and try to follow the sequence within the video of:
- One 1/2 practice swing
- One full swing
- One 1/2 practice swing
- One full swing
The practice swing between each shot will help you swiftly transfer the feeling of an on-plane backswing into your full swing.
Swing path golf drill
The next golf swing drill specifically focuses on your swing path through impact.
Placing small objects, such as golf balls, just ahead and behind of impact provides great feedback on your swing path. The fear of hitting the objects also increases your focus and can really speed up the learning process.
The setup shown in the video below resolves an out-to-in swing path, however by switching the position of both objects this same drill can be used to cure a swing path that is too far in-to-out – I’ve used the second variation a lot over the years for my own golf game.
Adjusting the position of the obstacles just in front and behind allows you to fine tune your swing path as you progress.
I will be honest, this is a great swing drill but can be a pain to setup and maintain during practice, especially when you knock one of the objects 20-yards down the range.
Golf swing tempo drill
Golfers often struggle with their tempo when reaching the top of their backswing and starting their downswing. The effect is poor sequencing and all manner of errant golf shots.
This next tempo drill is a simple and effect drill you can use on the range or on the course.
Take a mid-iron and as you swing count in your head as follows: ‘one’ to start your swing, ‘two’ as you reach the top of your backswing, ‘three’ as you reach impact and ‘four’ as you complete a balanced follow through.
This tempo drill pushes you to make your backswing and downswing the same speed. You won’t be able to achieve this, but the mere fact of trying to results in a far smoother transition as you start down.
The effect – a great strike and maximum club head speed where it counts, at impact.
Lag and sequencing golf drill
Many golfers want more lag, lag is one of those holy grails of the golf swing. However, most golfers go about creating lag the wrong way.
Great lag in the downswing is a consequence, not a forced position. Lag comes as a result of starting the downswing with a bump of weight forward and the unwinding of your lower body and torso.
When performed correctly the arms and club ‘lag’ behind. Great body movement is the key to holding lag late into the downswing.
The drill below gives you a great way to rehearse the ideal start to your downswing.
Just like in the video, setup ready to hit with a mid-iron. Making two ‘ pump’ movements rehearsing the start of the downswing, then on the 3rd attempt swing through hitting the ball at 60% of your normal speed.
The first 3-4 attempts you make will likely be dreadful golf shots, but in little time you’ll start hitting powerful, crisp iron shots with a swing that feels almost half your normal speed.
Golf swing drills from top pros
This next section looks at golf swing drills used by two top pros. The discussion is for more advanced players, so apologies in advance for some of the terminology – I’ve done my best to explain the concepts as clearly as I can.
Without question Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood are two of the world’s best when it comes to hitting a golf ball. To finish this swing drills article we have a swing drill from each of them.
Both examples give you a great insight into the modern golf swing and how these players use swing drills maintain their great ball striking. Justin’s drill focuses on pre-impact, Tommy’s drill focuses on post-impact.
I hope together they give you a nice insight into swing drills of elite players.
Justin Rose’s swing drill
The following is a great video of Justin explaining how he works and thinks about his golf swing. Below we’ll take a deeper look into what is actually going on.
Swing drill and body rotation
A key component of the modern golf swing is using the big muscle in your trunk to rotate through impact. Many discussions focus on how the modern swing is great for generating power, which is true. However, there is a deeper and more useful component for us to learn.
This modern approach produces a more consistent way to square up the club face and hit more accurate shots. Justin Rose talks about letting his arms fall down, and keeping his back to the target. This ‘saves’ his rotation, and allows him to unwind through the hitting area.
He also pre-sets the club in a great position a long time before impact. Check out his flat left wrist position as he pauses half-way down. This position ensures the club face is already square for impact.
If he gets the club into this position all he has to do is rotate his body hard in to impact and hey-presto! He has a perfectly square impact. The fiddly stuff (club face adjustments) are done long before impact.
What to take from this swing drill
Aim to set your club face in a great position long before impact.
Many slicers try to flip their hands over through impact – this is an extremely tough way to play the game. Take note of how Justin talks about if he gets this first move right all he needs to do is rotate hard with his body.
Pre-setting the club with a square face makes playing golf a lot simpler.
Let’s move on to Tommy’s drill and see how we can progress this idea into the through swing.
Tommy Fleetwood’s swing drill
Below is Tommy Fleetwood’s golf swing, drill and comments on his golf swing. Click/swipe right on the video for the golf swing drill and to have a read of Tommy’s commentary.
I’d like to give a quick shout out to Scotty Howarth who re-posted it. Check out his instagram for more.
Tommy Fleetwood’s golf swing drill and swing philosophy
For good and elite golfers most of the variability in shot accuracy comes from their club face angle at impact. Squaring up the club face requires great timing, even for great players.
Tommy’s approach is very similar to Justin’s. He too sets the club in a position pre-impact where he can consistently square up the club face.
However, watch the golf swing drill above and look at how his wrists and forearms move through impact and into his follow through. Amateur golfers roll and flick their wrists, leading to sharp changes in where their club face points.
Tommy pre-sets impact then creates a brilliant body rotation through impact with minimal movement in his forearms and wrists. This action keeps the club face pointing at his target for longer and is a great motion to practice if you suffer with hooks and loosing your shots left
I’ve finally tracked down the Power Package training aid he uses in case you want to grab one. I’ve not tested it personally yet, but will over the winter and will add it to the best golf training aids article once tested.
Tommy’s ability to keep consistent form in his forearms, hands and club long after impact are one of the key reasons he is such a consistent striker of the golf ball.
Extra tips on how to carry out Tommy’s swing drill
In the golf swing drill above, Tommy takes a 7-Iron and only tries to hit the ball 100 yards (60% of his full distance). He aims to generate all of the distance with his body rotation, and practices at a speed where he can minimise the use of his wrists and forearms through impact.
This is a great way to master the relationship between your body rotation and club face control. Start at 30 or 40% of your full shot distance, once you can make good swings 80% of the time at that distance, pick a target just slightly further away and repeat the process.
As you slowly work your way up to a full swing, try to maintain this same relationship between your body rotation and club face control through impact. You will find a distance where things start to break down. Take time to practice around this distance before you move on.
What Tommy’s swing drill and comments give you is more of a focus on what elite players do post-impact. If Tommy can get his club face to still point at his target 6 inches after impact, he gives himself a big window of opportunity to hit shots right down the flagstick.
Similar to Justin’s downswing, this process minimises the timing needed to hit great golf shots.
What to take from Justin and Tommy’s swing drills
At an elite level club face is king – yes power, sequencing and swing plane are important but the difference between good and great shots in tournament play are often due to 1-2º difference in club face angle at impact.
Both these players have found swing drills that minimise the chances of their club face being too open or close through impact. You can see that to achieve a similar action you need two features in your golf swing:
- Setting the club face in a great position pre-impact.
- Great body rotation and minimal hand action through impact.
I would love to say that with these tips we will all start hitting the ball like Mr Rose and Mr Fleetwood, sadly golf isn’t that simple.
However, we can all begin to build golf swings that rely less on timing and produce more consistently over time.
Golf swing drills – Summary
This article has covered some simple and advanced swing drills to help you improve your game next time you hit the range.
I hope you’ve found this an interesting read, feel free to leave a comments below. If you’d like to receive more articles like this one, sign up for the Golf Insider weekly post.
Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider UK
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