In this article we’ll cover 10 golf swing tips that will help you become a better golfer. As a golf coach this is the best advice I can give you for hitting straighter shots next time you play, but also developing yourself into a great golfer over time.
The best golf swing tips to improve your game:
- Improve your golf grip for straighter shots
- Use your left hand to control direction
- Refine your golf stance for a better strike
- Hit down on your iron shots to get the ball up
- Master your golf swing
- The ball only cares about impact
- Count to improve your tempo
- Take an extra club and swing smooth
- Allow for your miss
- Pick a clear target
Tip 1: Improve your golf grip for straighter shots
Your golf grip is the one thing that connects the golf club to the rest of your golf swing. How your golf club is positioned at impact is the biggest factor in determining how straight your golf shots fly. Working backwards, your golf grip has the biggest influence over your ability to play great golf.
Below is a simple step-by-step guide to help you check and improve your golf grip. For a full guide check out this article on how to hold a golf club – this is well worth a read if you are serious about improving your golf.
Tip 2: Use your left hand to control direction
Following on from golf tip one – once you have perfected your golf grip you can use the back of your left hand to control your club face and shot direction.
When swinging through golf shots try pointing the back of your left hand to the left of your target. This will help close your club face and draw the ball. Pointing the back of your left hand to the right of your target will open your club face through impact and help you fade the ball.
Many great golfers try to point the back of their left hand to their target for as long as possible after impact. This keeps the club face pointing towards their target and can really aid accuracy.
Tip 3: Refine your golf stance for a better strike
Many golfers struggle to consistently strike the middle of the golf club – this is commonly caused by a poor set-up. A great golf stance places your body in an athletic and balanced position. From here you can freely rotate and maintain your balance throughout the golf swing.
Set up in a balanced, athletic posture, with the ball positioned in the middle of the club face. From here, all you need to do is maintain your balance until the end of your golf swing, to ensure you hit the middle of the club face more often.
To read a detailed article on perfecting your golf stance and posture check out this link.
Tip 4: Hit down on your iron shots to get the ball up
This one concept is the bane of most beginner golfers who think they need to ‘help the ball up into the air’. Great golfers strike down on the ball with their irons and left the loft on the golf club do the work. Golf irons are specifically designed to be used in this way – strike down and let the loft on the golf club help the ball up into the air.
Trying to pick the ball cleanly off the turf can be done, but requires great timing. Take a look at Tiger’s downswing below – he drives down into his iron shots, this is the opposite of most beginners.
There are a few details to flesh out how to do this, but if you would like to learn more, check out this article on ‘why do I fat and thin my iron shots‘. It contains some great details and drills to help you improve your ball striking, you may also like to check out this article on the best game improvement irons currently on the market.
Tip 5: Master your golf swing
Golfers love to give advice to each other – often too much advice. Your aim in golf is to build a simple, repeatable swing that hits the ball where you want. Try not to fall into the trap of perfecting what your golf swing looks like.
Instead, focus on what counts and build your own golf swing that works for you.
Many of your fellow playing partners may point out parts of a golf swing that ‘don’t look right’, but just because your backswing isn’t textbook it doesn’t mean it is causing your 45-yard slice.
Great coaching is about seeing the one thing that is causing poor performance and explaining how to improve it. For more on how to fix a slice, check out this link.
Tip 6: The golf ball only cares about impact
This is a geeky golf tip, but highly important – remember the golf ball only cares about impact.
I know we love to pick apart golf swing mechanics, but in reality, you can do a dance at the top of your backswing. Impact is what truly counts. Every golf shot is caused by a unique blend of the five factors at impact that are listed below:
- Centredness of strike – where you strike the ball on the face
- Club face angle at impact – where your club face is pointing
- Swing path through impact – the direction your club head is travelling
- Angle of attack at impact – how steeply the club is travelling downwards or up
- Club head velocity at impact – how quickly the club head is travelling
These factors combine to create every golf shot you can possibly hit. For example, a sliced drive is the result of an out-to-in swing path and an open clubface. A fat wedge shot is caused by not hitting the centre of the clubface, and an incorrect angle of attack.
Most poor shots by beginners are caused by not hitting the middle of the clubface. You’ll be amazed how few poor golf shots you hit when you strike the centre of the clubface.
Tip 7: Count to improve your tempo
Many golfers struggle with swinging the golf club too quickly when on the golf course. To remedy this try counting ‘1’ when you start your swing, ‘2’ when you reach the top of your backswing, ‘3’ at impact and ‘4’ when you reach a balanced finish.
This simple idea can work wonders and stops you overthinking too.
Tip 8: Take an extra club and swing smooth
Trackman found that over 65% of amateur’s golf shots finish short of the target from 160 yards. By adding 10 more yards to all their golf shots amateurs will increase the percentage of greens they hit by 8 – 10%.
To help achieve this take an extra club and make a smooth golf swing. Not only will this help you hit your iron shots the right distance, but when swinging slower you’ll likely be more accurate too.
A smooth golf swing is an accurate one.
Tip 9: Allow for your miss
Beginner golfers often aim straight down the fairways and aim at the flagstick where ever it is on the green.
In contrast, pros will favour one side of the fairway and allow extra room for their bad shot (a hook or a slice). Similarly, pros often aim for the middle of the green as it is too risky to aim directly at flagsticks tucked behind bunkers or positioned on the edge of the green.
To shoot better scores trying planning each shot, consider where you can and can’t afford to miss and pick a target that gives you the best possible chance of a good outcome.
Tip 10: Pick a clear target
Beginner golfers love to think lots about their golf swing and very little about their target. This causes your brain to focus far more on making a nice golf swing and far less about where the swing will send the ball.
When hitting off the tee pick the top of a tree or small target in the distance to aim for. When hitting into the green pick a small target near the centre of the green and focus on making a great swing towards that point.
This simple change in your thinking will lead to more accurate golf shots and far less stress when playing golf.
There we have a swift run-through of golf swing tips to help improve your performance. Hopefully, this article gives you some new insight and ways to think about your golf swing.
Once you have an idea about how you need to improve your golf swing it is time to get practicing. Check out this article if you’d like to learn more about building a practice routine.
Also, if you would like a free golf article like this one sent to your inbox every Monday, come join the Golf Insider weekly post.
Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider UK
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