10 Essential Golf Swing Tips

Having some trouble with getting your golf swing right? Check out these tips to help you get a little closer to that perfect technique.

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Golfers are always looking for advice to help them break through and achieve their goals on the course. As an instructor, I’ve found that these are the 10 most helpful swing tips that golfers need to know before playing their next round.

1. Sweep the Grass

A major problem that we see as instructors is players not having a consistent low point with their swing. The best players in the world can have the bottom of their swing consistently hit the same spot after the ball (with irons). The easiest way to practice that is to start with making practice swings. Try to make the club hit the ground in the middle of your swing. Listen for that noise of the contact with the ground and repeat it. When that becomes easy, pick a blade of grass or draw a mark, and try to strike that spot. If you can get good at hitting that spot, compressing the golf ball will become a lot easier and your shots will be more consistent.

2. Fastest Point of the Swing

Everyone wants to hit the long ball, and it is a significant advantage for sure, if you can hit it on a consistent basis. A common fault tends to be that golfers will become really quick and jerky with their swing, in an attempt to swing the club faster. That can obviously lead to a lot of inconsistency with the strike and swing, and if the timing isn’t right, then it will hurt more than it will help. I tell my students to think about the fastest point of their swing occurring RIGHT BEFORE impact. Think of the takeaway, backswing, and downswing all building up to get the most speed right at impact. It will help you with your tempo and help you hit the center of the face more often.

3. Hold That Finish!

When you watch the best golfers in the world, do you see them fall out of their stance right after they hit it? No! They hold the pose until that ball lands most of the time. If you don’t stay in your follow-through and finish on the front foot, it will lead to a lot of inconsistencies. Try making a practice swing slower, while remaining in your stance for a three count after. If you succeed, go again a little faster and so on and so forth, until you get to your full swing speed. Having a sturdy follow through will really improve your balance and help you swing on plane.

A woman in purple shorts and a blue shirt holds her golf swing position
Photo by Jopwell

4. Welcome Pressure

Pressure can really bring out a lot of mistakes that golfers have in their swing and will lead to bad shots. If you have the ability to practice, go out and practice games that put pressure on you. Take 50 golf balls, go out and try to hit the green 50 times in a row. If you miss one you have to restart. Do the same with putting. Try to make 100 3ft putts in a row, games like that will put a lot of pressure on yourself and help you when you face it out in a match or for a good score.

If you don’t practice, and you only play on the course, always play for something. it doesn’t have to be money but always have something on the line, it will help you overcome some issues.

Pro Tip: Observe what you struggle with when the pressure comes on and write it down, then work on some fundamentals to improve that aspect of your game.

5. Hands Forward

Using your clubs the way they were meant to be hit is the easiest way to get better at golf. Golf clubs are designed to be hit with your hands AHEAD of the golf club at impact. If you struggle with thin shots every now and again, that means that the leading edge (bottom of the clubface) is coming up and hitting high on the ball OR your hands aren’t just getting low enough (see tip 1). Work on keeping the hands ahead of the club head and imagine a hockey slapshot. You will be able to compress the ball better and keep that leading edge down.

6. Eliminate Slide and Add Rotation

Using your body is essential to gaining some power as well as finding consistency. A common swing fault is that, when taking the club back or through transition, players tend to slide their hips laterally, causing their center point to change throughout the swing and making it really difficult to have a solid strike. What you want to see is your hips rotate back until your belt buckle is facing AWAY from the target. Once you know that your backswing turn is complete, then on transition the hips rotate toward the target.

A good way to practice rotation and eliminate this slide is to go into your golf stance near a wall with your right foot against the wall (for a righty) and rotating back like a golf backswing. If you rotate properly, you will see the space between the wall and your hip increase. If you are sliding, you will hit the wall or see the space decrease.

7. Correct Sequence

With that last tip, taking the rotation and using it to your advantage means performing the rotation in the correct order. You want to see your arms and shoulders start the takeaway, and at the top of the backswing, you want to start the transition to the downswing with your hips. That will lead to your torso turning, followed by your hands, and then finally, the golf club. If you can consistently make the sequence of the swing occur in that order, you will find it will be a lot easier to hit the ball properly.

8. First Six Inches

I mentioned with the sequence that the takeaway should start with the arms and shoulders, and a good start will mean you set yourself up for a good rest of the swing. A good way to ensure that you are having a proper takeaway is to think about the first six inches of the swing turning only your shoulders and taking your arms and club back. It keeps everything all together and promotes a one-piece takeaway. To practice this, take a ball and put it behind the golf club at address and work on taking your club back with your shoulders and pushing the ball back away from the target.

9. Short Game Heel Up, Toe Down

If you struggle around the greens and feel like it’s a lost cause, there is a little hack that can help you take the mechanics and swing tips out of it. Take an 8 iron (or any wedge works), and set up like a normal chip shot/bump and run. From there, lift the heel of the club off of the ground so that the toe of the club is the only part of the club in contact with the turf. From there make a putting stroke. You’ll find that it will be a lot easier to hit the center of the face, due to the club not having too much contact with the ground. A lot less moving parts and variables! Practice this shot because it works very well, but it relies on feel for your distance control!

Two men stand on a golf course talking with clubs over their shoulders
Photo by Courtney Cook

10. Get an Instructor!

The most important swing tip I can give you is to go find an instructor and get a lesson. Even if it is just one, they can give you a diagnosis and really help you know what the faults in your swing are. Once you know for sure what you need to work on, practice it. Do research on the faults and fixes and hone your game. If you feel as if it isn’t working, then go get another lesson. It is the best way to improve, and also, they’ll have A LOT of tips for you.

And there you have it. 10 tips to help you get a little closer to your perfect golf swing. Now get out on the course, or maybe head for a few practice sessions, and try these tips out!

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Written By
I started out working at a golf course in my hometown of Boston, where my love for the game quickly grew. As I played more my interest grew, and as my interest grew, my pursuit to know how the golf swing works and how I can improve consumed my life. I went on to work as a certified club fitter and c...

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