The Proper Way to Hit a Golf Ball

By Bill Herrfeldt

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Of the millions of people who play golf, there are fewer than 500 of them who make a decent living playing the game professionally. The chances of our becoming touring professionals are not very high, so most of us will play the game for enjoyment, and that starts with learning the proper way to hit a golf ball. The game of golf is said to be 80 percent mental and only 20 percent skill. Let's start with the basic skills.


Difficulty: Challenging
  1. Take a six-iron, and with your feet a little further apart than your shoulders, bend your knees slightly. Let your arms fall until they are straight, then grip the club as you have been taught, and bend your torso slightly from the waist and assume a slightly sitting position. That should result in your club head being grounded at a comfortable distance and about in the middle of your feet, and it is at that point where the ball should be placed. Adjust your weight so it is evenly distributed between your toes and heels to create balance. Then turn the toe of your leading foot an inch or two towards your target, which will make it easier for you to follow through with your swing.
  2. Make yourself swing the golf club in one continuous motion even though your arms will be in various positions throughout your effort. To do this, all of your body parts will be working in unison to create a fluid swing. Start by standing comfortably in your stance. Then begin your swing by taking the club back in a single motion to a position that's about parallel with the ground, while keeping your lead arm straight. Continue your golf swing to the top of your body, all the while rotating your shoulders to a point where they are perpendicular with the ground and continuing to keep your leading arm straight. The amount of your shoulder turn will depend on your flexibility. At the top of your swing, your club should be pointing towards your target.
  3. Begin your downswing by shifting your weight to the side closer to the target while keeping your head down and avoiding any swaying of your body. Just before you hit the golf ball, your club should be an extension of your lead arm and the club head should be aiming at the target. After you hit the golf ball, your swing should continue to a point where your hands are above your body and you are facing the target.
  4. Get comfortable with your new golf swing at the driving range; and until you develop a continuous and fluid swing, concentrate on direction rather than distance. You will find that golf is more a game of leverage than strength, so it doesn't take a physically strong person to become a good golfer.

About the Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.