Golf: How to Swing

By Teresa Justine Kelly

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The basic golf swing is a simple movement, but somehow we complicate the simplicity of the golf swing by adding too many swing thoughts and mechanics. Basically, your downswing should mirror your backswing, followed by a full finish. There are a few steps you should know in order to execute a solid, consistent golf swing. Once you understand the fundamental steps to the golf swing, you will achieve consistency.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy
  1. Grip the club in the base of your fingers and stand tall and relaxed at address. Your club should hang naturally from your arms, forming a "Y" shape.
  2. Maintain the triangle formed at address in your backswing. Halfway back, your club should be parallel to the target line and the toe of your club should point upward.
  3. Form an "L" shape with your right elbow at the top of your backswing. The right elbow should point down, and your left elbow should be straight. At the top of your backswing, your back should be facing the target.
  4. Start your downswing making sure the clubface is square at impact. Your hips should start the swing, your head should remain behind the ball and your weight should shift from your right side to your left side.
  5. Follow through with the toe of the club pointing upwards, matching the takeaway, then completely finish your swing. Your body should be facing the target, with 90 percent of your weight on your front foot. The club shaft should settle on your left shoulder.

Tips & Warnings

  • In order to feel the rhythm of the swing, practice this exercise at the driving range. With your hands clasped behind your back, turn your body to the right and then the left. Now do this motion with your arms in front of you, clasping your hands and swinging the arms back and through until you get the rhythm. Now add the club and feel the simple swing motion. As you take the club back and through, swish the club brushing the grass at the starting point. When you get comfortable with this swinging motion, brushing the grass, tee up a ball about a half-inch off the ground and try hitting the ball.
  • Do not be disappointed if you do not hit the ball the first time. The golf swing takes practice. If you are a novice golfer, do not try hitting the ball on the ground. Practice first with a teed-up ball to get comfortable and confident with the golf swing.

About the Author

Teresa Kelly graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She was an editor for seven years for several magazines and publishing houses. Kelly is an avid golfer, a well-known children's book and golf author, and is currently the president of Highview Press/Golfing Lady that produces all occasion golf greeting cards.