One of the quickest ways to improve your golf score is to hit the golf ball straight. You will hit more fairways and lower your golf score.
Understanding a few basic principles of physics as they apply to golf, can help you to modify your golf swing to hit the ball straighter.
Understand the three variables that determine the direction of the ball:
- Target line: where the player wants the ball to travel.
- Swing path: where the club travels to strike the ball.
- Club head position: where the club is when it strikes the ball.
Line up on the target line. Your left shoulder should be pointed directly at where you want the ball to go. Your left foot should be directly underneath your left shoulder.
Check your grip. When you look at your left hand, you should see the letter "V" formed by your thumb and your forefinger. If you can't see the "V," give your top hand a half-turn to the left. Do not squeeze the club too tightly. This will just restrict your swing which will have a negative impact on distance and accuracy. Instead, hold the club at a level of "5" on a scale of 1 to 10.
Keep a smooth, slow pace on your swing. Many golfers lose accuracy because they decide to speed up their back swing, down swing and follow through. Go at a smooth, or even slow, pace if you want to build a repeatable swing. Remember to lead with your hips and then let your hands follow as you prepare to make contact with the ball. Keep your head down and your eye on the ball. The longer you can keep your head down, the better the chance that solid contact will be made.
Practice your swing at the driving range. Observe the golf ball in flight and divot pattern to determine the characteristics of the swing. This will provide feedback on what components of the swing you need enhance to improve your ball striking. You may want to videotape your swing or have a friend observe your ball. Be sure to note your swing path and club head position when you watch the video.
Need more help? Take a lesson or series of lessons with a trained PGA professional. Most PGA professionals have advanced training in all aspects of the golf swing. They can help guide you and provide the insight and feedback for you to fine tune to your golf swing to help you have a proper swing path and a desirable club head position.