How to Improve Your Golf Swing Mechanics

By Teresa Justine Kelly

Many golfers find the toughest thing about golf is maintaining a consistent swing. Without proper technique, shots are more likely to be sliced or hooked. To develop a routine you can trust, practice your golf swing mechanics at the driving range. This process takes time and patience. The following instructions pertain to right-handed golfers. Golfers hitting left-handed should reverse the directions. 


Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Grip the club in your fingers and not in the palm of your hands. On a scale from one to 10, with 10 being the firmest, hold the club with a grip pressure of about a five.

To get increased power and accuracy, take your overlapping grip and give your left hand a quarter-turn to your left. But more importantly, be consistent in your grip so it becomes second nature. 
Step 2
Aim the club face toward your target, then set your body into position. Your feet, hips and shoulders should be parallel to the target line (the imaginary line extending from your golf ball to the target). Your left shoulder needs to face your target and your left foot needs to be directly under your left shoulder. Your feet should be shoulder length apart. Proper alignment is critical to achieving a straight shot.
Step 3
Begin the takeaway, or backswing, by maintaining the triangle you made with your body and arms as you set your body into position. Your hands, arms and shoulders should all move together in one piece as you rotate your hips to the right. Halfway back in your takeaway, your club should be parallel to the target line.
Step 4
Create the letter "L" with your right elbow at the top of your backswing but be sure that your elbow does not fly away from your side. Make sure the club face is square at the top of your backswing. Your hips should be rotated about half as much as your shoulders at the top of your backswing.
Step 5
Stay on the same plane in your downswing. As you begin your downswing, the butt of the shaft of your club should be pointing at or near the ball. This will optimize your chances of squaring the club face at impact, providing a straight, solid shot.
Step 6
Lead with your lower body on your downswing, with your left knee and hip rotating your body into alignment for the downswing.  At impact, your left hip will continue rotation for your follow through. 

Tips & Warnings

Keep the rhythm and tempo in your backswing and downswing smooth and steady.
Finish in balance with a full follow through with about 90 percent of your weight on your front foot.
Don't pick up your head and don't quit on your follow through. Follow through until the club reaches shoulder height will help you get as much distance as possible from your shot and also help keep it straight.
Remember not to over swing. A good golf swing is not necessarily an overpowering golf swing. Your goal should be to build a smooth and repeatable swing.
Practice these fundamentals at the driving range as often as possible, to groove a swing pattern that is consistent and reliable.
Slices and hooks occur for several reasons. Always check your alignment, slow down your tempo, release tension in your hands, and make sure your club stays on plane in your downswing. A club that is off plane will not be square to the ball at impact, creating a sliced or hooked shot.

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.


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