Stages of the Golf Swing

By Bill Herrfeldt

There are four main components to every golf swing, and how the golfer executes the proper elements of each will usually translate into good results and lower scores. By breaking the golf swing into so few components seems to mean that golf is an easy game to master, but some players fail to conquer even one of them so they are relegated to high handicaps and poor play. Work on these four parts of the golf swing, and you will enjoy the game more and reduce your handicap.


How you stand up to the golf ball is critical to how you execute the other elements of the swing. At the address, you should have your legs as wide as your shoulders and your weight evenly distributed between both sides of your body. Stand erect, and maintaining that posture, squat vertically until your knees are slightly bent. Raise your club to a horizontal position, then bend from the waist, tilt your upper torso forward and put your club on the ground. while keeping your arms straight. Regardless of the length of your club, where your clubhead lands on the ground is the proper position of the golf ball. Finally, do not grip your club so tightly that you create tension in your arms or the rest of your body.


Your backswing is nothing more than taking the club up and to top of your body, but there are numerous things to remember. First, if you are right-handed, you should keep your left arm straight all the way through your backswing. Second, you should rotate both your shoulders and your hips as you take the club back. At the top of your backswing, your shoulders ideally should have turned so that your left is underneath your right and your hips have rotated about half that much. You'll know that you have made progress with your backswing if, at the top, your club is pointed at the target and it is close to parallel to the ground due to the hinging of your wrists.


Start your downward motion by moving your weight from the right to the left side. Keep your wrists cocked until your club is about parallel to the ground; then release them as you approach the moment of impact. Throughout both the backswing and downswing, your body should rotate on an axis and your head should remain in the same position for the entire golf shot.


Complete your golf shot by continuing your swing through the golf ball, making sure that the club goes toward the target. If you don't do this, your downswing most likely will be affected, and your clubface will not remain aimed at your target.

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.

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