Ten Tips to the Perfect Golf Swing

By Brendan O'Brien

For some, the life-long pursuit of an ideal golf swing can make the game an enjoyable challenge. The golf swing is a set of complicated movements that involve the arms, hips, back and legs. Because of the intrinsic nature of the swing, any false movement, as small as it may be, will result in the ball going astray.

The Mind

The first and maybe the most important aspect of the golf swing is in the mind. A positive attitude that involves thoughts of hitting the ball crisply and straight is essential for a solid golf swing. Studies show that visualizing a good shot helps golfers while focusing on avoiding hazards is more likely to result in skewed shots. 

The Grip

The first physical step to any perfect golf swing is the a strong, solid grip. With the left hand, grip the handle extending from the meaty part of the hand from below the pinkie to the center of the index finger. The right hand should be placed underneath the left hand, with the club sitting from the right pinkie to the top of the index finger. The grip should form a V with the thumbs and index fingers.

The Setup

An ideal setup consists of correct arms, back and leg posture. It should be consistent through each swing. The golfer's weight should be distributed evenly on each foot. Second, the golfer should bend his knees and arms slightly. Third, the golfer should keep his back straight and chin up. Although these steps seem simple, they can go a long way to building a perfect golf swing.


Tempo is a critical part of a perfect golf swing. The backswing should be twice as slow as the downswing through impact. This should be done consistently with every club. Count to two during the back swing and then start back toward the ball, counting to one. As a golfer says one, he or she should be strike the ball.

Swing Plane

The swing plane is the line that the club draws in the air as it is being swung. This should be a circular in nature. The club should be kept on the same circular plane through the swing.


Do not think about necessarily swinging the golf club, but turning your body so to let the club do the work. The key is turning your back with your hips and legs so it faces the target and your chest is pointing the opposite direction during the backswing. Your weight should transfer to the inside of your right foot.


During the perfect back swing, the left arm should be kept straight and slightly stiff. A slight bend at the top is sometimes essential to keep the correct swing plane. The right arm should be bent during the back swing in a way to allow for that swing plane to occur.

Slight Stop at the Top

A perfect golf swing involves a very slight stop of motion at the top when the club is basically parallel to the ground on a full swing. This stop is essential for the weight to shift back toward the ball, but should not be noticeable and should be part of a smooth, crisp tempo.


The downswing is where the golfer needs to really let the club do the work. A golfer should keep a smooth and steady tempo through the ball without jerking the muscles, keeping their head down and still. Weight should move through the middle of the body and toward the target.


The follow-through should feel as if the golfer is posing a picture. The club should finish above the head and the hands, and shoulders and chest should be facing the target. Weight should now be on the left side of the body.

About The Author

Brendan O'Brien is a professional journalist in Milwaukee, Wis. He has worked for several news organizations, newspapers such as the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" and trade magazines during his 15-year career. He is currently a freelance writer who works for several publications.


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